Valu£ You

In our work we care about the whole picture for each young person we work with as we explore the big issues of life and faith. One of the needs we’ve noticed more and more in the development of children and young people is the importance of fostering the resilience needed to journey through the ups and downs of life.

As part of our identity as a Christian organisation, we believe our message is absolutely full of this, and we know for our staff and volunteers this strength comes from their personal faith in Jesus. And so the challenge we are so often exploring is how to help others develop resilience for themselves, in a relevant and appropriate way.

For many years, one very specific way that we have been doing this has been by running the CAP Kids series of primary school workshops with year 5 and 6 classes. CAP (Christians Against Poverty) provides a wealth of resources and projects for helping churches and local organisations reach out to their community and bring professional support in poverty reduction. The CAP Kids workshops are a very engaging tool, with similar aims as CAP’s adult Money Course. Even just recently, I (Tabz) have back in some of our local primary schools running CAP Kids workshops, and they’ve really gone down a treat. I’ve loved exploring some basics of financial literacy alongside holistic topics of ‘needs and wants’, generosity, or even life aspirations, all in a fun and interactive way. The questions and comments from children and staff have shown clearly the building bocks of financial resilience being put in place, and also the worth of how age-old biblical wisdom continues to carry such useful and practical lessons.

I really valued the saving game, because it was really fun and had a very important meaning.

– Year 6 Child

Over the last few months I’ve been in conversation with Compassion Acts, another Christian charity covering Southport, Formby & surrounding areas with the aim of reducing poverty and increasing social wellbeing. They are well known for managing Southport Foodbanks and other services such as Community Money Advice & Southport Food Pantry. We’ve been wanting to build on the great work already done in primary schools, by created some locally produced resources for secondary schools with the aim of fostering social, emotional and financial resilience. It’s from here that we’ve began to develop the concept of ‘Valu£ You’.

Using our Safe Spaces in secondary schools we started asking students some very telling questions about how resilient they felt, particularly with regards to how ready they feel for handling personal finances in the future. I’ve tried to relay some of what we’ve found statistically, as well as a few quotes, to hopefully give some idea of what we’ve found. Putting this research alongside the wisdom of senior secondary school staff, working with the national curriculum, and using the specialist knowledge of Compassion Acts, we’re working to inject our usual burst of faith-fuelled fun into what should be an effective resource growing life-changing resilience in the our young people.

Here’s a video to show some of what we’ve been learning so far:

The funding for this project has so far mostly come from All Churches Trust alongside specific donations to Compassion Acts. We are very excited to see how it develops – watch this space!

A Comically Marvellous Christmas!

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