The authors of a money education programme being rolled out across the country have been honoured.

Financial responsibility classes taught in local schools by Debt Aware began with the schoolwork of two Chorley pupils.

Nicola Haresceugh and Ruth Gratton, who are now both third year medical students, helped found the programme as Year 10 students.

At Southlands High School they authored the Money Diaries which became the cornerstones of the programme.

A surprise presentation for them was made by Debt Advice Foundation chief executive David Rodger.

This year eight secondary schools are delivering Debt Aware lessons to 60 primaries, a total of around 3,000 pupils.

Nicola, said: “It has been so interesting to see how later students at Southlands have helped take the programme forward. We’re very proud to have been there at the beginning of something that is so worthwhile.”

Debt Aware education manager Brian Souter was formerly deputy head teacher at Southlands High School, and oversaw the founding of the programme.

He said: “The diaries, with the girls’ hand-drawn illustrations, are an integral part of the lessons and are always extremely well received by pupils.

“They have been universally praised by teachers, and were also commended by the former Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King.”

Ruth, a former head girl at Southlands High School, is currently studying medicine at the University of Aberdeen while Nicola, who was deputy head girl, is a medical student at the University of Leeds.