London Capital Credit Union is looking for volunteers in the run up to Christmas as it deals with rocketing demand for its services. The credit union saw membership increase by 10% in September alone.
This follows a recent call by Sir Hector Sants, the former Chief Executive of the Financial Services Authority, who now heads up the Church of England’s taskforce on credit unions, asking people with a professional background to consider volunteering for a credit union or standing for election to the board, in order that credit unions can benefit from a wide range of expertise and ability.
Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union, says: “We are experiencing a high level of demand for our services at the moment, and this is likely to increase further in the run up to Christmas – our busiest time of year. So we are looking for people with a wide range of skills to donate some of their time to help us.”
As financial co-operatives, credit unions are owned and controlled by their members and rely on local volunteers to help deliver their services to the community. “Our volunteers get involved with the day-to-day running of the credit union,” explains Martin Groombridge. “Duties include customer services, handling phone enquiries, processing membership applications, helping to maintain our database and working on marketing materials.”
Sir Hector also called for more people to deposit money with a credit union – money which can then be lent out at an affordable rate of interest to help those in need. Those who save with a credit union then qualify for a share in the profits of the credit union in the form of an annual dividend.
Sir Hector’s comments came as the Church of England rolls out its programme to provide financial support through its new Credit Champions network across 2,000 churches. The initiative encourages church congregations to promote saving as an alternative to borrowing and to raise awareness of the role of credit unions in providing low cost loans in times of need. London Capital Credit Union is working with a number of churches across North London as part of the scheme.
Third Sector First, the Dumfries and Galloway wide organisation set up to promote charities, voluntary organisations and community-led groups, is holding two training sessions in Castle Douglas.
Third Sector First supports the third sector in Dumfries and Galloway
Volunteers play an important role in many organisations and these workshops will give local organisations help in developing programmes and policies for the involvement of volunteers in their organisation.
Speaking about the courses, David Coulter, Chief Executive at Third Sector First, said: “There are hundreds of voluntary organisations locally which are doing some fantastic work with local volunteers. Many organisations that help to make Dumfries and Galloway the place it is rely on volunteers and it is only right that they receive the best support possible.”
These two workshops are designed to help those organisations consider the important role volunteers play. Topics to be covered include: who volunteers and why; what motivates volunteers; recruiting & selecting volunteers; supporting volunteers and equal opportunities & diversity.
Added David: “Without volunteers our communities would be so much poorer in terms of charity and social cohesion. That’s why we are helping to give local organisations the skills and practical support to help them work with their volunteers.”
The courses run at Castle Douglas Fire Station on Thursday 31 October 2013 and Thursday 5 December 2013, from 9.30am to 4pm.
To find out more or to book contact Third Sector First on 0300 303 8558. Alternatively the workshops can be booked online at http://thirdsectorfirst.eventbrite.co.uk.
Third Sector First is officially opening its brand new centre in Dumfries on Friday 27 September, providing a unique space for charities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and individual volunteers to work and meet.
The centre at 16 Queensberry Street will give voluntary and community organisations across Dumfries and Galloway a modern office location in which they can meet and network with other similar organisations. Within ground floor premises, the new centre has a high profile shop front and excellent provision for disabled access.
Third Sector First is funded by the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council to support and develop a strong third sector. The third sector is made up of organisations that have a social purpose and exist to improve the lives of people and communities. This includes community groups, charities, social enterprises and cooperatives and everyone who works or volunteers for them.
Across Dumfries and Galloway there are literally thousands of people working or volunteering for third sector organisations. Until now these organisations haven’t had as strong a voice as they should and Third Sector First is all about changing that.
Third Sector First is holding an Open Day at its brand new centre and all are welcome to come along.
When: Friday 27 September, 10am – 3pm
Where: Third Sector First, 16 Queensberry Street, Dumfries DG1 1EX