A blog by Steve Forster

Lifesavers is an opportunity to start a process of changing are relationship and attitude towards money that we’re very excited about in Newcastle.

To learn from an early age that it’s ok to save or even that it might be cool and a good thing; that’s going to be good for our communities. Young people on the Lifesavers programme are getting a sense of achievement as money grows in their bank account and as they are saving up towards something they want/need. This students are appreciating the value of waiting and also appreciating the value of what they have bought; it means they, in turn, tend to look after it, treasure it, as it has been bought with hard saved money. It also means that, when they save and give a gift, that gift has so much more meaning. 

Lifesavers builds good habits and attitudes; lessons learnt early on serve you well in adult life. Those who graduate from the Lifesavers programme will avoid the cycle of debt and being slaves to loans and high interest rates.

Money isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s about how we – and in Lifesavers case, young people – relate to it.

The launch of Lifesavers in the North East has provided a heightened church profile in our Diocese; it has been an opportunity to put our efforts into something practical that is and will continue to make a real difference to many children and young people both now and into their adult lives.

It was very interesting and encouraging at the launch event at Virgin Money Head office to see two bishops and the CEO of Virgin Money sharing the same platform and ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’, bringing together two institutions that, at one time, would not have been regarded as natural partners. It’s provided an opportunity to make best use of the gifts, assets, and networks that both organisations have and put them to use for the common good.

Our hope is that, as children form new behaviours in their relationship to money, then in turn their parents and carers will be supportive and join in, and in time the whole family benefit.

We’re very excited to see the Lifesavers programme make a big difference on Tyneside.

Find out more about LifeSavers at www.lifesavers.co.uk

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