Pupils learn to look after cash

Picture: Michael Gillen

Picture: Michael Gillen

Young savers helped a government minister announce further support to allow others to take part in similar schemes.

Angela Constance, the communities and equalities secretary, visited St Patrick’s Primary in Denny on Monday to hear about the successful junior savers in the school.

During her visit she announced a second round of funding worth £100,000 for credit unions across Scotland to help encourage children to manage their money.

The funding will allow credit unions to set up projects in schools, where they can help raise awareness of financial issues from a young age and encourage young people to budget and save.

Ms Constance said: “I’m delighted that credit unions will have another opportunity to apply for funds to support junior savings schemes. This will help ensure more children growing up in Scotland have an understanding of finances, saving and managing money.

“Across the country many credit unions are already working with schools, giving children access to money advice and bringing maths to life. I’ve seen for myself this morning how successful these projects can be in helping provide vital financial education.”

Falkirk and District Credit Union works with six primary schools across the district, including St Patrick’s, visiting weekly to collect in cash.

Lynne Belton, from Falkirk and District Credit Union, said: “It’s a great way to get children involved with saving regularly and they can save as little as 20p.”

Volunteers help oversee the collections but it is all carried out by the pupils.

She added that youngsters often save for school trips but others use it as a way of saving regularly. Their money can be withdrawn at any time but parents need to sign the permission slip.

Lynne added: “We were pleased to receive the funding through the Scottish Government junior savers fund during the last round of funding. This is allowing us to expand the services we already locally and encourage saving from an early age.

“Young people have to make sure balances add up at the end of each session we run. By involving them in these collections, they learn valuable ownership and money skills.”

There are currently around 100 credit unions in Scotland, with a combined membership of 387,000.