21 July 2017
Eden & South Lakeland Credit Union has been given a major boost with the announcement by the Barclays banking giant that our credit union has been selected for a training scheme to make our service to the public better than ever.
At the same time, we have announced plans to have a town centre credit union office opening three days a week in Kendal from this autumn.
The credit union is one of only ten credit unions in the country to be selected this year, for the Barclays Credit Union programme, which provides training to improve key skills for staff and volunteers and to better meet the financial needs of local savers and borrowers. "We were delighted to be chosen to take part," said the credit union’s chair, Adrian Rush.
All staff and volunteers at the credit union will be invited to participate in the scheme, which will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the credit union.
Barclays say the aim of the programme is to build up credit union skills and practices to benefit more and more households. They added: "Through this programme we hope to encourage collaboration, identification and sharing of best practice, and the development and enhancement of key skills and operational practices to promote growth and improvements across the sector. This in turn will allow credit unions to better meet the financial needs of their members and support more financially excluded and underserved households to manage their money and access and use appropriate financial services."
The Barclays Credit Union Programme is being delivered through a number of expert delivery partners: Toynbee Hall, ACE Credit Union Services and UKCreditUnions Ltd, with the involvement of staff and senior executives from within Barclays. The programme is being independently evaluated by the Financial Inclusion Centre.
Eden & South Lakeland Credit Union is already looking forward to expanding its services. Mr Rush said: "We are on track to launch a town centre credit union in Kendal operating three days a week in the autumn and well as developing our service in Penrith and Alston. We are looking now for volunteers from across the Eden and South Lakeland area who have time to spare to staff our new office and help promote the credit union. Training will be given, including participation in the Barclays scheme”.
The credit union is always looking for new volunteers of all ages - including anyone with prior experience in financial services, retired or between jobs. Maurice Williams, a familiar face behind the counter at the Penrith office, has been a volunteer for four years. Now 70, he said: "I started here to keep my brain alive. I was stagnating watching daytime TV. I started as a cashier and have been given more to do over the years. I enjoy the contact with customers. It livens up my day!"