The National Youth Reference Group (NYRG) which St Basils facilitates are still part of the BCC/ Big Lottery funded Pay Ahead Stay Ahead (PASA) programme which Ashram Housing launched in 2013 and aims to improve young tenants money management skills.
NYRG is made of 40 young people aged 16-25 from across England who are or have experienced homelessness, and this group have been assisting PASA conducting consultations and, following training, through peer to peer mentoring and group work sessions.
On 27th-28th January 2015 NYRG young people helped present four workshops to different organisations throughout Birmingham.
The ‘Dosh Days’ PASA Workshops were presented by two NYRG young people who have been helped by St Basils; Shemilee and Sean. They contributed in designing the initial workshops, which included a board game and activities for individuals that would engage them whilst helping them understand financial issues including budgeting and the risks of certain activities such as getting into debt and borrowing from pay-day lenders and loan sharks.
The audience of these four workshops ranged from staff from a Childrens Centre in Saltley, Birmingham who support young families with budgeting and sustaining their tenancies to the Community Foundation in Lozells, Birmingham and the members of their new scheme ‘Community Wardens’ which seeks to improve people’s quality of life and help reduce people’s fear of crime by tackling low level anti-social behaviour and environmental crime.
The ‘Community Wardens’ aim for this workshop was to not only be able to go into the community and support people with budgeting and money issues, but also to increase their own confidence and awareness in this area.
Sean Marsay spoke about PASA and highlighted how it has helped him:
“I have been involved in PASA since the development of the project through my role as an NYRG Member. I helped to design the PASA workshops, made a viral ad and through these workshops I’ve presented my personal case study to various professionals around the West Midlands.
PASA has been really good for me because it has helped with my public speaking, presentation skills and financial awareness, particularly in understanding financial terms and budgeting.
I would encourage other young people to take part in PASA because it will help their awareness around the dangers that can often come with not managing your finances and increase their confidence and knowledge of finances and budgeting.”
NYRG/PASA are hoping to recruit and train new young people from St Basils to be able to present more workshops through-out our communities.