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MyBnk on the BBC! Student finance explained

Young people have lots of questions when it comes to university.

Should I go? What about debt? Does it help my career plan and yes, how do I pay for it?! There are other big unknowns as many young people live alone for the first time and engage with money in ways they have never done before.

MyBnk’s Education Director Sharan Jaswal joined BBC News to help young people find out what owing tens of thousands of pounds in student finance means for things such as their credit rating and hopes of owning a home.

Financial education is not compulsory for Sixth Formers in England, meaning many young people miss out on vital information just at the time they need it most.

Want to bring our specialised Uni Dosh workshops to your young people? Contact

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The Money House: “I’m getting them on this course!”

19-year-old single mum, Channel, shares how our youth homelessness prevention project, The Money House (TMH), helped her take control of her finances, and her future.

TMH is a simulated living programme based in a real flat helping 16-25 year olds in, or about to move into housing, manage their money and remain independent.

Vulnerable young people, such as those leaving care, are at a greater risk of homelessness, debt and poverty than their peers.

This programme arms them with practical financial and digital skills to pay their rent, bills and living costs whilst making informed positive choices about their future.

Want to refer young people to the house? Get in touch:


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Nominated teacher runner up in national financial education award

A MyBnk nominated teacher has come runner-up in a national award in search for the UK’s best financial educator.

Chrissy Humphrys, a Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance teacher at The Green School also received £1,500 to spend on money skills programmes.

Our experts have worked with the London school in Hounslow for five years thanks to funders such as Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

The judges say…

The judges were Kirsty Bowman-Vaughan, financial education lead for the Money Advice Service, Moira O’Neill, Moneywise editor, Jeff Prestridge, personal finance editor of the Mail on Sunday, and Jane Goodland, responsible business director for Old Mutual Wealth.

The judges thought Chrissy’s material was very challenging and she really made the children think carefully about their beliefs by posing fantastically thought-provoking questions. They were impressed with how she set out the fact children could end up in debt if they do not recognise and address financial problems. Plus, they liked her use of both internal and external resources.

Chrissy said: “It is vital all young people receive these vital lessons to equip them with the skills they need in preparation for life beyond the classroom.”

Moira O’Neill, editor of Moneywise said: “We run this competition because we believe it’s never too soon for young people to learn about their finances, and that by mastering the basics early on in life, they will grow up to be the most financially savvy generation yet.

“These awards recognise the individual effort put in by primary and secondary school teachers to create engaging ways to ignite interest in personal finance. We know that teachers are busy and face an extraordinary range of competing claims on their time so those making these efforts deserve great acclaim.

“It’s crucial for the health of this nation’s finances to support teachers at all levels to deliver key financial messages to young people. It’s essential that we prepare and empower young people to make the key decisions that they will need to become confident and independent young adults. With two young daughters this is a cause very close to my heart.”

If you would like to bring MyBnk’s proven and evaluated financial education workshops to your school or youth organisation, please contact

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New money skills project for blind & Deaf youth

The government’s Money Advice Service (MAS) have helped launch a ground-breaking project aimed at boosting the financial literacy of young Deaf and blind people in the UK.

The specialist Money Mechanics project is designed and delivered by the financial education charity MyBnk, The Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) and Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC).

Kirsty Bowman-Vaughan, Financial Education Lead at the MAS said their investigation found “barely any” specialised services were delivered to young people with these additional needs.

Just 29% of young people who are blind or Deaf manage their own finances.

The project will see over a thousand 16-25 year olds living with sight or hearing loss learn how to budget, bank, borrow safely, in their first languages to take control of their lives, sustain work, go to university, move into independent living and live life “without limit”. Training will also be scaled to other youth organisations.

The launch, endorsed by former Cabinet Officer Minister, Lord Blunkett, also saw keynote speeches and guests experience the games and activities we are trialling with young people.


Nearly 70% of blind and partially sighted young people are living on the poverty line and only 41% of Deaf young people gained 5+ GCSEs graded A* -C including English and Maths in 2016.

Those with disabilities also face a double disadvantage when it comes to managing their money and accessing financial services.

The project will focus on contextualising three award winning MyBnk education programmes, Money Twist to arm them with core money skills and navigate the financial system, Uni Dosh, so they can make an informed choice about going to university and live independently, and Enterprise-in-a-Box to equip them with employability skills.


L to R: Kevin Satizabal, Young Ambassador, RSBC, Mike Brace CBE,
Money Mechanics Project Lead, Sharan Jaswal from MyBnk.

At the launch, Keynote speaker Toby Linton Burton, Chair of RAD, CFO at The Economist and British Sign Language user said “parents lacked the knowledge to help their Deaf child look after their finances.” Former Paralympian Mike Brace CBE, who was blinded at the age of ten, told guests “if you can’t be in control of your money, you can’t be in control of your life.”

“Deaf or blind young people have lower incomes and higher expenses than their peers, research shows they are frightened of money, are more vulnerable to debt and six out of ten find banks intimidating and unhelpful,” said Money Mechanics Project Lead, Sharan Jaswal from MyBnk. Adding: “we will not leave them behind. This project will educate and empower them.”

Paul Newbury, Head of the Hearing Impaired Unit at St. Clere’s school spoke of his fears for young Deaf people who will not have the chance to fulfil their potential due to the lack of initiatives, such as Money Mechanics. Kevin Satizabal, Young Ambassador, RSBC, who is also blind, echoed these sentiments saying: “It’s about independence. You don’t know how liberating managing your own money is.”

Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the ‘Dream Fund’ project will arm these young people with the skills to survive, thrive and live independently. We also intend to roll out the scheme via other charities nationwide.

Since 2005 players of the People’s Postcode Lottery have raised an incredible £168.4m for charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally.


Reporter Iona Bain experiences what it’s like for a blind person to enter their pin code.
See her Young Money Blog on the launch. 

Lord Blunkett said: “It gives me great pleasure to see a project like Money Mechanics tackling some of the root causes of isolation and deprivation. By teaching some of the most vulnerable in our society how to manage their money, in their own language, the doors of opportunity are opened to live life, without limit”.

Guy Rigden, CEO of MyBnk, said: “This project will have a lifetime impact on the everyday interactions of vulnerable young people, be it budgeting, understanding bills, prioritising debts or earning money, as well as on their aspirations for the future, for example considering university, starting their own business, or moving into their own home.”

RSBC chief executive, Dr Tom Pey said: “Our shared experience has proved time and again that deaf and blind young people are not being supported at school to grasp the fundamentals of handling money. This gap in their knowledge creates barriers to their economic and social independence. Money Mechanics will make sure young people with sensory impairment have the knowledge and skills they needed to deal with their finances effectively and independently.”

Dr. Jan Sheldon, CEO, Royal Association for Deaf people said: “Deaf young people often miss out on information because it isn’t accessible to them. One of RAD’s key aims is to deliver services in a Deaf person’s first language. Our participation in the Money Mechanics project will empower young Deaf people to become more independent by taking control of their finances.”

For more information, pictures or to visit a MyBnk session please visit or contact

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Newsboost! Founder CEO – 10th Bday Bash – Funded Financial Education

Be sure to check out our fresh Newsboost from the UK’s frontline of financial education and enterprise for young people.

In our latest edition:

  • Our Founder Lily Lapenna made an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List.
  • Opportunities to showcase your support for money and business skills in our upcoming 10th birthday celebrations.
  • A range of funded workshops are available for schools and youth groups.
  • The Money House youth homelessness prevention project is taking referrals.

Read all about it, here.

Be sure to get in touch and spread the word on social media.

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MyBnk founder honoured in Queens Birthday List

Elisabetta Lapenna-Huda, also known as Lily, Founder and Co-Chair of MyBnk has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Over 10 years she has built our charity up to be a world leader in financial education practices – bringing together young people, educators, financial services and policy makers to design and deliver award winning workshops.

In 2012 her work with civil society helped financial education become compulsory in the secondary national curriculum.

“This is an incredible honour. It is a recognition for the remarkable MyBnk team who driven by the vision of a financially literate and enterprising society, work tirelessly to make it a reality. UK personal debt is £1.5 trillion and just 7% of young people have spoken to a teacher about money – the need for what we do has never been greater. I would like to thank every young person, teacher, youth worker and funder who has helped us advance this vital cause.” Elisabetta Lapenna-Huda MBE.

Together with the Money Advice Service, and others, financial capability has been pushed up the political agenda. Recently reflected with the establishment of a dedicated Minister for Financial Inclusion.

She has also been a leader in MyBnk’s interventions with vulnerable young people, working with Leaving Care Units to ensure thousands of care leavers have the skills they need to transition to independent living.

MyBnk has helped nearly 175,000 7-25 year olds learn to manage their money and start their own enterprise in 800 schools and youth organisations.

Independent of banks and commercial branding, we use trained experts to teach young people about everything from tax and saving to student finance and social enterprise. We also have a global presence that ranges from Italy to Namibia.

“Lily’s legacy is clear to see. We are now in a fantastic position to ensure that financial education is given the prominence it deserves. I would like to congratulate her on behalf of everyone at MyBnk.” Guy Rigden, MyBnk CEO.

Organisations such as Esmee Fairbairn, and JP Morgan Chase and as well as and individual donors like the CEO of H&M Karl Johan Persson, have been seminal in our growth and development. We are currently supported by various trusts and foundations including CSR units from Prudential plc, Old Mutual Wealth, MUFG; Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. See the full list, here


  • 2016: The Guardian Charity Award.
  • 2015: Children & Young People Now Leaving Care Award.
  • 2014: Project Oracle – Evidence Award 2014.
  • 2012: Centre for Social Justice Award – Prevention of Poverty 2012.
  • 2011: Lily appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
  • 2010: Lily appointed as an Ashoka Fellow.

For more information, please contact

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KickStart Money! Primary schools to receive financial education

MyBnk is to arm thousands of 7-11 year olds with essential money skills in a groundbreaking collaboration.

Sixteen of Britain’s leading savings and investment firms, are launching KickStart Money, a ground-breaking collaborative project that aims to invest £1 million to take financial education to nearly 18,000 primary school children, in a movement to build a national savings culture for the future.

There is a significant lack of financial education provision for children in the UK during the critical formative early years.

Our experts are taking Money Twist into 100 schools, focusing on topics such as saving, budgeting, careers, borrowing, and consumer and public finance to help forge positive financial attitudes and behaviours.

Sessions are free for schools who are urged to book via

Spearheaded by Columbia Threadneedle, Old Mutual Wealth and managed by The Tax Incentivised Savings Association; KickStart Money is a serious statement of intent by the sector in response to calls from Select Committees and All Party Parliamentary Groups for money lessons to become a compulsory element of the primary national curriculum.

Research from the national Money Advice Service has found many fiscal habits are developed between the ages of 7-11 and that teachers and parents lack the confidence to equip young people with money skills.

The project has also been awarded £80,000 by MAS as part of their ‘What Works Fund’ independent evaluation project to help deepen the knowledge of the UK’s most effective financial capability interventions.

The Giving Department, a Corporate Responsibility and philanthropy agency, undertook extensive research, to gauge the state of financial education across the UK. The research identified early years as the area of greatest potential impact.

Recent MAS findings suggest:

  • Only 40% of 7-17 year olds say they’ve received financial education in school. Just 7% of 7-17 year olds have talked to their teachers about money. Only one third of parents talk to their children about money.
  • Less than half (43%) of young people (aged 12-17) feel confident in managing their money. Furthermore, 44% of parents say they do not feel confident managing money. 9/10 of young people who learned about money at school said it was useful.
  • Existing interventions are not operating at sufficient scale. Schools need more support to deliver financial education consistently and confidently. However, funders and commissioners do not have the evidence they need to target their funding. There is a need to know much more what works to ensure children get the high quality financial education they need.

Lord Hutton, former Secretary of State for the Department of Work & Pensions, said: “Learning about the basics of money is essential if we want to build a more financially literate nation. KickStart Money is an exciting and much needed new project aiming to help young students to understand the consequences of debt as well as the importance of saving and investing for their future.”

Suella Fernandes, MP for Fareham and Chair of the APPG inquiry into the effectiveness of financial education in UK schools, said: “Young people are growing up with far greater opportunities to spend money and a wider range of financial decisions to make. Financial education has the potential to transform people’s life chances by equipping them with the vital skills to manage their money well and plays an important role in helping young people to navigate these new financial and consumer landscapes. Kickstart Money is a great new project which will help children up and down the country to learn how to manage their personal finances, setting them up to deal with the financial challenges of later life.”

Guy Rigden, CEO MyBnk said: “We are thrilled to be bringing money to life for young people in primary schools. Starting early, talking about money, playing games and imagining the future makes money fun, real, and can do so much to form good habits early. MyBnk will help young people navigate the money maze, discover opportunities and learn to avoid the pitfalls. Teachers and parents, please get in touch so we may bring expert-led financial education to your school.”

Jane Goodland, Responsible Business Director at Old Mutual Wealth, said: “This collaboration is truly ground breaking as it brings together some of the biggest players in the industry to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time. Access to credit and the ability to spend online means it’s more important than ever for young people to avoid problem debt from the outset. It’s a difficult territory and landscape for young people to navigate so I’m really proud of what Kick Start Money is seeking to achieve.”

Charles McCreedy, Director of TISA, said: “We are thrilled to initiate an industry sponsored project with the common aim of helping future generations be more financially resilient. This builds on one of the six policy recommendations to emerge from TISA’s Savings & Investments Policy project (TSIP) which identified education as being key to improving financial wellbeing. Research shows key behavioural attitudes to money are formed by age 11, so it’s great to see TSIP’s original policy idea evolve into this targeted programme to tackle the current lack of financial education resources for children. Improving financial skills at an early age is essential and will have a significant impact in adulthood.”

Rupert Pybus, Global Head of Brand and Marketing at Columbia Threadneedle, and a Trustee Director of the Columbia Threadneedle Foundation, said: “Significant proportions of the UK population lack the basic functional skills and knowledge to effectively manage their money. KickStart Money has been developed as a mechanism for the industry/TISA members to pro-actively and collectively transform the long-term savings behaviour of a generation.”

KickStart Money partners: Aberdeen Asset Management, Alliance Trust Savings, Allianz Global Investors, Aviva, Axa Investment Management, BlackRock, BMO Global Asset Management, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Henderson Global Investors, Legg Mason Global Asset Management, LGIM, Old Mutual Wealth, Prudential UK & Europe, Redington, Schroders and Standard Life.

More info, here.

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“I know exactly where I’m going” – The Money House

“I was really worried about coming. You’ll realise in one second, you can talk here. I feel I can go out there and face all of my debts. I know exactly where I’m going”.

See how our financial education programme for young people helped single mother Petra take control of her money at The Money House.

Aimed at preventing youth homelessness, TMH is an award winning simulated living programme in a real flat helping young people in, or about to move into housing, manage their money and remain independent.

We take referrals on a continuous basis. Based in Greenwich, London, TMH is expanding to Newham soon.

TMH is funded by JPMorgan Chase, Berkeley Foundation and Hyde Housing. Previously run by Hyde Housing.

Contact for more info.

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“I wanted to be a rapper, now I want to set up my own business.”

Young market traders have doubled their dough after creating big profits in an enterprise education challenge.

In just four days, a dozen 13-18 year olds from Big Creative Education went from drawing board to Walthamstow Market, using interest free micro loans. The group made £50 profit off a £50 loan by making and selling their own t-shirts and tote bags – that is 100% profit!

Our enterprise education experts taught them how to design, cost, sell and market products, write business plans, give sales pitches, and budget.


The Business Battle project, supported by the London Stock Exchange Group, is helping young people learn key soft skills like negotiating and customer interaction in London’s poorest boroughs. MyBnk has scores of funded money and business workshops available to local schools and youth organisations.

“At the beginning of the week I wanted to be a rapper, but now I want to set up my own business.” Aman Guhinya, 18.

“It’s been fantastic to witness the transformation of these young people in just five days. This type of education is vital to a young person’s development, either in enterprise or employment.” Guy Rigden, CEO, MyBnk.


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MyBnk on BBC Radio 1

MyBnk was pumping out financial education wisdom on the airwaves for Global Money Week.

Hannah Jones, Quality & Training Manager shared her stories, tips, and advice with young people across the UK.

She was joined on BBC Radio 1’s The Surgery by DJ Gemma Cairney, whose new book ‘Open’ features MyBnk, and psychotherapist, Dr Aaron Balick.

Tune in!

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