Berkeley Foundation funds financial education for vulnerable young people, and it's working header image

Berkeley Foundation funds financial education for vulnerable young people, and it's working

64% drop in eviction rates for at risk youths.

£3.36 generated in social value for every £1 spent.

A pioneering 'simulated living' money skills programme has seen dramatic reductions in the number of vulnerable young people being evicted from UK social housing.

MyBnk is a charity that delivers expert-led financial education programmes to 7-25 year olds in UK schools and youth organisations.

Together with young people, they have created innovative, high impact and high energy workshops that bring money to life. MyBnk covers topics such as saving, budgeting, public finance, social enterprise and start-up entrepreneurship.

Nearly a thousand 16-25 year olds, in care or sheltered housing, took part in a two year Money Advice Service funded impact study of the charity MyBnk's 'The Money House' project in deprived areas of London. The results were presented at an event on 13 November 2018, and included a panel discussion with Ann Griffiths from Money Advice Service, Keith Burge from independent evaluators ERS, and Sai Nair from the Royal Borough of Greenwich, hosted by Guy Rigden from MyBnk.

The evaluation showed, that after MyBnk's expert-led intervention there was a:

  •   64% drop in eviction rates for participants
  •   45% reduction in those incurring bank charges and missing bills.
  •   22% increase in borrowing safely, therefor avoiding loan sharks.
  •   27% increase in confidence managing money.

The homelessness prevention scheme is based in real flats in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Newham. Over five days young people gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to live independently - learning how to manage their money, prioritise debts, avoid scams and navigate the banking and benefits system. Trainers use 'escape room' games, role play and activities mined from youth culture with 'Big Brother' style diary room recordings to help bring money to life.

Findings from independent evaluators, ERS, found participants were now three times less likely to have unsustainable arrears. There was a 64% drop in evictions for those 'at risk' of losing their home.

There were also large reductions in instances of financial exclusion for those who did not have a bank account and had never saved or budgeted. 54% were now saving, 35% budgeting and 75% now had a current account. There was also a 44% increase in those using online banking.

In the midst of a housing and homelessness crisis, research tells us one in three care leavers currently lose their first home and it costs on average £7,056 to evict a tenant.

Now in its sixth year, funding has been extended to 2021 by the Berkeley Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. Five councils and various sheltered housing providers such as Shelter, Centrepoint, the YMCA and De Paul have made it mandatory for any young person applying for housing.

Guy Rigden, CEO of MyBnk said: "Working with vulnerable young people at these transitional periods is crucial. That's when they are at the highest risk of making the poor financial decisions that can have lifelong consequences. Social and key workers are under immense time and resource pressures to meet the need. These results, show investing in young people and the use of expert-led direct delivery of these specialist areas pays back for everyone."

Case studies

  Single mother, Chanel, 19, shares how our youth homelessness prevention project helped her take control of her finances, and her future.

  Hawa, 20, is leaving the care system and about to move into her first home.

  When Tameera turned 18 her dad stopped supporting her financially. Now 20, she has had to learn fast how to live on her own.