On International Youth Day, 12 August 2022, discover what new Co-operatives UK member OneFamily are doing to help build a better future for the younger generation, in this blog from their CEO, Teddy Nyahasha.
OneFamily is a member-owned financial services organisation providing products and services to help modern families thrive. Like Co-operatives UK, they've conducted research that highlights the issues faced by today's younger generation. And like the recommendations in our report, Offering Hope to Future Generations, OneFamily is taking positive action to tackle these issues, as CEO Teddy Nyahasha explains in his blog...
It’s been a tough time for everyone over the last couple of years and the financial, social and educational impacts of the pandemic are still being felt. People are struggling, with nothing left to give, and sadly it looks like it is the youngest generation who are ultimately going to feel the consequences for years to come.
Last year OneFamily launched its first Inspiring Better Futures report. We’re a socially aware business, so it’s a way to demonstrate our commitment to improving the life chances and financial wellbeing of everyone, but especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Our focus is firmly on our social impact by building financial resilience, promoting life-long learning and championing financial inclusion. We achieve this through the products we offer and the ambitious projects we have underway to support others.
This year’s Inspiring Better Futures Report, whilst looking back to our work in 2021, has themes that will resonate strongly with the challenges that we are facing today, driven by the cost-of-living crisis and inflation that’s at the highest level it’s been for 40 years.
So, we undertook some background research to accompany our report, which we used to reaffirm our direction of travel. The results were quite an eye-opener.
Our research showed that just 22% of over 55s believe that today’s young people will have the same life opportunities that they had. Behind this startling figure, 84% percent pointed to the cost of property being much higher, 72% highlighted the rising cost of rent making saving for a deposit impossible and 53% were concerned about the effects of inflation on the real value of cash savings.
We also found worries about the impact of the climate crisis on the futures of the young and fears that lockdowns hit the educational outcomes and mental wellbeing of the next generation. Meanwhile, nearly one in three of those who expressed concern said that those from disadvantaged backgrounds would be especially impacted because they are not encouraged to aspire to more in life.
This isn’t right. We have to do more to help those who are struggling, who are dispirited and think there’s no hope. As a responsible business we’re actively looking for ways to support those who need our help. At a very basic level, we’re designing our products so that they are accessible to everyone, regardless of their means. So, ordinary families can gain the benefits of investing in the stock market which, over the long term, will help them to beat the impact of inflation. Similarly, our whole of market equity release advice simplifies the process with a fixed fee and friendly support that can help asset-rich but cash-poor older people to live a more comfortable life.
We’re partnering with charities that look after people when they are most in need, such as the young and homeless. These are long-term commitments that will see us providing funding, expertise, advice and staff time. We’re not just throwing money at a charity and thinking ‘job done’, we’re rolling up our sleeves, getting stuck-in and doing whatever we can to help. That might mean helping at a food bank, refurbishing a youth centre, providing mock-interviews for school children or giving technical expertise to a charity that needs help with its website.
Standing up for the rights of others and using our voice to bring about change is another way that we’re making a difference. We’re supporting the young, the disadvantaged and the marginalised to help them towards the futures that they deserve. We’ve also campaigned hard for a change in the law that puts right the unfairness that some families face.
As a member-owned organisation, I’m proud that we can reinvest our profits for good. We’re doing what we can to improve the life chances and financial wellbeing of those who need our help. But there’s no quick fix, this needs to be a long-term vision that we embrace as a nation. I think we can all do our bit for the next generation.
Inspiring Better Futures for everyone, that’s surely something we all want to get behind.