Monday, 27 November 2017

JOHN’S BLOG – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Life is buzzing here at HEY-CU as it’s “all hands on deck” to provide our members with the funds they need to afford the coming festive season.  If we take a little longer than usual to respond to your enquiries, we hope you will understand.


OUR AGM







We are looking forward to meeting our members at the AGM on Tuesday 12 December in Hull Guildhall.  The meeting starts at 5.45 pm but food and drink is available from 5.15 pm.  It promises to be an interesting meeting as we have lots to tell you about our action-packed year as well as our exciting plans for 2018.   We promise there won’t be any long speeches but we are thrilled that Aidene Walsh of the Fairbanking Foundation is coming to say a few words about our award of a 5-star Fairbanking Mark which was obviously one of the highspots of our 2017.

Our Annual Newsletter and Report & Accounts are now on our website for you to and we will shortly post details of the candidates nominated for the Board of Directors so that you can read about them ahead of the meeting if you wish.   If you are unable to come to the meeting but would like to email a question on the report, we’ll try to have it answered at the meeting and then forward a reply to you.


RECORD CHRISTMAS SAVINGS
It’s been another record year for our Christmas Saver accountMembers accumulated just over £700,000 by 1st November, the date when the funds were unlocked for withdrawal.   All branches increased their festive savers this year but I want to make particular mention of our newest contact points – Howden and Hemingbrough – where, despite us only opening in June and September respectively, the savvy-saving residents managed to amass £4,634 towards Christmas, and earn themselves £1,450 in bonuses thanks to our Shop the Sharks Campaign!

While browsing a well-known bookshop the other day I was fascinated to find a paperback called Me Sannies are Brannies by John Brien.   It lists all the words and phrases that Hull folk use that are unique to the city, you know, like “mama mia” (here I am, mother) and “goin’ on rerd (going shopping).  It even mentioned Didlums – the informal savings clubs often run by work mates or neighbours Hull people use to save up for Christmas.  Here at HEY-CU we must surely be running the biggest Didlum in the City – our Christmas Saver account!   It’s probably the safest one as well, because it’s entirely protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, unlike those informal ones.   If you haven’t joined yet, why not give it a try and aim for a stress-free Christmas 2018.   I can see all you non-Hullites wondering: Me Sannies are Brannies?  - My sand shoes (gym shoes) are brand new.


LOANS GALORE


We’re very delighted that more and more people are discovering that our Credit Union Loan offers a great way to spread the cost whether it’s for Christmas treats, replacement domestic items, a new car, home improvements, a holiday, a special family celebration or whatever.  Since the morning BBC TV series featured credit unions a few weeks back, footfall in our branches has been higher than ever, and our loans are up 35% compared to the same period last year.  Our Child Benefit Loan and Savings Plan has taken off in a big way – check it out on our website – while, for our payroll members, our Flexi-Credit product is proving highly popular.    

During October and November we experimented with Saturday opening at our main Brook Street branch and there was a good response.  We will be evaluating the results shortly to see if this is something that would be worth repeating.

There’s still time to apply for a CU Loan for Christmas but don’t leave it too long!


DRIFFIELD CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL AND LIGHT SWITCH ON
If you’re out and about in Driffield on Friday 1st December the chances are you’ll meet our pennywise friend, Penny the penguin!   She’ll be helping our volunteers on the Credit Union stall at Driffield’s Christmas Market, which starts at 2 pm and lasts until 8 pm.  The festive fun takes place in the Market Place, with the big switch on at 7 pm. There’ll be lots of gift ideas, music and street entertainment, a family fun fair, tombola, hog roast and a chance to see Santa on his sparkling sleigh.  Talking of gift ideas, why not open a First Saver account for the special children in your life; you’ll be setting them up for a bright financial future?


OUR GOOLE TOY APPEAL
We’re proud to be supporting the Our Goole Christmas Toy Appeal, which distributes gifts to local families who need a bit of support. Anyone wishing to donate may drop off new unwrapped gifts at our Goole branch, 22 Pasture Road on Mondays, Tuesdays or Fridays from 10 am to 2 pm.  Let’s make their Christmas a special one.


MEMBERS’ LOTTERY
Those Credit Union Friendly Folk who run our monthly Members’ Lottery have issued their Annual Report and Accounts which make interesting reading.  During the year to 30 September 2017 they sold 12,371 Lottery tickets and paid out prizes worth £7,278 (58%).  They again donated £5,000 to our Credit Union to support our training, marketing and postage costs.  We are most grateful to the Hull Branch of UNISON, the public service union, for becoming our main Lottery sponsor for 2017-19, which means more prizes for our members each month. 

We’re keen to find more sponsors to help swell the prize fund.  Organisations who become Lottery sponsors get great publicity in our newsletters, on social media and the branch TV screens, which are seen by thousands of members.  If your organisation would like to support us, do please get in touch.


DEMENTIA FRIENDS
Our staff team had an interesting talk by one of the Dementia Friends Champions, a trained volunteer from the Alzheimer’s Society.  We wanted to understand more about dementia so that we can better help members with the condition when they visit or call us on the phone.  We learnt five important things about dementia:
·        It’s not a natural part of ageing;
·        It’s caused by diseases of the brain;
·        It’s not just about losing your memory, it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks;
·        It is possible to live well with dementia; and
·        There’s more to a person than dementia.  With support, people with dementia can and do take an active role in life.
Hopefully, by becoming Dementia Friends we can play a small part in helping to build more dementia-friendly communities.  If you need support or advice about dementia, visit alzheimers.org.uk or contact the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122.  To enquire about becoming a Dementia Friend, email dementiafriends@alzheimers.org.uk or call 0845 306 0898.


CREDIT UNION ARCHIVE
One of our active volunteers suggested that, now HEY-CU has passed its 18th anniversary, it could be time to set up an archive to ensure our proud history is properly recorded for the benefit of future generations.   We are required by law to keep minutes of our board and committee meetings of course, and we have a full set of annual reports, but also over the years we’ve amassed a range of artefacts such as City of Hull Credit Union mugs, pens, coasters, rulers, shopping bags, membership cards and printed material of every kind.  We’ve also won one or two awards and trophies along the way which would look very splendid in a display case.   If anyone is interested in helping us to celebrate our history, has any expertise in this area, or any relevant items they’d like to donate to a HEY-CU archive, do please get in touch!


TAKE FIVE – TO STOP FRAUD
We are always anxious to help our members to stay safe and avoid becoming victims of financial fraud.  That’s why we’re supporting Take Five – a national campaign led by Financial Fraud Action and backed by HM Government, that offers straightforward and impartial advice to help everyone stay clear of preventable financial fraud.

Many of us think we’d never fall for a fraudulent text or email, but criminals are more sophisticated than ever.  Take a test to see if you can spot the fraud and know when it’s time to say ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’.

It’s worth remembering, your bank, credit union or the police will never:
·        phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password, even by tapping them into your phone keypad;
·        ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping;
·        ask you to transfer money to a safe account for fraud reasons, even if they say the account is in your name;
·        send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud;
·        ask you to purchase goods using your card and then hand them over for safe-keeping.


FESTIVE OPENING TIMES
As Santa and his helpers prepare to make their deliveries, here at HEY-CU the seasonal work of our staff and volunteer team will be almost done, and we’ll be ready for a little rest.  So, some of our branches will have different opening times between 18 December and 2 January.  Check out here when your branch will be open.  Our phone lines will open the same days as Hull Central branch.



Everyone at HEY-CU sends seasonal greetings and wishes all friends a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.

Friday, 13 October 2017

JOHN’S BLOG – OCTOBER 2017

We’re having an exciting time here at HEYCU. With “year-end” behind us and the accounts all safely away to the auditors, we are now into our busy autumn season and there’s lots going on:


LET’S TELL THE WORLD … ABOUT CREDIT UNIONS
On Thursday 19th October it’s International Credit Union Day, when we celebrate the achievements of credit unions all around the world and the positive way they help people to afford their lives.  You can find out more about the worldwide credit union movement here

Bearing in mind that our friends at Hull City of Culture 2017 have adopted a “Tell the World” theme for their final quarter’s activities, we thought we would do similar and Tell the World about Credit Unions throughout the week 15th to 21st October.   Each day we will post an interesting fact about credit unions on Facebook and Twitter - watch out for these, like, retweet and help us to spread the word.
If you’re popping into our branches during the week, there may be some treats and a quick quiz or prize draw to take part in too!


WE’RE OPENING ON THE NEXT FIVE SATURDAYS
As a service to members to help them to apply for loans for Christmas and other purposes, we’ll be opening our Brook Street branch in Hull City Centre for the next five Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm.  Our friendly team will be there to greet anyone who pops in to find out more about what we do, how to join, what services we offer, obtain free quotations and apply for loans.  We won’t be operating a cash withdrawal service on Saturdays, but that will free us up to spend more time with people who call in to enquire. 
Saturday openings will be on 21 and 28 October, 4, 11 and 18 November.


HAVE YOU SEEN OUR NEW SHOPPING BAGS? 
Members love our new jute shopping bags!  They hold a lot of shopping and are very comfortable to hold.  You could be the proud owner of one of our lovely bags.   All you have to do is refer a friend to become a Credit Union Member and when they start saving with us, or receive a CU Loan, we’ll give them and you a free bag and enter you both in a prize draw to win a £50 Christmas Hamper.
With Christmas on the way, it’s an ideal time to encourage a friend, family member or work colleague to sign up – let’s get recruiting!


DITCH THE DOORSTEP LENDER
Given the acute problems that people have experienced with one doorstep lender in particular this year, and the huge cost suffered by people using them, isn’t it time to urge everyone to Ditch the Doorstep Lender and come to the CU instead?  Head over to our website to read some interesting facts comparing doorstep lenders and credit unions!   
 

BBC PROGRAMMES – A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEBT
Have you seen the programmes on the BBC called “A Matter of Life of Debt”?   They are on BBC1 on weekdays at 11 am or BBC2 at 7.15 am the next day or on iPlayer.  They reveal some fascinating and heartwarming stories of people who have received ethical loans, and the role that credit unions play for all walks of life.  In one example, a credit union member had received a low-cost loan which he had used to refurbish an ice cream van to enable him to start a new venture.  It was “ice creams all round” in his community on the day his dream was realised!   Our staff team are reporting a huge boost in the number of enquiries coming in by phone and email since the series began, and there are many more to come.  



MORE POWER TO US!
It is exciting to announce that we are now generating our own electricity here at HEYCU headquarters!   We’ve worked with our energy partners, Co-op Energy, to plan and install a set of solar panels on the flat roof at Brook Street, which is both an investment in the future (keeping our energy costs down for the benefit of all members) and a statement of our desire to develop practices friendly to the environment.


NEW MEMBERS’ GROUP – TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
We are thrilled that our new Goole & District Member’s Group had a great launch in September.  Members came from Howden, Snaith and Gilberdyke as well as Goole for the first meeting, held at the Lowther Hotel.  A Know your Credit Union quiz, devised by Steve Verity, got us off to a fun start, and was won by Pat O’Neil.  I explained about various credit union services members might have been unaware of, and we discussed how we can spread the word about HEYCU.  Leaflet campaigns and a presence in the Market were just some ideas put forward.  We rounded off the evening by cutting a specially decorated cake to celebrate Goole branch’s 8th anniversary, and everyone went home with one of our stylish CU shopping bags!   The Group agreed to meet again on a Wednesday just before Easter 2018 – all members in DN14, HU15 and YO8 postcode areas are most welcome.
On another September evening I was invited to address the members of Goole Town Council.  I presented a summary of all that we had achieved since our Pasture Road branch opened in September 2009 – quite a list - and Councillors asked me various questions.  A full report appeared in the Goole Times.  I was delighted to learn that, since our Credit Union brought fair and affordable loans to Goole, the number of loan sharks operating there had fallen dramatically.  If anyone knows of illegal lenders, they should call the confidential help line 0300 555 2222, email stoploansharks.co.uk or text 07860 022116.


MEETING HULL BID
I had a very useful and interesting meeting with the City Centre Manager at Hull BID the other day.  Kathryn and her team at Hull BID are doing a fantastic job of promoting Hull city centre as an up-and-coming destination and looking after people, like us, who trade from premises in the area.  Did you realise that, if you are a Credit Union Member, you are a property owner in Hull city centre?


BOARD MEETING SUMMARY
We’ve decided to publish a quick summary of the business conducted at our monthly Board meetings.  We’ll be starting this very soon and the summaries will appear on our website (Governance page).  Of course the summary won’t disclose the few items that, for various reasons, must remain confidential.  But, as we are a co-operative organisation owned by our members we felt that this would help members to understand what the elected directors actually do, the kind of topics that they come together to discuss, and perhaps interest other members in standing for election as one of our volunteer directors.   We’ll be inviting nominations very soon – so how would you like to be a director of your credit union?



Members – pop this date in your Diary – your AGM will be held on Tuesday 11th December in Hull Guildhall at 5.45 pm.  More on this next time!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

John’s Blog - August

Well, the holiday season is in full swing here in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire but the weather hasn’t exactly got the message, as we have had some terrific downpours.  Still, it’s been good for the gardens and the vegetable plot at the CEO household is promising a bumper crop!

Whatever you are doing this summer, hope you’re enjoying yourself.


OUR LOAN SALE PROVES A HIT

Here at HEYCU we are delighted with the response to our Sizzling Summer Loan Sale.  This is the second year that we have run this campaign, featuring an amazing 3.5% APR rate on loans from £5,000 to £15,000, with repayment periods up to 7 years.    This year, our total lending is up 25% compared with last year, and that’s from new members as well as those who have been with us for some time.

If you have a major project such as home or garden improvements, a new car, family celebration or a  “holiday of a lifetime”, where it would make sense to spread the cost over a longer period, why not give us a try?    You don’t have to bank with us to qualify for a Credit Union Loan, so why bother with your bank when we have such an appealing offer?   Pop over to our website where there’s an easy-to-use Loan calculator showing some guideline quotations.

Remember, with a Credit Union Loan, there are no set up fees, no penalties if you want to settle early, and you only ever pay interest on the reducing balance.  What’s more we are one of only a few lenders in the UK to be awarded the 5-star Fairbanking Mark.

You’ll have to be quick, though, as the Loan Sale will definitely finish at the end of August.












OUT AND ABOUT

Recently, I took a tour round our branches and it was fantastic to see all the activity going on, with staff and volunteers not only busy serving our members but also helping with events to support the communities where we trade.

Goole Branch had a very successful Cupcake Day on 14 July which raised £100 for the Alzheimer’s Society.   When I arrived the branch counter was groaning under the weight of plates of delicious cupcakes, many donated by local bakeries, supermarkets and friends to support our event.   Penny the penny-wise Penguin was busy keeping visitors – young and old – entertained, and we even had a class from St Joseph’s RC Primary School, along with their teachers, drop in for a tasty treat.  We’re thrilled that they are going to open a Pennies2Pounds school bank there in September.

Withernsea Branch was next on my list, and even though I picked the rainiest day of the year for my seaside trip, the Shores Centre was bustling and my catch up with Mareth and Malcolm, our hard working volunteers, had to be squeezed in between serving members.  However, I did manage a chat with Jayne Nendick, the very pro-active Shores manager, who always seems to be hatching some new scheme to make life better for the residents of this friendly town.

I visited Driffield Branch with staff colleague Jamie-Leigh, on the day when our Local Members’ Group met, and we enjoyed a good discussion about the School Banks, which this branch pioneered as long ago as 2005.  With relatively new volunteers Audrey and Debbie now co-ordinating this work, we wanted to make sure the support from Central Office is as effective as possible.  Each school running a Pennies 2 Pounds club will therefore receive a termly newsletter and a list of resources they can order such as piggy banks, saver cards, “I saved today” stickers and certificates to mark savings milestones for handing out in school assemblies. 

Another Wednesday it was over to Howden to see how our latest contact point is doing.  The answer was “pretty well” as we’ve now been up and running in the large Co-op Store for eight weeks, and every week we’ve had some new residents signing up to become Credit Union Members.  It’s clearly a very co-operatively-minded town because many of the new members have commented how pleased they are to see the Credit Union coming to Howden, because it’s “not-for-profit” unlike any other bank.   What an interesting place it is; you only have to take a look at the local monthly magazine, Howden Matters (edited by one of our keen new members), it’s jam packed with news of events and happenings – and we are in the August edition!


CARNIVAL TIME

On 2nd August our Scunthorpe branch colleagues Tracey and Sarah attended the Ongo Carnival to run a Credit Union promotional table and enjoyed meeting the families who came along, as well as the Ongo staff, many of whom save with us via popular payroll deduction.  They received quite a number of enquiries, especially about our Child Benefit Savings and Loan Plan, and gave out some loan quotations.  A competition to guess the amount of money saved in a piggy bank provided some fun for adults and children on the Westcliffe Estate and the two lucky winners received Say Shopping gift vouchers.

Carnival events are clearly a much loved feature of the English summer, for we were recently involved in another one, this time on the Greatfield Estate in Hull where we have a Wednesday contact point at Elmbridge Parade Co-op, supported by Greatfield Big Local project.  It was Greatfield’s 60th Anniversary and to mark the occasion (some residents have lived there since the houses were built), a Carnival Parade wended its way from St Hilda’s Church to St Stephen’s Church, where an afternoon of fun took place.  The “battle” between Sid the Shark (our friendly mascot from the Stop Loan Sharks Team) and a giant Money Spider created by the children of a local primary school was a great piece of entertainment!


FREE BUDGET PLANNER

One outcome of the Barclays Credit Union Project that we took part in earlier this year was the production of a useful Budget Planner, now available free of charge from any of our branches. 

Money management is essential whether you’re in debt or just juggling your regular household budget.  The planner aims to help everyone to get an accurate picture of how much they spend each month, and how much they have coming in, so they can set goals for reducing spending, freeing up cash for unexpected expenses or coping well with credit without landing in unmanageable debt.

The Planner is full of money saving ideas and tips that everyone can put into practice to make them more money-savvy.  There’s also a list of useful organisations that can help anyone struggling to bring their household finances under control.  According to the Money Advice Service 1 in 3 households admit that they don’t set a budget to manage their regular bills.  52% of those that do budget say they do it for peace of mind.  And 32% budget to cope with the unexpected. 


ARTHUR’S ORGANICS

I am always looking around for other co-operative businesses that our members might like to buy from, knowing that many of you are very keen to support the wider co-operative movement.
Arthur Street Trading is a workers’ co-operative with social objectives and aims. It was established in West Hull in the mid-1990s to provide affordable, high quality organic foods. 
Sourcing organic fruit, vegetables, wholefoods and other groceries from local growers and national suppliers, they have provided an award winning box scheme throughout Hull and district since 1999. They feature foods that are free of artificial preservatives, colours, flavours, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats, and food miles is always a priority - for many years they even used a solar powered milk float to make some deliveries!
Arthur’s  say: “We reinvest all profits back into the company to offer a fair price for our products so that they are more accessible for those on lower incomes, create jobs if we can, support local food projects, and support local growers. Buying from us means that you become a part of that positive energy.”    
To find out what’s available, or to place an order, visit www.arthursorganics.com


GOOLE MEMBERS’ GROUP

If you are one of our members who lives or works in Goole or Howdenshire (postcodes DN14, YO8 or HU15) we would love to see you at the launch of our Goole & District Local Members’ Group on Wednesday 13th September. 

The venue is the wonderful Lowther Hotel, Aire Street, Goole and members can arrive from 6 pm onwards for a 6.30 pm start.   There’ll be refreshments and a Prize Draw, and we’ll be sharing news with you of your Credit Union’s progress and celebrating the first 8 years of our Goole Branch. 

As Credit Union members, you are our future.  Over the past 8 years we have grown our membership in the area to nearly 1,000 adult and junior savers and borrowers.  But we need your ideas and suggestions to help us make the next 8 years even more successful.   It will be an informal and friendly evening and we are looking forward to meeting our members.   Call 01405 854564 or email jevans@hullandeycu.co.uk to accept the invitation.


CREDIT UNIONS WELCOME FCA REVIEW OF HIGH COST CREDIT

The Financial Conduct Authority recently published the findings of its review of high-cost credit.  It looked at the payday lending cap and the wider high-cost credit market, including rent-to-own, home credit, catalogues, unarranged overdrafts and motor finance.  Matt Bland, Head of Policy and Compliance at ABCUL (the Association of British Credit Unions) talked about the positive steps made by this review:  “Given the role credit unions play in disrupting the activities of these kinds of lenders, and the many tales of credit unions helping consumers piece their lives back together after falling foul of unscrupulous lenders, ABCUL has consistently supported the payday lending cap.  We highlighted the positive effect it has had on reducing consumer harm, further suggesting that similar measures were needed in other high-cost credit markets.”

 While there had been some speculation that the FCA was planning to water down the payday lending cap, we were very pleased to see it confirm that it …. plans on keeping it as it is until at least 2020. This is after receiving overwhelming evidence that it results in better outcomes for borrowers.

We were also pleased to see that the FCA will be publishing proposals for tighter regulation of rent-to-own, home credit and unarranged overdrafts in 2018. Particularly interesting is the commitment from FCA to look at why more affordable alternatives, such as credit unions, are not better able to meet demand in these markets. This may create an opportunity to discuss some of the regulatory barriers that credit unions face in expanding services more quickly.”


Good news indeed.



Thursday, 29 June 2017

John’s Blog – June & July


The month of June has perhaps been one of the busiest in our Credit Union’s history, so there’s lots to tell you about…


Now we are 18!

Your Credit Union was registered with the then Registrar of Friendly Societies on 10th June 1999, so this month we attained our 18th anniversary.  This significant milestone was marked by the cutting of a special birthday cake at our Central Office in Hull by our President, Alan Hignett and our guest from the Pen Fed Credit Union, Georgia, USA, Sherry Saxon.
 
HEYCU began life as the credit union for Hull City Council staff and their families and our first office was a back room down a corridor in the city’s magnificent Guildhall.  We were only open on Wednesday lunch times at first and run entirely by volunteers.  Despite this, with the enthusiastic support of the Council workforce, we grew rapidly, beating our three year plan targets in the first year! 
 
The first ever loans we granted were to help members to buy shares in the city’s own telecommunications business, KCom, which had just floated on the stock market!   Now, we make loans for less unusual purposes, such as holidays, Christmas, home improvements, cars and family celebrations, and more besides.

It’s remarkable to think that we have since expanded to become one of Britain’s top 15 credit unions, with over 40 payroll partners (including the DWP, one of the largest government departments) as well as serving over 10,000 members who live and work in the Humber Region. 

As someone who was there at the start, seeing our CU “come of age” is a great personal thrill.  I’d like to pay tribute to all who have shared the journey, including Eddie (our Finance Manager) and John Bailey (Director) whose involvement, like mine, has spanned the whole 18 year period.

If you want to learn more about our fascinating history, there’s a timeline on our website


Our new website

Have you seen our new website?  Early in June, with the help of Cornerstone Mutual Services, we switched over to our fresh look site. Our loan and savings products are displayed much more clearly and the improved loan calculator (with an easy to use slider bar) is proving a big hit with members eager to work out the repayments on a CU Loan.

It’s so easy to navigate – on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desk computer – whether you are looking to join online, download forms or documents, or access one of our partner sites such as Co-op Energy or the Co-op Electrical Store. 

Why not take a browse today, and then give us some feedback?   We are always keen to hear what our members think.


Fairbanking Mark awarded

I am thrilled to announce that we’ve been awarded a 5-star Fairbanking Mark for our Credit Union Loan products.

The prestigious mark, awarded by the Fairbanking Foundation, recognises that our CU Loan has the required features to make a positive impact on consumers’ financial well-being.  If you have had a CU Loan, you’ll be familiar with these admired features, which include:

·         providing loan applicants with a budget planner to help them work our whether they can afford to repay a loan;
·         allowing borrowers to settle early without a fee or penalty charge; and
·         encouraging our members to save alongside their loan repayments, which supports a savings habit, and gives an incentive to continue savings when the loan is completed.

Very few banking organisations have achieved a Fairbanking Mark so far, and even fewer one with 5-stars.  Before a mark is awarded, the bank or credit union undergoes a rigorous independent survey when members or customers are asked for their views on the product and their experience of using it.   We’d like to thank all our members who took part in the survey and helped us to gain our award.

Antony Elliott, the CEO of the Fairbanking Foundation said “We’ve now worked with eleven credit unions to enable their personal loans to be granted the Fairbanking Mark.  The evidence shows that credit unions are playing an increasingly important role in people’s financial lives in the UK.”
  

Visit by Georgia League of Credit Unions

The UK credit union movement and the Credit Union League of Georgia, USA have formed a partnership to work together for mutual benefit over a ten year period.  Credit unions are huge in the USA and have been around for much longer than in the UK, so we have much to learn from their experiences.

So, it was truly a pleasure to welcome Mrs Sherry Saxon, the Regional Director of PenFed Credit Union in Augusta, and her husband Sidney, to Hull & East Yorkshire Credit Union from 12 to 16 June.  Sherry worked with me, and our directors, to look at how we can further develop our loans business, and revamp our head office to provide an even better experience for our members. She attended a Board meeting, to explain how her credit union had grown from a micro-business to the multi-million dollar organisation that it is today, and how we might follow in their path, while staying true to our co-operative not-for-profit ethos. And she visited all our branches and met the directors and staff socially, which was a most enjoyable experience. 

During their time in Hull, Sherry and Sidney visited Hull’s Guildhall and were treated to afternoon tea with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress.  They were so impressed with this wonderful historic building.  We should also like to thank the Leader of the Council, Steven Brady, for spending time with them to talk about Hull’s development strategy.  It was a memorable visit and we hope to see them again at some point.


Howden contact point opens

Wednesday 21st June was a special day for us as we opened a new Credit Union contact point to serve the town of Howden.  Thanks to the kind support of the Co-operative Group, we will have a table inside the large Co-op supermarket in Charles Briggs Avenue every Wednesday from 12 noon to 2 pm.

At the contact point residents can join our credit union, pay in savings deposits, apply for loans and ask about our services.  Howden is one of the rural communities that has sadly lost its main bank, so we are pleased to offer an alternative savings and loans facility without residents needing to travel to Goole.

Our opening day was also special because we introduced Penny Penguin, our new penny-wise mascot.  Penny was very popular with the youngsters as she toured the town, handing out balloons and posing for “selfies”. 

While Penny was busy at the Co-op I popped our leaflets through doors to announce our arrival in town, and enjoyed meeting the people of this lovely historic town.


CU staff take part in Hull 10k

Congratulations to my staff colleagues, Sandra, Sarah (and her husband Paul), Matthew, Steve and Kathryn on completing the Hull 10k Run recently.  Proudly displaying the HEYCU logo on their running tops, they did amazingly well especially on the hottest day of the year!


New Lottery sponsors

We are delighted to welcome the Hull Branch of UNISON, the public service union, as our main Members’ Lottery sponsors.  UNISON have provided funding for three extra lottery prizes each month, so we hope even more members will sign up for lottery tickets (£1 each, deducted monthly from your CU Savings).  There’s at least £550 in prizes to be won each month, plus a bumper triple draw at Christmas, so don’t miss out – apply today


Hull’s wonderful news

Our home city has been gaining lots of deserved applause for embracing its City of Culture status so well.   So it was wonderful to learn that £27.5 million funding – including a £15 million National Heritage Lottery grant – had been secured for a major tourism investment in Yorkshire’s Maritime City.

The seven-year project will see the Arctic Corsair – Hull’s last remaining trawler – move to a new berth in a dry dock on the River Hull, alongside a visitor centre; a facelift for the Maritime Museum in Queen Victoria Square, including public access to a rooftop dome; a new home for some of the city’s historic maritime treasures opposite; and a refit for the Spurn Lightship.
It’s great news that 74 jobs, 10 apprenticeships and hundreds of volunteer roles will be created, with the 300,000 extra visitors to the city in the first year boosting the city’s economy by over £1.4 million. 

Well done to all who helped to make this happen – it’s fantastic that the City Plan ambition of creating a world-class destination on our doorstep is being realised.


Summer Events in our Region

Well, it’s summer at last, so let’s take a trip around our Credit Union region and find some ideas for outdoor events that you might like to attend:

Sat 1st - Sun 2nd July
Winterton Agricultural Show
Sun 2nd  July
Howden Show
Tue 11th July 2 - 3.30pm 
Oldfleet Primary School, Greatfield Celebration
Thu 13th July 2 - 3.30pm
Stockwell Primary School, Greatfield Celebration
Sat 15th July – 11 am - 3pm
Greatfield 60 Street Party: Meet at St Hilda's at 11am for the parade to St Stephen’s where the 'street party' will be held.
Sat 15th – Sun 16th July
Open Gardens at Winterton
Wed 19th July
Driffield Show
Sat 22nd July 1 – 4 pm
Viking Barton Family Fun Day
Sat 22nd – Sun 23rd July
Withernsea Carnival, Steam Rally and Parade
Tue 1st August
Yorkshire Day at Sewerby Park, Bridlington – a celebration of all things Yorkshire
Wed 2nd August 11 am to 3.30 pm
Ongo Carnival Scunthorpe
Fri 18th to Sun 20th August
Old Goole Gala


Summer Loans

Would some extra funds come in handy for holiday spending money, holiday clothes or equipment?   Don’t forget we have five-star CU Loans available at competitive rates to suit all pockets.  Check out our website today!