STREETWISE WITH MONEY

23rd February 2021

YOUTH boxing charity Empire Fighting Chance has this month launched a free course for young people who want to understand more about money and how to manage it in the real world. Every year, EFC provides non-contact boxing courses, mentoring and therapy for more than 4,000 young people, many of whom are vulnerable or from underprivileged backgrounds, and this year the Bristol-based charity is adding a new string to its bow in the form of financial education following significant demand from young gym-goers.

It comes as the latest statistics from YouGov and NatWest found that just over a third of young people in the UK don’t feel financially secure, and a further one in 10 of those aged 18 – 24 said they only check their bank account once a month.

Jamie Sanigar, co-founder and COO at Empire Fighting Chance, said:

“The statistics really speak for themselves, but feedback from our own young members has revealed that a huge number of teens and young adults are worried about money and as a result are avoiding dealing with the situation altogether, which as we know can make our problems that much worse – particularly when it comes to debt.”

Through its ‘Streetwise with Money’ course, Empire Fighting Charity will give young people aged 14 and above the knowledge and confidence to manage their money safely, and teach skills including:

  • Understanding payslip and taxes
  • A realistic outlook on how to budget money sensibly
  • Exploring the different types of bank account
  • Learning about payments and investments

Jamie added:

“It’s imperative that we teach young people how to look after their money from the earliest outset. Not only will it help to make them feel independent and boost confidence but it sets up a new generation of people with the knowledge and tools to take care of themselves and protect their finances in the future.”

The course will be held over four one-hour sessions with the Empire careers team, and those who take part will earn an AQA award qualification on completion. Although sessions would usually be held in person, the charity has adapted lessons to be given online, and completely free, so valuable life skills around finances can be shared despite the UK lockdown and subsequent closure of facilities.

Martin Bisp, CEO at Empire Fighting Chance, added:

“When young people have their first taste of earning money, they generally aren’t educated on how to use it wisely or where to keep it. We learn a lot in school, but important life lessons like reading a payslip, what your taxes mean and what different bank accounts can do for you are sadly missing from the curriculum.

“Understanding money is a valuable skill, and knowing the basics will set you up for a lifetime of making good choices and being aware of financial risk. Many of our young learners will be considering apprenticeships, weekend jobs and even starting out in their careers from the age of 16 and it’s absolutely vital that they go into those roles understanding what they will earn and what to do with it.

“We’re very proud of the Streetwise with Money course, and we hope it makes a real difference to how young people in the UK are spending and saving their money.”

Empire Fighting Chance is a charity registered in England and Wales. It works with young people aged 8 to 25 from deprived communities who have a range of behavioural and emotional issues, including anger, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.