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Award success for Sale Sharks’ school programme

A free financial education programme created by Premiership Rugby’s Sale Sharks and Chester-based financial services company MBNA has taken top honours at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

MBNA Number Cruncherz, which aims to make money management easier for 11-12 year olds across the North West and North Wales, secured a gold award at the 2016 Card & Payments Awards, beating stiff competition from organisations including Barclaycard and Tesco Bank to be named ‘Best CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Programme’. 

The annual event recognises excellence and innovation in the UK and Irish card and payments industries and a glittering awards ceremony took place at The Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane with more than 1,200 people in attendance.

“We’re absolutely over the moon with this award win,” said Jonny Acheson, who heads up Sale Sharks’ Community Trust. “We created this programme from scratch with MBNA and in just two years our community coaches have delivered rugby-themed financial literacy lessons to more than 8,000 children in over 100 schools. 

“The feedback from teachers and children has been absolutely fantastic and just shows how powerful rugby can be as a tool to deliver important educational messages and key life skills in an engaging and memorable way.”

MBNA Number Cruncherz is no stranger to success, having received international acclaim in 2015 with a silver award at the International CSR Awards. The programme has also just been shortlisted for another CSR award at the 2016 North West Business Masters Awards.

MBNA’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mark Elliott, said: “This is an incredible achievement for MBNA Number Cruncherz and we’re thrilled that it has been recognised as the best CSR programme in our industry.

“Our partnership with Sale Sharks has enabled us to deliver an award-winning programme that is exciting, meaningful and is helping thousands of young people across the region develop a better understanding of money management. It’s a fantastic programme that continues to achieve wonderful things and we’re delighted that our industry peers have given it such a prestigious accolade.” 

For more information about MBNA Number Cruncherz or the range of community programmes provided by Sale Sharks Community Trust, contact or call 0161 667 7518.

For more information on the 2016 Card and Payments Awards, visit 

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