Darlington Building Society forms partnership to deliver financial education in schools

Darlington Building Society forms partnership to deliver financial education in schools

Published 17 February 2023

Darlington Building Society has announced an “exciting” partnership with a specialist charity to deliver financial education to pupils at local schools.

The Society is teaming up with WizeUp Financial Education, which has a wealth of experience in working with building societies to deliver school workshops in other parts of the country.

However, the partnership with Darlington Building Society is the first time the charity has operated in the North East.

The Society’s Distribution Director, Louise Thorpe, said: “Delivering financial training to young people in our operating area is a key priority for us, so we’re delighted to be working with an organisation that has built up a first-class reputation in this specialised area of education.

“With the cost-of-living crisis, it has never been more important to help the younger generation gain a better understanding of how to manage their money and avoid debt, while also improving their life-skills and employability.

“Our aim is to make a consistent impact in schools, complementing the work we already carry out with literacy, and we hope this will become a long-term partnership in the way we deliver financial education.”

Initially, the programme will be focused on nine secondary schools in the locations where the Society has branches: Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Yarm, Guisborough, Northallerton, Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle.

Experts from WizeUp will present the workshops, with the support of staff from the local branch network when possible. The sessions are free-of-charge and can be tailor-made to suit the needs of each individual school.

WizeUp Financial Education was founded as a not-for-profit company in 2011 before becoming a full-fledged charity in 2020. It spends approximately 35 per cent of its time working in association with building societies and has a partnership with a large charitable foundation supporting schools in London and Essex.

Founder and chief executive, Ed Flack, who spent 35 years in banking before launching the charity, said: “We are thrilled to have forged this new partnership with Darlington Building Society, which is well known for being embedded in its communities, and is making a long-term commitment to supporting financial education.

“It is exciting to be embarking on our first venture in the North East and we look forward to this being the start of a fruitful, lasting relationship.”

WizeUp will also be supporting Darlington Building Society internally by making online sessions available to parents among the staff, so they can help their children become more financially aware.

You can learn more about Darlington Building Society’s community work, here.