Tuesday, 23 February 2016

February 2016

Junior Savers visit HEYCU Central Office

It was a lovely occasion last week when two of our Junior Savers and School Bank helpers, Camille and Sam Jenkins of Spring Cottage Primary School, popped in with their mum, Liz, during their half term week to visit their new “big bank” – our Brook Street branch in Hull city centre.  What a joy it was to meet them and what a credit they are to their family and their school.  Here are the beautifully written letters they sent after their visit:

Today I went to the Credit Union Bank with my mum and brother.  We had a tour of the behind the scenes working of the Bank.  We got to meet everyone, even the Bank Manager, John.  We also got to have a chocolate chip biscuit and a cuppa in the staff room!  Everybody was very friendly.  Can you believe it, me and my brother are the youngest ever volunteers?  John let us stick stickers on to his map to represent new schools joining.  From Camille Jenkins – age 8.

Dear John, thank you for spending the time to show us your bank.  I learned there is more than meets the eye to a bank.  I enjoyed meeting the bank staff, they told me what they did and how they did it.  I hope to see you again.  Kind regards, Sam D. Jenkins, age 10.

Camille and Sam showed us all the badges they had earned with the Brownies and Cubs, and I learnt that Camille would like to be a writer and Sam a scientist one day.  It seems to me they are well on the way already – all the very best to them both.

Save on bus travel with the new Hull Card
We’re always on the look out for ideas that help our members to make their money go further, so if you travel around the city and suburbs on the buses quite often, the new Hull Card could be “just the ticket”.   If your regular journeys involved connecting travel on Stagecoach and East Yorkshire buses, it’s always been an irritation that each bus company had its own separate and different card schemes, but now that’s not a problem because the Hull Card can be used on both. 

You buy a Hull Card for £13 and it lasts for seven consecutive days, offering unlimited travel on Stagecoach and East Yorkshire buses anywhere in Hull, Cottingham, Willerby, Kirk Ella, Anlaby, Hessle and Wawne.   To get your Hull Card pop into the Travel Shop at Paragon Interchange.   Hop on board a bus and place your card on the card reader.  You can top it up for another 7 days travel either on the bus or at the Travel Shop.

Payroll partnerships are proving popular
We are thrilled to be working with Lebus Upholstery, a Scunthorpe-based manufacturer of domestic furnishings, to help their 500+ workers to save with us by payroll deduction.  Lebus is the latest employer to recognise that credit union membership can be a valued feature of a staff benefits package.  We’ll be holding our first sign-up session in the works canteen on Thursday 25 February from 11 am to 2 pm.

We’ve had a payroll partnership with the HICA Group, the Hull-based leading operator of care homes, domestic care and retirement villages, for some time.  We recently sent them information about our fantastic Christmas Saver £10 bonus scheme which has resulted in some new members. 

Pennies 2 Pounds update
Our first ever school bank in Bridlington opened at Hilderthorpe Primary School at the beginning of February.  Rita (Schools Co-ordinator) and the four new volunteers had an extremely busy first morning, with 18 children and several adults enrolling on the day.

The following week all eyes were on the North Lincolnshire town of Winterton, where we opened our first two Pennies 2 Pounds Clubs at the Infants and Junior Schools.  Carmel (NL Partnership Officer) tells me the response at both schools was overwhelming and we must have signed up at least 60 junior savers and several adults already! 

Welcome to Councillor Hannigan
Our Scunthorpe Branch recently hosted a visit by Councillor Richard Hannigan, the Cabinet Member for Policy and Finance on North Lincolnshire Council and a member for Ferry Ward.  After signing up as a member, Councillor Hannigan praised all concerned for the progress we’ve made since the historic merger of NLCU with HEYCU last year.  We were keen to show him how the funding provided by the Council, Lloyds Bank/Credit Union Foundation, and the Credit Union Expansion Fund had been well used to embark on our development programme to promote credit union services across the region, grow membership, savings and loans, and make sure we are here to serve the people of Northern Lincolnshire for many generations to come.

Co-operative Energy
Our in-branch sessions when Tim of the Co-operative Energy met members and helped them to switch to cheaper energy supplies proved so popular that we are going to repeat them in April.  Watch our website for the dates when he will visit your branch.  So far well over 30 members have switched to the Co-op including me!  I was amazed when Tim told me I could save over £230 a year by moving my gas and electric supplies from the Big 6.  I will also become a member of the Midcounties Co-operative and qualify for a profit-sharing dividend.

If you missed Tim’s visit, don’t worry, you can find out more and get your own free quote by clicking on the Energy banner on the HEYCU website or phoning 0800 093 7511 quoting “HEYCU”.  Why not give it a try, you may be surprised how much you could save?

HEYCU is proud to be a member of the Association of British Credit Unions, which represents the vast majority of credit unions in Britain.   As our trade association,  ABCUL can represent the interests of credit unions and their members to governments, civil servants, regulators, local authorities, political parties and a wide range of other decision makers.   It is good to know that whenever new laws or regulations are made that may affect our movement,  ABCUL is invited to comment on the proposals and the law-makers can rely on them to respond with responsible, carefully-thought out views that help to enhance the final outcome. 

Your President and I were recently invited a meeting of ABCUL’s larger credit unions.  These meetings enable credit unions serving a diverse range of common bonds to come together, discuss key topics (such as how to expand our loan books or improve services for our members), and share good practice, as we all work hard to achieve the long term success and sustainability of the businesses in our care.

It will soon be time for credit unions to assemble in Manchester for ABCUL’s Annual General Meeting and Conference.  This year’s Conference will feature the launch of the ABCUL Academy, a new suite of training designed to meet the needs of credit unions of different sizes.  Watch for more news of this shortly.

Dong Energy provides local jobs boost
Following soon after the arrival of Siemens on the North bank, it was great to read that the Humber region will benefit from another huge jobs boost when the Danish company DONG Energy invests in the Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm.  This will be by far the largest offshore wind farm on the planet, creating 300 permanent jobs and up to 2,000 during the construction phase.  With a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts, by 2020 it will power well over 1 million UK homes.    What’s more, Siemens are the preferred suppliers for the 7 megawatt wind turbines which will be located 120 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast.   It’s all round good news as our region stakes its claim to become a world leader in the low-carbon energy future.

Time to improve your home?
With Easter around the corner, it’s time to dust down those plans to improve your home.  Please give us the chance to help you with a Credit Union Loan.   Very competitive deals are available on loans up to £15,000, from 4% APR.  Apply online or in branch.