Sunday 25 September 2016
Credit unions will be encouraging children to manage their money through new Junior Savers Schemes, Communities Secretary Angela Constance has announced.
Ten credit unions working in areas like Aberdeen, Dumfries and Galloway, West Lothian and Stirling are set to receive a share of nearly £200,000 to set up new projects in schools. Additional funding will also be used to develop and produce a new Junior Savers toolkit which will provide booklets and online resources for both credit unions and schools to use to set up their own schemes.
Ms Constance announced the funding allocations on a visit to the West Lothian Credit Union in Livingston. She said: “Credit unions provide safer and more secure opportunities for people to borrow money and are an alternative to pay day lenders, so it’s only right that we should highlight their benefits to people from a young age.
“This funding will help credit unions set up schemes which will bring maths to life and give children an understanding of the importance of saving and managing money.
“Through the scheme and our new Junior Savers toolkit, credit unions will be able to work with schools to raise awareness of money issues. This early work can help to change behaviour, and ultimately play a role in our efforts to reduce inequalities.”
Chair of West Lothian Credit Union, Nancy MacGillivray said: “The news of our successful application to the Scottish Government Junior Savers Scheme for working in primary schools combined with our celebration of £10 million loaned to the community makes this a wonderful day for West Lothian.
“This enables us to recommence our work in schools, providing financial education for our young people.”
There are currently around 100 credit unions in Scotland, with a combined membership of 387,000 while 7% of the Scottish population are enrolled in a credit union, compared to only 1.5 % in England, and 2.6 % in Wales.
Notes: The Junior Savers Scheme is a response to the recent Scotland’s Credit Unions: Investing in our Future report which highlighted the need to improve financial education for young people and recommended partnering with schools to promote schemes run by credit unions.
Audio clip available for use on radio on request.
Photographs from the West Lothian Credit Union visit are available to download at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottishgovernment/
The projects receiving funding are: