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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 13 February 2013

NatWest launch first fun app to teach children good savings habits

PRODUCED and designed by the makers of Wallace and Gromit; Aardman Animations; the app features NatWest's new animated savings characters, Pigby and Friends. The characters were introduced at the end of last year during the launch of NatWest's First Saver account, which aims to inspire children to save money.

The free-to-download app aims to help children learn about saving money through a fun game that features the user as a boy or girl pig character running a stall in an animated fairground. Pigby's friends hold other stalls so players can check how much his friends have saved and what they're saving for to inspire and spur them along.

The user is guided by Pigby through a fictional journey where he or she starts by selling ice cream at the fair to earn money and then faces opportunities to spend or save, with saving bonuses being offered at various points. In every 5 minutes of gameplay the child is taken to the Pigby Bank to deposit some of their hard earned pocket money. They are also able to set their own saving target for new or upgraded stalls and upon reaching their goals they unlock new items and levels to allow them to progress further.

Based on the insight that 68% of UK parents are worried about the long-term financial security of their children, the Pigby's Fair app has been created to help parents educate their kids on how to manage their finances from a young age, so that they are better prepared for later life.

Research conducted by NatWest also found that 20% of children aged 5 to 10 would like to save but can't stop themselves from spending and 58% say they are more likely to spend money received at Christmas rather than save it.

Heather Wright, Executive Producer at Aardman Animations says:- "Our core audience is children, so creating the Pigby's Fair app was the perfect project for us. We wanted to use a concept that children would enjoy and we felt a game based in a fairground was an ideal platform to educate young ones."

David Crawford, Head of Savings at NatWest, says:- "We appreciate that the idea of discussing money management may not be an interesting topic for children and that can make it difficult for parents to teach. We want to help parents give their children the best possible opportunities in a time where preparing for our financial future is considered so crucial.  Aardman Animations were the obvious partner to create our innovative app and the Pigby and Friends characters. Aardman bring the ability to capture childrens' imaginations and we at RBS bring the savings expertise to help parents teach the next generation to save."

The app, Pigby's Fair, is available now and is free to download for everyone (not just customers) on both the Apple app store and Google Play.

For more information on Pigby's Fair app please visit:- natwest.com/firstsaver or head to your nearest NatWest branch.

PUBLIC VOTE TO CROWN BEST BUS DRIVER

A Southport bus driver has been named as a contender for the title of Arriva customers' favourite 'Knight of the Road', following a national appeal for nominations.  Gordon Maguire, who drives in and around Southport on the 43 and 46 services and to Wigan on the 375 and 385 routes, was shortlisted for the award after Arriva received more than 100 suggestions from passengers. There will now be a public vote involving five other drivers to decide on the winner in the North West and Wales region, who will then be put forward for the national title.  Gordon said:- "I'm made up and it feels really good to be shortlisted for this award. I really enjoy meeting people and am nice to them, so it's great to get some recognition for that."

Debra Heaton, regional marketing manager for Arriva North West and Wales, said:- "Gordon thoroughly deserves to be nominated for this award because of his consistently positive attitude towards passengers, providing excellent customer service. Bus drivers are part of the local community so it is only right that the public will decide who will be crowned Arriva's Knight of the Road."

The Knight of the Road award is designed to recognise drivers who make a difference to customers when they travel on Arriva Buses, and is part of the Arriva UK Bus national recognition programme. It is the only award which sees Arriva customers decide on who deserves to win.  The deadline for voting is Sunday, 23 February 2014, and the winner will be announced at the Arriva 'Made A Difference' awards ceremony in Birmingham on; 13 March, 2014.  For more information about the award, and to vote for your Knight of the Road, please visit:- arrivabus.co.uk/KOTR.

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