Tuesday, 13 October 2015

W/c 12 October

Hull Fair is here again!
Well, it's that time of year when what is known as the Biggest Travelling Funfair in Europe rolls into town!   Yes, it's Hull Fair Week and judging by the huge crowds descending on the Walton Street Fairground each evening as I pass by (ever so slowly, mind) in my homeward bus, everyone seems to be well aware of it.   But for those of my readers who don't live round here and haven't ever heard the phrase "Hull Fair weather", or sampled the tasty delights of a bag of Hull Fair Brandy Snap, I just thought I'd mention it so that you might consider visiting our "fair city" and seeing what all the fuss is about. 

A thrilling victory for our Eastern Raiders FC 
On Saturday my wife and I had the great pleasure of popping over to Goole to watch a football game played by our sponsored team, Eastern Raiders.  The Credit Union had sponsored the match balls and so I was invited to a photo call to present them to the team before the kick off.  We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the Raiders didn't disappoint for one second!  In a thrilling end-to-end encounter they smashed their opponents. Orchard Park, 5-1 to retain their place at the top of Division Two, East Riding County League. Mind you, Orchard Park promised revenge when the return fixture is played at their ground!  Up the Raiders!

Are you looking to move house?
If you are a Council tenant or a Housing Association tenant in Hull and fancy moving to a smaller or larger home, did you know that you can mutually exchange?   Hull City Council and partners are hosting a House Swap Event at the Mortimer Suite (Paragon Street entrance), Hull City Hall on Wednesday 14 October, from 9 am to 12.30 pm.   Come along and see what it's all about.  We'll be having a Credit Union stand there, to make people aware of our new Rent Direct and Jam Jar Accounts (supported by Hull City Council) and affordable credit for people needing to furnish their new homes, among other services we offer.

Looking forward to International Credit Union Day
Another exciting happening this week comes on Thursday 15th October, when it's International Credit Union Day. Credit unions all over the world are planning events to promote our movement's many achievements.  This year's theme is "People helping People", the idea being to raise awareness of how credit unions help people to pool their money and make loans to each other.

We'd like to think that our members would see this as a great opportunity to spread the word about what they like about credit unions, be proud of their membership of this wonderful "worldwide family", and try to join up a friend, relation, work colleague or other associate.

What are we doing here at HEYCU to celebrate?  
·        Well, a little bird tells me that if you pop into our Hull Central branch in Brook Street, there may be a few little treats in store, and the place will have an international look about it!
·        At County Hall in Beverley, from 12 noon to 2 pm we'll have a recruitment stand outside Room 7 again, where East Riding of Yorkshire Council workers can find out all about saving with us regularly direct from their pay and, if they wish, sign up on the spot.  Last year's event was very popular so we're hoping that those who joined then will tell their workmates what a great benefit it has been and urge them to join!  Council staff who sign up this week (12-17 October), either at the event, online or in branch, will be entered into a prize draw to win a £20 shopping voucher.
·        Watch out for our First Person article in Thursday's Hull Daily Mail, which I have written with an International Credit Union Day flavour.
·        If you take any pictures of an ICU Day event, please send them in to our Facebook page, so we can share them with credit union friends around the world.

Now, for those of you who are really keen on history:
The first International Credit Union Day was held in 1948 but credit unions go back much further than that, to early 19th century Europe.  In 1846-7 Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Raiffeisen laid the foundations for the first credit unions when Germany was devastated by famine.  In 1849 Schulze-Delitzsch, a judge, founded a "thrift and loan association" which included 57 shoemakers who had been affected by industrialisation.  Raiffeisen was mayor of several villages in the German Westerwald province and wanted to help farmers to set up co-operatives to improve their lives. In 1862 a charitable association in the town of Heddesdorf that he founded became a credit society where members' deposits were used to make loans to other members. 

It's amazing to think that our modern day movement, comprising 57,000 Credit Unions with 217 million members in 105 countries sprang from such modest roots.  

Christmas Saver time approaches
There's less than three weeks to go before you eager Christmas Savers can access your money and go festive shopping.  It's an exciting time as all that scrimping and saving pays off and you can finally get Christmas "sorted".   Those who opened a new account earlier in 2015 should find a little extra in your account as your Matched Bonus, plus dividend, gets added on.

We've sent out letters and emails to members at certain branches (outside Hull) asking how and when you'd like your funds.  Please help us plan for this busy season by completing your letter and dropping it into a branch (or you can fax, email or post it back if you’d prefer), and we will organise it for you.

Year end challenges
Our Year End passed smoothly on 30 September and we had our final accounts drafted by the next morning and away to the auditors, a record that we have achieved for many years now.  It's a personal challenge for me and my Management Team and this year we had the extra task of merging in all the accounts of the former North Lincolnshire Credit Union, but thanks to the diligence of our Scunthorpe branch colleagues all was accomplished painlessly.  Now we have the auditors in and we are keeping fingers crossed that they will give us a "clean bill of health" so that the directors can make a good report to our members at the AGM on Tuesday 8 December on their stewardship of our members' funds. 

Northern Lincolnshire Partnership Officer
We have shortlisted candidates for this role and the interviews will be held next week.  So we hope to have someone in post very soon to help develop our business across Northern Lincolnshire.  Watch this space!

Pennies 2 Pounds
We are delighted to announce that another Pennies2Pounds school bank was launched on 7 October, at Aldbrough Primary School on the Holderness coast.

There's an Autumn Term Competition on our website that any of our Junior Savers can enter this month.  Take a look - there's some good prizes to be won.

Bulk Oil Buying Scheme
Now the weather is turning chilly, it's time to switch on the heating.  Many residents in our rural communities are not connected to the gas mains and depend on oil to heat their homes.  Keeping their oil tanks filled can be an expensive business but fortunately there is a Bulk Oil Buying Scheme, run by the Humber & Wolds Rural Community Council (H&WRCC), they can join to help them obtain the very best buying terms. 

Even so, having to fork out all at once for a tank full of oil can be a major challenge for many people.  That's where we can help.  We’re partnering with H&WRCC to offer bulk buyers a way to either save up regularly with us towards oil purchases, or alternatively apply for a loan to spread the cost over an extended period.

Peter Hirschfeld of H&WRCC says, "The YORSwitch Oil Buying Scheme is a form of co-operative, so the more oil users that take part, the better buying terms we can obtain from oil suppliers.  We are pleased to have the Credit Union working with us to offer additional ways to help our members make their oil purchases more affordable."

The scheme has recently been extended to North Lincolnshire, as well as across East Yorkshire.

Don't pay more than you need to for Christmas

We're running a campaign highlighting how a small loan from a Credit Union offers an unbeatable deal when compared with alternatives. Take a look at some comparisons for typical Christmas loans and you'll see what I mean.  We don't see why anyone should pay more than they need to for Christmas, so please help us to spread the word.  Members can now apply for their Credit Union loan online too.