Updated: Feb 5
This year we marked our Money Mentors graduation in style!
We recently had the privilege of seeing the graduates of our Money Mentors course receive their certificates from the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, at a Graduation Event at Here East in Stratford.
There was also a special video message from Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert – who better to encourage them to spread their money skills far and wide! #MoneyMentorsLdn
Our 60+ Mentors this year have all worked extremely hard to learn vital budgeting and money management skills, and how to pass these on to their peers. Some of the Mentors are young people in schools, others are adults in the community.
They have already managed to reach an impressive 1,000+ people in 2019 – building a huge amount of financial resilience in their communities and for future generations.
We know that this financial resilience will fight poverty and empower individuals with new confidence and hope for the future.
Martin Lewis had this message for the Mentors:
‘Congratulations to all the new Money Mentors coming through…I love the fact you [Money A+E] are such a disruptive – in the right way – organisation, and really trying to make change happen where change hasn’t happened before in the money education and empowerment world.’
Mayor Fiaz spoke movingly about how her own childhood was blighted by the destructive force of debt, which led to her family spending time in temporary accommodation. Sadly, she added, there are still 60,000 people in Newham facing problem debt and 28,000 on the council’s housing waiting list.
We were also hugely honoured at the event by the presence of award givers David Adair (Head of Community Engagement, PwC), Claire Dove OBE (CEO, women’s charity Blackburne House and VCSE Crown Representative), and Shevaun Haviland (Deputy Director of Business Partnerships, the Cabinet Office).
The Graduation was combined with the Money A+E Evaluation Day 2019. This saw our service users raise their voice around the issue of debt and financial difficulties - in conversation with attendees from a range of organisations that have committed to finding solutions to this national crisis. At least 8 million of us are over-indebted, according to the Money Advice Service.
Discussions took place in small focus groups, and were honest and non-judgemental. One participant described her group's experiences of dealing with debt:
‘Transforming from people needing support, transforming from people who didn’t know where to turn, who wanted to...hide under a duvet and not be visible - to turning into people who had the confidence to not just deal with their own problems, but really people who are making a difference to their families, to their communities. That transformation…was quite inspiring to see.’
We are so impressed by all our Money Mentors and service users, and honoured by the presence of our amazing guests.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who took part!