When we were deciding on the target audience for our Money for Life project initially it seemed obvious. We are all under the age of 20 and know very well the stresses of money management, difficulty budgeting a small income and avoiding the dreaded bank of mom and dad! So when we started to discuss project ideas, I was surprised when one group member, Sean, seemed adamant we should be thinking less from a self-centred perspective and more from a wider community sense! He explained that where he grew up in Scotland he had lived in one of the most poverty stricken areas in the country. His community there were very close and often ran activities in support of one another. They especially looked out for the most vulnerable sections of their community one of which being the elderly. He suggested we focused our efforts doing something around the Dudley community perhaps for pensioners.
As a group we were a little shocked by this as it was the furthest target group from our minds but we decided to research it a little before we made our final decisions.
Since then we have discovered so much about the similar financial hardships we and the elderly face, as well as other difficulties that the eldest in our community need support to overcome for example isolation. Since the start of our journey we've met lots of lovely people really in support of our project and have found that there are a number of other groups in the community that works to support the elderly however none of them have members as young as us! We've now made a pledge with a local campaigning network 'Age Alliance' and we are looking beyond the end of the MFL project to continue what we have started and we hope to further showcase our efforts in October at a local event in celebration of 'Day of the Older Person'.
We've learnt a lot about others and about ourselves throughout the project and we are so happy we've been able to take on such an extraordinary challenge.