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Monday, 17th February 2020

Banking for Change at St. Oliver’s Community College

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The “staff” at the St. Oliver’s Bank (from top left)Customer Services Manager Brendan Burke, IT Technician Emily Profir, Marketing Manager Ellen Brady, Chief Operations Officer Megan Greene, Financial Controller Jessica Teeling and Bank Manager Kate Kelly.

The AIB Build a Bank Challenge is an initiative run by AIB for the last 18 years in schools across Ireland. The challenge involves a team of between 6 to 8 transition year students setting up and running a fully functioning bank in their school with the support of an AIB Student Officer.

TY students involved have a range of tasks including developing a business plan, creating a brand for their bank and promoting their bank to their customers through creative, innovative marketing campaigns.

All competing students are invited to attend the AIB Build a Bank National Final in the RDS on the March 25th which promises to be an amazing day out for them.

They will get the opportunity to receive professional feedback on their work from a panel of judges and be in with the chance of being crowned Build a Bank champions and win up to €5,000 for their schools as well as other prizes such as a prize for the most sustainable bank.

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This year's Build a Bank team in St. Oliver’s Community College have been hard at work encouraging as many students as possible to set up an AIB bank account through school bank rather than going down to the local branch in Drogheda.

It is much easier now, as a student, to set up a bank account as there is much less documentation required than if you are an adult. The bank set up in St. Oliver’s is called 'Bank for Change' with the general theme being that of the 17 global goals.

The team of eight TY students include Bank Manager Kate Kelly, Chief Operations Officer Megan Greene, Financial Controller Jessica Teeling, Marketing Manager Ellen Brady, Customer Services Manager Brendan Burke, IT Technician Emily Profir and our two assistants Shauna Craddock and Evan Graham.

Business Studies teacher, Michaela Callan and their AIB Student Officer, Brona Cromwell have been helping students with everything over the last few months to ensure everything runs smoothly.

They have opened over 80 accounts in the school so far and are hoping to reach their goal of 100 new accounts over the next few weeks. Students with AIB accounts, either new or pre-existing, get the chance to lodge money into their account every Monday at lunchtime. 

Their chosen theme is that of the United Nation’s 17 Global Goals. In 2015 world leaders agreed on 17 goals for a better world by 2030. These goals have the power to end poverty, fight inequality and address the urgency of climate change.

For each goal the students decided to come up with a challenge of some sort. So far, the group have:

  • donated food to the Drogheda Cares for the Homeless charity,
  • had a reusable bottle week in the school to discourage the use of single use plastic
  • held a clothes bank in the school and donated all clothes collected to the Drogheda Womens Refuge
  • teamed up with the TY politics class to help organize new clean water fountains in the school
  • teamed up with the schools active schools committee to hold an active schools week where they promoted healthy living
  • started a Meatless Monday initiative in their school
  • worked with 17 students from 17 different countries to translate the Global Goals into 17 different languages as well as translating some useful phrases into their native languages in order to help reduce language barriers in the school.

All of the programmes the Build A Bank students have been working on can be seen on their Instagram page @bankforchange.socc where they have been able to promote their bank and show the results of their challenges as well as let their followers know when to bring in their application forms and passports. 

The Build A Bank team are still hard at work on the rest of their goals and are looking forward to heading up to the RDS in March to present the results of all their hard work to the judges.

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