MyBnk wins Centre for Social Justice award tackling East End poverty

An education charity tackling poverty in London’s East End by teaching children how to run a business and be financially independent when they leave school has been given an award by a government minister.

The MyBnk organisation in Spitalfields was presented with the ‘Prevention of Debt’ award from the Centre for Social Justice think tank by Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith at a reception in the City last Thursday.

The charity has helped tens-of-thousands of youngsters manage money and start their own business since it began five years ago, visiting schools and youth groups teaching personal financial development.

The award recognises MyBnk as “an organisation helping people into independence, challenging the root causes of poverty.”

Its chief executive Lily Lapenna said afterwards: “Arming youngsters with money skills and fostering an entrepreneurial attitude is as important as the ‘Three Rs’.

“Prevention is cheaper than the cure—we’re all feeling the affects of the current financial medicine.”

Schools like Bethnal Green Academy and Whitechapel’s Mulberry for Girls have been running MyBnk’s micro-finance schemes since 2007, managed by the students themselves, which teach youngsters monetary values, savings and enterprise investment.

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