Kilwinning Academy credit union hailed as Scottish first – Daily Record

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Kilwinning Academy’s new credit union is being hailed as a Scottish first.

The enterprising pupils, taking part in the Innovative Schools Project, launched the credit union at a special ceremony on Friday.

The venture was conceived as a response to the closure of the town’s high street banks and will allow 1st Alliance Ayrshire Credit Union to have a facility within the school for pupils, their families and local residents to use.

And if the project proves successful it could be rolled out to other schools, especially in areas where banks have
closed down.

The pupils will work alongside 1st Alliance to develop their employability skills, financial knowledge and develop community links.

The group will also be working towards qualifications in customer service, literacy and numeracy, volunteering and development.

Walter Smith, Prince’s Trust Ayrshire chair said: “We are proud to be associated with this extremely innovative project which will develop both important financial skills and the soft skills that potential employers are looking for in young people including communication, commitment, customer service and courtesy.”

DYW Ayrshire project executive Claire Baird added: “We are absolutely delighted to support this first of its kind school project and are very impressed by the way the project has been implemented with the full involvement of the young people.”

The Innovative Schools project is a partnership between Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Ayrshire and The Prince’s Trust Scotland, and encourages school pupils to get involved in innovative activities which will help them develop employability skills.

It is designed for young people at risk of leaving school without achieving five subjects at National 5 and aims to address the issue of low confidence by assisting with the development of a set of core soft skills.

Jointly funded by DYW Ayrshire and The Prince’s Trust, through its Cashback for Communities Development Awards, since its inception it has supported 900 young people.

Kilwinning Academy’s credit union project is the 60th project funded by the partnership. North Ayrshire Provost Ian Clarkson and council leader, Joe Cullinane, joined the pupils, DYW, The Prince’s Trust and 1st Alliance Ayrshire to open the credit union’s access point.

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