Use unwanted currency to help child poverty

03 October 2012

The Children’s Society has today (3 October 2012) launched a new partnership with Travelex Foreign Currency Services that will see unwanted holiday currency, foreign coins and notes turned into vital funds to help some of society’s most disadvantaged children.

Two thirds of travellers return from abroad with foreign currency[i] and the average holidaymaker is coming home with just over £28 in notes and coins.

This new partnership hopes to raise over £25,000 in the next year that will go towards helping hundreds of vulnerable children simply through collecting unused currency.

Just 5% of people ever change the foreign money back into sterling. Worse still, 17% admit they have thrown away the money on returning, rather than be lumbered with loose change. Only 4% donate it to charity, even though it is easy to hand it over to good causes.

Joe Waterton, Director of Partnership Development at The Children’s Society said: 'We are all guilty of stockpiling old coins and bank notes at home.

'This new partnership will make it very straightforward for anyone to turn old holiday currency into vital funding that could help provide a safety net of support for a young runaway or time out for a young carer.'

Dan Gilby, Global Head of ATMs & Charities at Travelex Currency Services said: 'Travelex is delighted to be partnering with The Children’s Society to help exchange leftover currency for much-needed support for disadvantaged young people.'

Visa Europe estimates that UK travellers amass on average more than £900m unused foreign currency a year.

Collection boxes are located at all 84 Children’s Society shops, and collection pouches can be provided for offices, schools and churches.  For your nearest Children’s Society shop please visit The Children’s Society or call our supporter care team on 0300 303 7000.

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Media enquiries

For more information, please call Paul Martin, The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422, 07810487988 or email paul.martin@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors
• The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.

• Travelex is the world's largest foreign exchange specialist with more than 1,100 stores and 950 ATMs in 25 countries, at key airport, seaport, rail and tourist locations. Over 40% of travellers - 1.7 billion passengers a year - pass through airports where Travelex operates including the major gateways at Amsterdam, Beijing, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Rome, Sydney & Tokyo.  Every hour, Travelex provides foreign currency to more than 2,000 customers.