Personal Finance Society  

PFS expands pro-bono adviser work

PFS expands pro-bono adviser work

The Personal Finance Society has set its sights on providing free financial education to every school in the UK as 700 members signed up to the body's pro-bono programme. 

The professional body has expanded its education scheme, the freshly-named My Personal Finance Skills programme, to include four new financial workshops delivered by advisers in schools across the country.

The classes aim to educate students aged between 15 and 18 years old on how to identify scams, understand attitudes to risk and financial choices and develop an understanding of everyday expenditure and its impact on future finances. 

One of the workshops will focus on financial preparedness once students leave school, including student finance, earning, tax, National Insurance, and pensions.

More than 700 PFS members have signed up to the pro-bono programme so far and in recent months have delivered educational sessions reaching more than 5,000 students. 

The professional body trains its advisers to deliver the workshops, which are designed to fit within a typical one-hour school lesson. 

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said it is his vision for every school in the UK to have access to the My Personal Finance Skills programme via its members. 

He said: "This initiative is a great way for the profession to assist the communities they work in and help students gain the skills they need to manage their money sensibly.

"Our financial education workshops were piloted in schools with students giving the sessions a 100 per cent approval rating and stated they felt more confident about money as a result of the ‘My Personal Finance Skills’ programme.

"We are committed to growing the learning collateral to further expand the programme and align with the financial education needs of young people and teachers."

Lesley Mansfield, Chartered Financial Planner at Ergowealth Ltd and a participant in the programme, said: "I chose to [join the programme] because I wanted to give 'something back' to the community and this uses my experience and knowledge.

"I think it is important to give young people a good start to becoming independent and confident young adults. Schools and colleges are extremely grateful for all volunteering sessions and with forward planning it is relatively easy to set up sessions to suit the schools and the volunteers."

The PFS estimates its members give more than one million hours of free financial guidance each year, making them the biggest source in the country.

Around 24,000 of the professional body's members who provide regulated advice have either committed to its pro-bono programme or provide free financial guidance of their own accord. 

A recent review by the PFS found its members provided on average 1.15 hours of free guidance per week, equating to 1,269,600 hours a year. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.