Blaengwrach schoolchildren named super savers of the year

Schoolchildren in Neath Port Talbot are celebrating their success after winning a prestigious award from the Credit Unions of Wales.

Pupils of Blaengwrach Primary School in Cwmgwrach near Neath, received the coveted School Partnership Award from Jeremy Miles MS.

They were nominated by Celtic Credit Union after running a successful junior savings scheme for pupils which not only teaches them the importance of finance, but also develops their literacy and numeracy skills.

On presenting the award. Jeremy Miles MS for Neath said: “I am absolutely delighted to be able to present this award to Blaengwrach Primary School’s Junior Credit Union.

“This is a fantastic achievement and one that the whole school and wider community should be very proud of.

“Everyone knows it makes sense to save and the earlier the better. Whether you are saving for that new bike, or even a car for later in life, Junior Credit Union’s like this one, enable children and young people to develop and build on the foundations of good money management and increase their financial resilience.”

Blaengwrach Primary School launched their Junior Credit Union through Celtic Credit Union in September 2019.

The children of the School Council run the savings scheme every Monday in the school library during morning assembly and at breaktime. On opening day there were 22 new members and this figure has grown steadily each week.

There are now 44 active, regular junior and staff savers in the scheme, with balances of £1114.00 and 276 transactions to date.

Blaengwrach Primary School headteacher Mrs Sam Sharp explained: “Celtic Credit Union have been fantastic in helping us set up and train staff and pupils to use the scheme in our school.

“The success of the savings scheme has gone way beyond our expectations with a very good initial uptake and then the savings scheme really took off with a quarter of our school population saving every week.

“Our Credit Union committee has become very independent in managing the school accounts; it has had a real impact on their financial management and numeracy skills.”

The Credit Unions of Wales Awards were sponsored by Engage and supported by the Welsh Government. The School Partnership Award was also sponsored by Legal & General.

Geoff Leech Managing Director at Engage added: “Engage Account is delighted to be sponsoring the Credit Unions of Wales Awards for the third consecutive time and we are continually impressed by the high standards of entries.

“This year is no exception as they illustrate once more the commitment and dedication of businesses, workers, organisations, members and volunteers towards the global credit union movement.

“We congratulate all of the winners and highly commended for all that they do to further the incredible work of ethical savings and loan providers across Wales.”

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