How financial education can change lives

23 March, 2020Juno Baker

Georgia became homeless two years ago. Since then, she’s been working with the homeless charity, Porchlight, who introduced her to our Lessons in Finance Education (LiFE) programme. This is the story of how it helped her turn her life around.

Georgia talking to us at LIBFGeorgia had studied animal care at college and when she left, got a job in a stable yard. She’d always wanted to work with animals. And with this job, as well as salary and working with horses, she was given room and board.

But then she was laid off, and as well as losing her job, became homeless.

Working with Porchlight

Porchlight are the largest homeless charity in Kent and we’ve been working with them since the early days of our Lessons in Finance Education (LiFE) programme.

LiFE is an online study programme that uses animation, games and music to teach people how to manage money. The online format is very accessible, makes financial education fun and caters for different learning styles.

This fits in well with Porchlight’s approach to helping people reach their potential through education.

“Their Work, Health and Learning Team’s final goal is to get homeless people back into education and that’s where we come in,” says Sam Godden, Financial Capability Relationship Manager at LIBF.

How LiFE helped Georgia

Georgia was living in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation when Porchlight started working with her. “They helped me get onto the LiFE course,” she says.

“I used to have a lot of struggles with money and budgeting. I didn’t know how to manage my money and what to spend it on effectively. This course has helped me to understand how to save money, set up a savings account and how to manage a monthly budget for all the things I need. I even have money left at the end of the month that I put into my savings account.”

Matthew Witts is Porchlight’s Work, Health and Learning Operations Manager. “Adult learning can be very intimidating for the people we help,” he says, “It is also extremely difficult to have a conversation with them about money. LiFE helps with both these challenges and puts them in control of their learning journey.”

Two years on and Georgia has completed the first part of the LiFE qualification (Level 1).

“Becoming financially independent is an important step towards leaving homelessness behind for good,” says Chris Thomas, Porchlight spokeperson.

“Working with The London Institute of Banking & Finance helps develop our client’s money management skills which can have a big impact on their futures.”

Georgia is now living independently, working, and saving for her future. She is planning to go to Australia, to help with the clear-up following the recent bush fires and work with the animals who’ve been affected.

As part of her course, she recently visited our offices in London.

“The trip to London really helped boost my confidence and reinforced the fact that I was managing my budgets correctly. It has motivated me to continue saving so I can go to Australia one day – a long-term goal for me.”

Sam Godden emphasises that homeless people have “so many hurdles to jump”.

“They have to be in the right place to be ready to learn and they need to want to do LiFE. Georgia wanted to do it and now she’s planning for the future she’s always wanted – working with animals.”

Related content

In the video below, Georgia talks about her struggles and how she has completed LiFE.


More about our community outreach and the LiFE programme