Sunday, November 19, 2006

Credit due

On Friday the manager of South Tyneside Credit Union, Sylvia Hudson, was winner of Woman Social Entrepreneur, in the North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. This recognises Sylvia as one of the main drivers of the credit union from it's early days as The Nook Credit Union to South Tyneside's biggest community based credit union.

If you're not in the Credit Union, it's worth joining. Not only to enjoy a truly local savings and loans service, but to help provide financial services to members of the community, who through poverty or circumstances beyond their control are left behind by the big banks and building societies. Anyone can join.

The recent Farepak scandal illustrates just how many people are dependent upon savings schemes just to put something by for Christmas. Unfortunately Farepak wasn't regulated, but credit unions are regulated by the Financial Services Authority. The credit union doesn't charge monstrous loans rates like 'doorstep lenders', who prey on those with low incomes and tend to live a hand to mouth existence. The credit union has helped people out of the clutches of these sharks and given them a real hope to get their financial health back. So if you're looking for somewhere to save for next Christmas - try the credit union.

Even though South Tyneside Credit Union employs a small core of administration staff (funded by sponsorship and grants), most of the work is done by volunteers, including the board and executive. So if you have some spare time to give, the credit union would like to hear from you.

South Tyneside Credit Union can be contacted on (0191) 454 7677, and the main office is at:

119/121 Prince Edward Road
South Shields
NE34 8PJ

It's not often that someone who works hard for the community is recognised, especially as an entrepreneur. My congratulations go to Sylvia for an award well deserved.

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