Those with disabilities face a ‘double disadvantage’ when it comes to managing their money and accessing financial services.
Players of People's Postcode Lottery are helping change the lives of young people who are deaf or blind. Funding of more than £500,000, raised by players, for the Money Mechanics project, a Dream Fund 2017 winner,is providing deaf, blind and partially sighted young people aged between 16 and 25 with the money management, employability and life skills that they need to be financially confident.
Young people are the UK’s fastest growing group of debtors and are the most susceptible to scams. Nearly 70% of blind and partially sighted youths live on the poverty line and deaf people are 14% more likely to be unemployed than the general population.
Money Mechanics, a partnership project from MyBnk and the Royal Association of Deaf People (RAD), is an innovative first. There is next to no provision of specialist financial education for these groups.
Together with RAD, sight education specialists and young people, MyBnk created a range of workshops, training and free resources designed to reduce dependency, improve life opportunities and make services accessible.
Rebecca Bartlett, education officer at MyBnk, said: "Adults tend to take much for granted. Many young people with sensory impairments have barriers at home. It’s often hard for parents to communicate and teach them about these topics, they don't pick up information the way most do and many lack the confidence to make their own choices. From an early age parents and key workers tend to take most decisions for them; this continues as they transition into adult life.
"We’ve reached nearly 1,000 people with 400 hours of specialist education. A 13 month study found participants can budget, understand their entitlements and improve access to finance and university.
"Findings included a 27% rise in the ability to create a budget, a 35% rise in the ability to choose a bank account to suit their needs and a 37% rise in understanding Personal Independence Payments."
Charities and good causes working together to bring social and environmental change can apply for a share of £3 million in funding, raised thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, from the Dream Fund.
Applications for Dream Fund 2020 are open until 15 October. For more and to apply, go to: www.postcodedreamtrust.org.uk