Monthly Archives: June 2013

Scottish Parliament welcomes credit union expansion

MSPs from across the parties have welcomed the announcement of a major new project that is set to transform the credit union sector over the next two years.

The ambitious Credit Union Expansion Project is being managed by the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL) and aims to attract up to a million more people across Scotland, England and Wales into credit union membership. The UK Government – with cross-party support – has agreed to invest up to £38 million in the sector, which could ultimately save consumers almost £1 billion in loan interest repayments.
MSPs debated a Motion on Wednesday (19 June) tabled by John Wilson MSP (SNP, Central Scotland) which welcomes this exciting new project and “considers that the project will be of significant benefit to credit unions in Scotland by helping them to upgrade their systems”. The Motion was supported by more than 40 MSPs from across the four main parties.

In Scotland, just over 100 credit unions already serve over 280,000 people who are saving more than £210 million and borrowing £180 million, and Scottish credit union membership has grown by 47% over the last five years.

Photo of Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive of the Association of British Credit UnionsABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette (pictured) said: “We will be supporting credit unions to offer a much wider range of great value products to many more members from a broad range of income groups.

“Consumers will soon be able to benefit from the latest online technology to sign up to credit union services such as current accounts, budgeting products and Cash ISAs. A centralised hub will automate the delivery of products so that members can also access credit union services through secure connections to other networks.

“Credit unions will retain their local status and community focus, but work together where they can benefit from pooling knowledge and resources. This will give members the best of both worlds.”

The first wave of 31 credit unions to join up has now been announced and includes many larger and fast growing credit unions. Two Scottish credit unions are in the first phase of the project, with more due to join in the next stages later this year. Credit unions are expected to serve an extra one million members across Britain within five years.

Mark Lyonette added: “This is a landmark project for credit unions and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which will help to place the credit union movement in Scotland on a similar footing to leading credit union movements around the world.”

Laserase Bolton backs acne awareness month

Photo of Liz Partington

Acne made her self-conscious and knocked her confidence

Laserase Bolton, the region’s leading laser and skin health centre, is backing acne awareness month, which takes place in June, to help raise awareness about the often serious impact acne can have on people’s lives.

A large proportion of the population suffers from acne at some point in their lives. Acne generally goes within five years, but for some people it will continue into adulthood – and if the acne is severe it may lead to scarring if not treated appropriately.

An estimated 80 per cent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks, but many of us are unaware that people in their forties and fifties still get acne too.

Julie Kershaw, Clinic Manager at Laserase Bolton, said: “People often underestimate the impact of acne on the lives of those who suffer from it – writing it off as a teenage problem. But many of the people we see at Laserase Bolton are adults who have dealt with persistent acne for most of their life. It can have a huge impact on the way they feel and the way they live their life, causing depression and low self-esteem.

“At Laserase Bolton, we want to help raise awareness of acne and how it can affect people’s well-being, as well as letting sufferers know there is help available and that they shouldn’t suffer in silence.”

Bury Mum Liz Partington (pictured) has had acne for years and the spots on her face made her feel very self-conscious and knocked her confidence.

Forty year old Liz, who is an English teacher, says: “My acne was fairly bad. Often the spots were large, sore and inflamed and took a long time to go.”

Laserase Bolton has a high success rate with acne management and uses a combination of different therapies, including NLite laser treatment, to get the best results. The NLite laser is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the treatment of acne in recent years and has been used successfully at Laserase Bolton for over 10 years.

Thanks to laser treatment, Liz has not needed antibiotics for more than two years. Liz says: “Life is better now. I am more confident and much less self-conscious.”

For most people acne will clear up on its own, but anyone who has the ongoing condition is encouraged to get medical advice from Laserase Bolton or their own GP.