The Money House

Sadly, The Money House closed its doors at the end of July as the project ended. 

The project was borne out of the FAAD (Financial Action and Advice Derbyshire) partnership and the learning from the Big Lottery Project which showed that young people do not learn these essential life skills in school.

Of the young people who took part in the programme, 72% said that they had not learned anything about money management at home or in school. So, it’s no surprise that 80% of people under 25 are in rent arrears across the UK.

Finding a Flat 

RAD developed the programme with the support of Derbyshire County Council and NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund. Having previously run some pilot programmes in Chesterfield, South Derbyshire and Amber Valley the search began for a suitable location and a proper 'real life' flat to use to deliver the training. After months of preparation, a flat rented from Chesterfield Borough Council was ready and the project began delivery in January 2018.

The Training

The training was based around 4 consecutive days at the flat where the young people were introduced to the various concepts of financial management; understanding bills, bank accounts, savings and the consequences of getting behind with bill payments.

The total number of young people referred was 84, almost 75% were either in care or involved with Social Services so had no choice but to live independently from a very young age.

Most of the young people that did attend thoroughly enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. They benefited from the educational element achieving 68 AQA Awards between them, but they also enjoyed the social interaction with other young people in similar situations.

Unfortunately, only 43% attended for the full 4 day programme. Those that did had only positive things to say.

“The most useful thing I learned… was that you CAN deal with all the problems and there’s solutions to do….anything!” Aaron, aged 20.

“One of the best experience of my life coming to the Money House. I have made great friends and the staff are so friendly - any 17 to 24 years olds thinking of moving, I recommend this to you all.” Kim, aged 24.

Jamie and Ella joined us in April. Ella was 6 months pregnant with their first baby and they were nervous about their future;

“We came here struggling because we’re both trying to get a flat. We came not knowing anything about banking, debt, what you can claim, what you can’t claim, what loans are good, what loans are not so good. We’ve learned loads; how to budget our money and what bills we’ll need to pay.”

With their housing application supported by their AQA Awards in Budgeting and Debt Management, they have since been given the keys for their first property just in time for the birth of baby Isabelle.

When Money House closed and the flat had to be emptied, they were given the fridge, cooker and anything else they needed from the kitchen! A real success story for the project and for these two great young people and baby Isabelle.

The people behind the project

Claire Thornber set up and managed the project from the initial pilot stage, through to securing funding to deliver the project. Gail Hannan was recruited specifically to support Claire develop and deliver the training. They were a great team and all the young people were so impressed with their training style (and the food!). 

Claire said, “It’s a real shame that the project has come to an end. In hindsight, trying to set up a project with just one year’s funding is a tall order, but it has been great to see how much it has helped the young people that did come along.”

Claire will be leaving RAD at the end of August, when she will be setting off on an adventure to South America, finally fulfilling a life-long dream of walking the Andes!

Gail is staying on at RAD part-time over the summer to help with one of the other projects.  

RAD would like to thank all the funders, stakeholders, partners, referral agencies and young people who all contributed to this great project. There is still a huge gap in the provision of financial education for young people, especially those leaving the care system.  RAD will continue to address many aspects of financial inclusion to support people throughout Derbyshire.