Nottingham businesses team up to stop teenagers paying the price of debt

A unique new financial education programme run by business volunteers, is being launched in Nottingham to help teenagers manage their money and avoid running up huge debts.

The 'Cheese Matters' programme is designed by Ikano, Capital One and Eversheds, to offer advice to 13 and 14 year olds on everything from credit ratings to budgets.

It is being delivered in schools by business volunteers to educate the teenagers on money matters.

The programme, which has been developed with teachers and pupils at Nottingham Academy over the last year, follows Johnny Caerphilly as he faces spiralling debts and eventually bankruptcy.

Johnny's story is told through interactive videos, a court hearing and role-play, to encourage the teenagers to get involved.

Vivienne Saunders, communication manager at retail finance and loyalty specialist Ikano, said helping youngsters understand how to manage their money is key to making sure they make informed decisions in later life.

She said: "Financial advice is not yet a mandatory part of the curriculum in our schools which means many children leave without any real knowledge of how to budget or the consequences of running up debts.

We believe that Ikano has a responsibility to get involved with teenagers in the community and make sure they have the skills to manage their money and borrow money responsibly.

Cheese Matters has been trialled in Nottingham Academy but is due to roll out to over 1,000 youngsters in schools across the city by the end of the year.

This programme not only educates, it also gives our employees the opportunity to put their expertise to good use and give something back to the community and provide local school children with new, valuable skills that will be useful throughout their lives."