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Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 08.08.12Erimus Housing, part of Thirteen Group, is calling on people across the region to vote for Middlesbrough’s Know Your Money (KYM) project in a national award and a former tenant who received exceptional help from the organisation is also urging people to get involved.

KYM is in the running for a prestigious National Lottery Award after being the only North East project to make the category shortlist from more than six hundred entrants.

The aim of the project is to improve the financial confidence of young people aged 16 to 24 and KYM has led the way with innovative and creative ways to engage and involve young people to manage their money, find work and live independently. Based in Middlesbrough town centre, KYM has seen more than 2,700 young people come through its doors since the project began.

This success is down to the use of creative social events, such as “KYM Dine With Me” where young people were taught and competed to cook on a budget; and the KYM clothes show where young people displayed work wear and second hand items in a catwalk fashion show.

Nathan James, KYM Project Manager, said: “We involved the young people from the outset to design and develop the service which is why I feel KYM has been so successful. I am really proud of what we have achieved and I hope that everyone gets behind the project and votes for KYM.”

Although the project engages young people through fun social events, there is a more serious side to the service.

Rebecca McGahern was an Erimus tenant who received help from a KYM money adviser when she was struggling financially. She wanted to move into her own property but due to financial worries was unable to do so.

KYM provided Rebecca with the tools and confidence to manage her money, claim the Working Tax Credit that she was entitled to, and more importantly put her in a sound financial position to live in her own home. She has now had a bid accepted to buy a property and said: “I really hope people vote for KYM who can continue to help young people in a similar situation to myself.”

The National Lottery Awards recognise the incredible difference that Lottery-funded projects have made to people, places and communities all across the UK. The awards also celebrate the talent, hard work and amazing dedication of the people involved in running the projects.

Voting closes on Wednesday 20th July. To vote for KYM visit the Lottery Good Causes website http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/know-your-money

For more information, contact Helen Sturdy on 01642 773616 or Caroline Walker on 01325 363436.

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