Over 500 young people received praise from youth campaigner Marcus Rashford for their commitment to NatWest Thrive, the life skills and money management programme he initiated. The graduates, who took part in NatWest Thrive at 15 youth clubs across the country this summer, came together virtually for their graduation ceremony, hosted by TikTok influencer Luke Vernon, and listened to words of praise from Marcus Rashford broadcast into their youth clubs. 

Each of the clubs nominated one young person who had made particular progress on their NatWest Thrive journey to receive a special award and they scooped a prize for most outstanding success. 

Ashwaq, 15, from the Anti Tribalism Movement, London, was one of those selected for the special award. One of her key achievements was setting her sights on a new make-up set which would help her practice the skills she needs to start her online make-up business. With the knowledge and tools acquired through NatWest Thrive she began saving a portion of her weekly allowance. She also explored additional income opportunities, such as tutoring her younger siblings in subjects she excelled in. Ashwaq’s determination and acumen paid off and she managed to save up for the make-up set, which has instilled in her the belief that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to. 

Sakaria Hassan, Project Manager at The Anti Tribalism Movement said: “Ashwaq’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of financial literacy education. I am nominating her for her unwavering commitment, resilience, and inspiring transformation into a confident young individual who believes in her ability to shape her future.” 

Asked to share their NatWest Thrive experience in one or two words the young people described it as inspiring, educational, inclusive, interactive, thought-provoking, fun, interesting and helpful.  

Before receiving their certificates, the young people took part in games, activities and discussions about their role models and to top it all off they each received a backpack filled with NatWest Thrive merchandise in recognition of their dedication to the programme. 

Abbee McLatchie, Director of Youth Work, National Youth Agency explained: NatWest Thrive is underpinned by the purpose of youth work to unlock young people’s passion and talents whilst also supporting them on their financial journey and promoting their well-being. We wish all the graduates every success in achieving their dreams.” 

Sean McGovern, Head of Customer & Community Learning at NatWest said: “We’ve been so impressed by everything the young people have achieved. NatWest’s purpose to champion potential and help young people to thrive has the power to transform life chances and change how they perceive their futures – they can thrive in a society that supports their growth and passions. We are looking forward to welcoming our next cohort of participants this autumn.” 

Photo credit: Young Bristol at The Grove Youth Club 

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