Renfrewshire Council has created 2,000 super savers thanks to its iSave initiative that’s now into year two of offering S1 pupils a credit union account complete with a £10 deposit from the council.
More than half of Renfrewshire’s current first years – 1,100 – have signed up for iSave since starting high school in August – with 900 S2s also iSave members having joined last year.
iSave was launched in summer 2014 as part of an overall drive by Renfrewshire Council to curb the rise of payday lenders and boost awareness of saving and budgeting among young people.
Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener for Education and Children, said: “We’re now well into the second school year of our worthwhile iSave Credit Union Initiative where we offer S1 pupils the chance to open a credit union account, complete with a £10 deposit from the council. And I’m delighted that we have now created 2,000 young savers as a result.
“We want to encourage young people to take a responsible approach to money issues and this initiative is a worthwhile investment to equip pupils with the right skills and attitudes to deal with finances and that will hopefully stay with them into adulthood.
“Credit unions have such an important role to play in our community by encouraging saving and ensuring access to affordable credit rates. Getting young people involved with credit unions can mean that later in life, they have a reasonable and dependable alternative to payday lenders if they need to borrow money.”
Four credit unions are working with the council to offer accounts through iSave: Johnstone Credit Union, Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union, ScotWest Credit Union and White Cart Credit Union. Every secondary school has been matched with one of these.
Councillor Henry added: “A key part of this initiative is the on-going financial education in S1 and throughout secondary school to teach our pupils about the benefits of saving and budgeting. No amount is too big or small to save with pupils adding anything from 20p to £20 at collections. I’m delighted that iSave is delivering benefits for our pupils with 55% of our S2s and 60% of our S1s now members.”
Parents and pupils looking for more information about iSave should visitwww.renfrewshire.gov.uk/isave or call 0141 618 2527.