ITV Granada – Local credit unions unite to tackle impacts of Covid

As a non-profit financial organisation, we offer an opportunity of credit to everyone including the financially excluded. 

In November, we joined forces with 8 Greater Manchester Community Credit Unions. Together we launched our Covid-19 recovery plan, offering £15 million to rebuild local communities through our affordable lending offer. 

Our CEO, Sheenagh Young, says “We are definitely seeing younger people coming to us. They are finding that we are more accessible than they realised because of our digital approach. This is positive because I think it is particularly hard for young people at the moment and their life chances are so affected by Covid”.

Darren Howard is one person who has benefitted from a loan with us. Back in August, Darren started his building business and soon worked out he needed a new van. To be able to afford it, he needed a loan but did not want to be hit by high-interest rates. Darren says “I use my local credit union because the interest rates are low and it is quick and easy. Money’s in the bank within the week… and it’s very straightforward.” 

Sherita Mandongwe, a member of Manchester Credit Union has also been helped. She took out loans to support her family and fund her university degree. Last year, she won individual Volunteer of the year at the Manchester Be Proud Award after setting up her own children’s charity. 

Here at South Manchester Credit Union, we have been kept busy throughout lockdown. We have also seen that for some people lockdown has been a time where they have built up their savings. 

Sheenagh says “We are finding that for some people lockdown has been a time when they have been able to save as their spending has gone down. Perhaps they have been doing extra hours as a key worker and are now starting to think of their finances differently”. 

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