Tuesday, 26 January 2016

January 2016

Have you kept your New Year Resolutions?
We are now nearly one month into 2016 so how are you all getting on with those New Year Resolutions?  Aha, I thought as much! Making them (and telling the world, so that you can’t easily duck out) seems so important at the turn of the year, whether it be giving up smoking, adopting a healthier diet, taking a brisk daily walk or making more time for the family.  But, one month on, let’s face it, they’re often as memorable as last Sunday’s newspaper!

But it’s not always like that.  Our staff and volunteers are pleased to see more people than ever popping in to open Christmas Saver accounts this January.  Getting organised for a happy Christmas eleven months before it’s due to happen is a great idea – and we are helping by offering up to £10 bonuses to match your first deposit.  If you’re in Northern Lincolnshire, there’s also an extra £5 for you if you open one and then recommend a friend to do so too!   No other bank is offering anything like it – so don’t miss out, check it out and jump aboard.

Our members say it’s “life changing” when the festive spending season comes along and they have all the money saved up for the first time ever – so no more stress when those January credit card bills arrive, and no more paying over the odds to high cost lenders.    

How’s that sound for a New Year resolution you could keep?    Ok, then, pass me another chocolate….

AGM Feedback
We had a wonderful AGM in December and very much enjoyed meeting our members, reporting to them on our eventful year, and hearing their opinions.   Our Credit Union has now been part of the local scene for 17 years yet every year we manage to have some fresh news to share with those who support this popular annual event.  

We asked members to complete a short questionnaire afterwards to tell us what they liked or didn’t like about the event, and what could be done better next time.  Pleased to say the responses were hugely positive, the only “negatives” being that members would have preferred to sit at tables, and would have liked a microphone to be available.   Hull Guildhall, whose room we use, tell us that unfortunately that meeting room is not wired up for sound, and can’t accommodate tables like the upstairs Reception Room.  We couldn’t have used that room due to another booking, but didn’t want to change the meeting day since members are used to it.

Congratulations to Lynda Brown, David Whiteley and June Blexill whose names came out of the hat to receive a Say Shopping voucher as a “thank you” for returning our survey! 

Board of Directors 2015-16
Following the AGM we welcomed to their first Board meeting our two new directors – Bill Meadows and Juliana Okai-Aboagye

You can read a profile of Bill and Juliana on our website.

At the December Board meeting we traditionally appoint the Officers and Directors with special responsibilities for the coming Board year.   Alan Hignett was re-elected to serve a second two-year term as President, with Andy Stankard continuing as Vice President.  One of the duties of Vice President is to chair our Personnel Committee.  Other officers elected were:
·        Jane Walton – Treasurer
·        John Bailey – Assistant Treasurer
·        Emma Garland – Secretary
·        Sue Nicholson – Assistant Secretary
·        Tony Craggs – Chair of Risk Committee

Remember, all these members and their director colleagues volunteer their time and skills to help our Credit Union develop, which is quite unique in the financial services industry.

Support for Alderson House
A “small change” collection taken at the AGM, together with the proceeds of a “staff collective Christmas card” organised by Sheila at Central Office, amounted to £117.50.  
Our Employees’ Council selected Alderson House at Bridlington to receive this donation which was handed over by Sarah, a staff member from the local branch.
Alderson House is one of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Break Centres.  It’s a real “gem” of a place where serving and former soldiers, sailors and airmen can enjoy a well-earned break with their families, sometimes between assignments.   Sarah tells me the facilities are very impressive and funded by the annual Poppy Appeal but for entertainment, outings and treats they must rely on donations.   We were delighted to help with that, and hope our relationship with the Centre will long continue.

Save money on gas and electricity with Co-operative Energy
In the midst of the heating season many of us are finding our heating and lighting bills are still rising.  How would you like to save some money on your gas and electricity?   Wouldn’t you like to switch to a co-operative provider that is in business to support its members and not make massive profits for rich city shareholders (just like us, in fact)?

Well, thanks to our new partnership with The Co-operative Energy, now you can.  Just pop in to our branches next week with a recent gas and electricity bill, or your key card, and you’ll be able to obtain a free, no obligation quote, showing how much you’d save by switching to them.   Everyone who gets a quote will be given a £5 Co-op shopping voucher as a “thank you”. 

Tim, the Co-operative Energy man, will be in our branches on:
Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd February – Hull Central
Wednesday 3rd February – Scunthorpe
Thursday 4th February – Bridlington

You can also find out more by clicking on the Energy banner on the HEYCU website or phoning 0800 093 7511 quoting “HEYCU” to see what you could save. 

Northern Lincolnshire forging ahead!
We are thrilled to have signed up two new employers to our rewarding payroll deduction scheme.  Staff at North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe can now save with us, and repay Credit Union loans, very painlessly by direct deduction from their wages.

Carmel (Northern Lincolnshire Partnership Officer) and I took part in a lunch time member recruitment session at the College on 14 January and lots of staff members signed up on the spot to open Christmas Saver accounts.   Some very nice people will be enjoying their starter bonuses next Christmas!    We were very impressed with the College HR team, who couldn’t have been more helpful. 

Another Scunthorpe business is also keen to offer its employees this valued staff benefit.  Lebus Upholstery, one of the region’s leading makers of upholstered furnishings, has also agreed to make Credit Union payroll deductions.   We are looking forward to working with them too.

At the Ongo Group, where we’ve had a payroll partnership for some time, we held a Credit Union Champions Briefing recently.   The Champions are colleagues who work at Ongo who have volunteered to help to promote the Credit Union’s services to their workmates and in the wider community.  It was a lively session, facilitated by John Lawrence, their manager, and they were full of good ideas for ways that we can work together to achieve success.

It’s positive news on the Winterton front as well.   With support from the Winterton 2022 Project, the town’s two schools are ready to launch Pennies2Pounds School Banks, just like the ones that we run across East Yorkshire.  Won’t it be brilliant that the children and families in the town will be introduced to positive ways with money through this exciting project?

Meanwhile, back at our branch in Scunthorpe High Street, paint brushes are being wielded with great force to spruce up the in-branch environment for members and our staff and volunteer team. 

We’re in the Hull Journal
Are you a reader of the Hull Journal?  This monthly “coffee table magazine” is distributed to residents in the West Hull villages and Beverley and goes on sale at local newsagents.   It’s a stylish publication that is found in many homes, cafes, hair salons and doctor’s surgeries across the area.  The Journal’s typical advertisements feature top-of-the-range cars, kitchen furnishings, high fashion and fine dining.   And there on page 19 of the February edition is a full page feature on … you’ve guessed. .. our Credit Union! 

Our latest campaign, courtesy of the Credit Union Expansion Project, aims to make the whole community aware of what credit unions have to offer, including our competitive loan deals up to £15,000.   We are keen to tell the world that Credit Unions are here for everyone, so we hope our story will help to spread a better understanding of our mission.   The Hull Journal’s strapline is “Celebrating East Yorkshire’s finest”, so I think we are all “on the same page” there!

UK Credit Unions reach 1.6 million members
According to figures released by the Bank of England, adult membership of credit unions in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland reached 1.6 million in June 2015.   England saw the biggest growth, of 9.2% over the previous 12 months.  It seems an average of 232 adults joined a credit union in the UK every day.   The UK’s growth is part of a global push to bring credit union services to more people, as the World Council of Credit Unions aims to attract a further 50 million consumers into membership over the next five years.

Looking for a loan to improve your home?

We can offer very competitive deals on loans up to £15,000, from 4% APR – please give us a chance to serve you.  No hidden fees, no early settlement penalties.   Apply online or in branch.