February 24, 2022
This episode’s guest is the Rt Hon. Justine Greening, former Secretary of State for Education and founder of the Social Mobility Pledge and Purpose Goals (Levelling Up Goals).
Sharon speaks to Justine to learn more about her early life growing up in Rotherham, South Yorkshire and finds out what influenced her mindset around money and finances. Justine also explains why she founded the Social Mobility Pledge with UK entrepreneur David Harrison which aims to encourage organisations to become a force for good by putting social mobility at the heart of their purpose.
During their conversation, they also discuss the impact that financial education can have on wellbeing by reducing anxiety and worry; why it’s essential that the curriculum is relatable and based in a real-world context to help engage young people with their learning; and Justine shares her thoughts on how financially capability opens up opportunities and can contribute to improved social mobility.
February 17, 2022
Alistair McQueen is Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva plc. In their conversation, he speaks to Sharon about Aviva’s research that found financial issues are a massive contributor to personal levels of stress and anxiety, explaining why people must be provided with a financial foundation to help them manage the stresses and strains of life in the 21st century.
He also outlines the importance of providing young people with the skills and knowledge to understand their options and make better-informed financial decisions. And why, in a world where people are living longer, there is a greater individual responsibility for financial long term wellbeing.
Alistair also shares why he avoids emotional temptations when making purchases and the benefits of having a financial spring clean.
February 10, 2022
In this episode, Sharon meets three young people from Wigan Youth Zone – one of Europe's largest youth clubs based in North West England.
Sharon hears from Dylan, Saife and Natasha as they speak candidly about what inspired their money-related mindsets as they were growing up. They also share their thoughts on why it’s important to teach children about money at an early age and how building a wider influencing network is crucial to help provide different perspectives on money management.
A recurring theme throughout their conversation explores how money can be an opportunity maker as they explain why they believe that by helping young people become financially capable, we can help enable them to set long-term goals and make plans for the future.
February 3, 2022
Paul Feeney is Chief Executive Officer at Quilter plc, a leading provider of advice, investments and wealth management in the UK and Chair of The Quilter Foundation, a charity that empowers young people to fulfil their potential, thrive and prosper.
During their conversation, Paul describes to Sharon how growing up with his mother and grandmother gave him an understanding of the value of money; they discuss how being financially capable has the potential to positively impact a person’s life chances; and Sharon discovers why Quilter launched its Thrive wellbeing initiative, which is designed to support employee mental health, a topic Paul speaks passionately on.
Paul also shares his top tips for saving money and explains why he believes having a positive attitude to risk-taking and making mistakes is a mindset that we should encourage in young people.
January 27, 2022
This episode’s guest is Vicky Wales, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society.
During their conversation, Vicky explains to Sharon how her early experiences with money helped her recognise the independence and opportunities it can bring. They discuss the impact of a childhood move to Hong Kong on her mindset with money, and why being financially confident isn’t just about being able to do maths, it’s also about developing the core skills that will stay with a person for life.
Sharon also discovers that Vicky took part in a Young Enterprise programme while at school, finds out why she believes collaboration can help give every young person the opportunity to learn, and why Principality are so passionate about supporting children to build financial capability from an early age.
January 20, 2022
In this episode, Sharon speaks with Faye Gibney, Deputy Head at Shawley Community Primary School and Zoe Redmill, Financial Champion at The Romsey School in Hampshire. In their conversation, they discuss how, as Financial Champions in their schools (Faye was previously Vice Principal at Cheam Park Farm Primary School), they support young people’s financial capability, while also achieving accreditation for their respective schools as a Centre of Excellence for financial education.
Sharon finds out their early influences around money and how these attitudes continue to inspire their financial mindsets and behaviours. She also hears first-hand how children as young as three are encouraged to build a positive relationship with money, and why young people in secondary schools increasingly become interested in how much they can earn, developing an awareness of the implications this will have on their spending and saving habits.
Faye and Zoe are passionate advocates of the benefits of financial education and they discuss why it’s crucial that financial education becomes embedded in the curriculum, the influence parents and carers can have on young people’s relationships with money, and how access to high-quality resources can equip teachers with the knowledge to feel confident delivering financial education lessons.
January 13, 2022
Kimberley C. Lamb, Head of Bedfordshire’s Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU), explains to Sharon how her grandparents influenced her relationship with money during her formative years, encouraging her to respect and understand the value of money, an attitude she has passed on to her children.
During the episode, Kimberley and Sharon discuss the importance of making financial education relevant to young people and why it’s essential to recognise that their wants and needs will be different. Kimberley also shares how growing up in a strong community inspired her work supporting young people and their families who may be at risk of involvement with, or being victims of, criminal activity.
They also consider ways to help young people develop their financial capability outside of formal education settings, and Kimberley outlines why she believes being financially capable can positively impact social mobility.
January 6, 2022
In this episode, Sharon speaks to Emmy Dent, a TikTok influencer and founder of mortgage broker Arise Financial.
Sharon finds out what influenced Emmy’s relationship with money, discovers how she has built a following of over 140,000 people who are keen to benefit from her no-nonsense advice, and hears how TikTok has become an unexpectedly successful tool for generating new business.
During their conversation, Emmy also explains to Sharon why she believes that young people should be taught how to manage their money from an earlier age, and describes how her partnership with Citizens Advice and TikTok has supported people to make better-informed financial decisions.
December 16, 2021
Aimée Allam is Executive Director of the Financial Times' new charity, Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign, FT FLIC.
In this episode, Aimée shares the reasons behind the charity’s launch. She also describes why FT FLIC has chosen to target young people, women and marginalised communities to empower them in making positive decisions about their financial lives and improve their financial wellbeing.
They discuss why research is necessary that explores the link between financial capability and social mobility. They also consider how being financially capable can enable opportunities, help achieve ambitions, and positively impact mental wellbeing.
During their conversation, Sharon also finds out the inspiration behind Aimée’s lifelong love of bulk buying and discovers her top tips for saving.
December 9, 2021
This episode’s guest is Polly Mackenzie, Chief Executive of Demos, a leading cross-party think tank that specialises in public policymaking encompassing a range of research areas.
In the episode, Sharon and Polly discuss the recent Demos report Bouncing Back: Boosting young people’s financial wellbeing after the pandemic written in partnership with Yorkshire Building Society which explores the impact on young people post-pandemic and calls for government to identify what’s required to secure the financial wellbeing of future generations.
Together they consider how financial success can be an enabler, the link between debt, financial capability and mental health issues, and how low social capital directly impacts network poverty.
Polly also explains why inherent homophily (the tendency to associate and bond with like-minded people) means that relatable role models are necessary for developing young people’s financial literacy, and describes how the money-related attitudes she formed at a young age continue to influence her spending behaviours.