The project aim was to bring to life the concept of ‘life skills’ by developing and delivering a highly interactive session that would prepare learners for independent living and support the transition into work-based learning or university. This was supported with the redesign and distribution of the ‘Piggy Bank Guide’ (which can be found here) to include information about student finance, and the development and maintenance of the The Piggy Bank website.

Two hour-long “Peer to Peer Life Skills” workshops and supporting resources were designed, including our “Manage Your Money” board game. Topics covered in the sessions were finance and budgeting; living independently; health and well-being and managing further study. To ensure a ‘peer to peer’ experience, the sessions have all been delivered by recent graduates and current HE students.

Over the lifetime of the project (March—July 2018), 461 young people took part, 25% of whom live in CCOP target wards. All participants received a copy of the Piggy Bank Guide; the website includes quizzes, resources and news from the Money Advice Service and the Citizens Advice Bureau. This is managed by Kendal College and available as a resource for young people in Cumbria. The “Life Skills” workshop is delivered by the University of Cumbria team, and runs within our core schools and colleges programme.

Teachers generally rated activities effective or highly effective and learners gave very positive feedback, with an overwhelmingly positive response to our finance-themed activities.