Friday, 13 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:

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!

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.

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!

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!   

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.  

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.

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 or text 07860 022116.

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?

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!