Barclays employees in Spain have volunteered to help young people with Down’s syndrome improve their money management skills.
The initiative was organised in partnership with the Down’s Syndrome Foundation in Madrid, which offered the volunteers training to run workshops.
The charity also helped adapt Barclays Money Skills materials to suit the ability of the young people taking part.
At the workshops, Barclays volunteers discussed the basics of managing money and income, covering topics such as banknotes, coins and pricing.
Sonia García Muñoz, Head of Premier Commercial Coordination for the Central Region, Barclays Spain, was one of the volunteers.
She described some of the activities: “We share and learn from situations known and experienced by them in their day-to-day lives, such as buying a soft drink or sandwich from a vending machine, in order that they learn to count the money, estimate the price of basic products, and calculate what change has to be returned to them.”
Barclays volunteers also invited participants to visit Barclays main branch in Madrid, where the group learned to withdraw money from the cash machine and discussed the banking services which could make their lives easier.
The training was especially pertinent to those benefitting from the programme, as they were also participants in the Down’s Syndrome Foundation’s job training scheme. It was particularly useful for them to learn to manage their money, as they were soon expected to be offered jobs and earn an income.
Sonia shared her thoughts on volunteering with the children: “We are generating a mutual fondness, and the initial difficulties have been overcome and converted into an activity that, as with most voluntary work, creates a fullness of pride and satisfaction.”
The volunteering activity is part of Barclays community investment programme, which supports employees in giving their time and skills to their chosen community causes.
Last year, more than 62,000 employees volunteered over 350,000 hours and raised more than £18m to support disadvantaged communities around the world.