Teens have got money on the brain

Article date: 13 June 2003

Norwich Union and children's charity NCH launch five-year £1.4million partnership

Gordon Brown will be delighted – when it comes to money,Britain’s teenagers are more savvy than silly according to astudy published today.

Contrary to the beliefs held by many of their elders,today’s teenagers are not reckless and irresponsible, butkeen to earn money and spend it wisely.

The ‘Young Lives, Our Future’ study by Norwich Unionand NCH indicates that not only do the vast majority have bankaccounts and part time jobs, they also turn to parents and familyfor advice when it comes to money matters.

The inevitable flipside of this growing financial awareness? Itis money – or lack of it – that most worries teenstoo.

For youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds these fears aresharpest of all. It’s why Norwich Union has announced a £1.4million, five-year tie-up with leading children’s charity NCHto develop initiatives to support the UK’s vulnerable youngpeople – it’s expected that over 25,000 young people ayear will benefit from the partnership.

Central to the initiative is the Norwich Union Fund throughwhich grants of up to £30,000 will be available to NCH user groupsor individuals.

One of the more disturbing findings of Norwich Union andNCH’s ‘Young Lives, Our Future’ report was thatawareness of contemporary social issues is dropping down theagenda:

  • Over 75 per cent of teens estimated the number of homelesspeople within the UK as less than 200,000 – the real figureis over 400,000

Other findings of the ‘Young Lives, Our Future’study are:

  • When asked about their main worry for the future the topanswers were ‘not getting a job’ (35%) and‘getting into debt’ (17%)
  • Drugs and sexually transmitted diseases were teens' third andfourth concerns respectively
  • Young people see themselves as financially prudent –three quarters say they are ‘very good’ or‘quite good’ at managing their finances
  • Parents are an important source of spending money but overhalf of teens get their cash by working
  • Almost nine in ten (88%) of all teens have a bank or buildingsociety account of their own and 73% have money saved up
  • A quarter of girls and one in five boys say they are no goodat managing their finances – and the majority rely onparents and family for advice when it comes to money.

David Czerwinski, of Norwich Union, said: “It seems thatteens are growing up fast – and this makes them acutely awareof money. It’s nice to know they’re being sensible– even if the pleasure of earning and spending it comes withworries about going short.

“And because teenagers have to deal with much more at ayounger age, the need for support from friends and family iscrucial. Three quarters of respondents in our study say they turnto parents first for advice.

“But this support is often missing for the more vulnerableteenagers who may not have family and friends to turn to.It’s why we are supporting NCH in the work they do withdisadvantaged young people.”

As Gordon Edington, chair of NCH, said: “The newpartnership with Norwich Union will help us realise our goal ofproviding socially excluded young people with the help they need toreach their full potential. The scheme will have far-reachingeffects with the 500 projects and over 100,000 children, youngpeople and families currently assisted by NCH.”


Media contact:
Lucy Hedderwick at QBO Bell Pottinger on 020 7861 2424 or GrantImlach/Karen Gray at NCH on 020 7704 7111

Notes to editors:

Norwich Union commissioned Brand and Issues to survey 455 13-19year olds in April 2003.

Norwich Union and NCH are going into partnership to providesocially excluded young people with the help they need to reachtheir potential.

Norwich Union is investing £1.4 million into the partnershipover a five-year period. It forms part of a larger Norwich Unionsponsorship programme aimed at investing in the future of ourchildren.

NCH helps the children who need it the most and is one of theUK’s leading children’s charities. NCH supports themost vulnerable children, young people and their families so thatthey have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The three main areas of activity in the programme are:

  • the Norwich Union Fund - NCH users can apply for a grant tohelp develop skills and participate in opportunities which willhelp them maximise their potential
  • developing support materials to help train the project workersand funding for one-to-ones in which young people aided by NCHproject workers tackle difficult issues and are given support inthe choices they make about their lives
  • staff volunteering - types of project might include DIYsupport, help with transport or admin, running workshops andgiving marketing advice.

About Norwich Union

  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. It is aleading provider of life, pensions and investment products and oneof the leading IFA providers. IFAs provide around 70% of thecompany’s long-term savings business.
  • Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societiesand other leading UK brand names including Tesco Personal Financeand The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on the Avivaplc website at www.aviva.com/media

Back to top