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It's Graduation time for the Money Mentors
Published: 26 Apr 2013
Today, 49 local women were the first to graduate from the Money Mentor programme. The Money Mentors project was launched last year by Toynbee Hall in partnership with the Limehouse Project, the Bromley-by Bow Centre and Quaker Social Action.
Our graduates have been attending regular classes over the last three months and have achieved entry level 3 in Community Money Mentoring, a nationally recognised qualification. During the course they have learnt the skills to budget and manage money, understand financial products, use the internet to secure the best deals and mentor members of their community to share their newfound skills.
The ceremony was a celebration of their achievements, with speeches from money mentors, staff involved in the project and a presentation by Graham Fisher, CEO of Toynbee Hall. The new Money Mentors were able to share their experiences, and enjoyed some beautiful home-made cakes. Well done to all of them!
In their own words
Becoming a money mentor has already made a difference to the women involved. Dawn, who is a single mother of two, explains why money management is so important for her:
“My son has special needs, so I have been unable to work. When he was born he was very sick and we were always in and out of hospital. I tried to compensate by buying everything the children wanted, even if that meant not paying the electricity bills or missing paying the rent. With help from a support worker, I managed to get back on track with my finances and start budgeting.
With all that I’ve been through, I wanted to give something back. The Money Mentors course has been really really fabulous! It has opened my eyes to financial realities. I am now really careful before buying, I’ve found a lower tariff for my electricity and I turn off the electrics at home.”
Dawn is already planning to share her skills with her family, and is looking forward to volunteering at her son’s school to help other parents of children with special needs to prepare for welfare reforms.
Sahra says: “I have enjoyed taking part in the money mentor course. I have learnt lots of skills such as working out payslips and writing cheques. I also learnt how to calculate my income and be in control of my regular spending. Now I buy only what I need, not what I want”
Shazna Begum says: “I have gained confidence in saving money and spending my money when I need to and not just because I past a shop”
About the Money Mentor Programme
The Money Mentors programme puts financial confidence at the heart of the community in Tower Hamlets, at a time when increased financial capability is vital to help families prepare for welfare reform and deal with the impact of the recession.
Sian Williams, Head of Financial Inclusion at Toynbee Hall, says:
“Financial exclusion reduces the parity of the pound for struggling families and impacts the lives of individuals, their families and the wider community. Our Money Mentors have already seen the impact of their new confidence in their own lives; we will now be supporting them to help others.”
The Money Mentors project is part of the Financially Inclusive Tower Hamlets initiative, led by Toynbee Hall.