The Stamford and Deepings branch of Lincolnshire Credit Union aims to combat payday loans

Stamford and Deepings branch of Lincolnshire Credit Union representatives, from left, Erica Burt, chairman Rev Eileen Bangay and Harrish Bisnauthsing

Stamford and Deepings branch of Lincolnshire Credit Union representatives, from left, Erica Burt, chairman Rev Eileen Bangay and Harrish Bisnauthsing

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A credit union has appealed for volunteers to help run a savings service which will allow people to steer clear of payday loans companies.

The Stamford and Deepings branch of Lincolnshire Credit Union is offering small, low interest loans to people who need some extra cash before payday.

The group, which is controlled and funded by members, wants to offer an alternative to people tempted by payday loans companies which offer small sums of money with huge interest rates.

But the group needs the help of volunteers to donate one or two hours every Wednesday to run the service.

Member Harrish Bisnauthsing said: “We don’t want anyone to be destitute or fall into the arms of loan sharks.

“If someone is in difficulties we will offer them a loan of up to £300 if they open up an account with us with just £5.

“They would only need to pay about £6 back per week.

“I know we are living in a difficult economic situation and we want to help people if they are in difficulties.”

Money borrowed from the union is made up of the savings contributed by other members.

The interest that borrowers pay contributes to the running costs of the credit union and allows it to develop the products and services on offer.

The union also offers advice and Mr Bisnauthsing, a Stamford town councillor, hopes it will encourage people to avoid payday loan companies.

He said: “We want people to be more in control of their own money and stay away from loan sharks.

“It is community-led banking with a lot of community involvement.”

The union hopes to run its loans and advice service from the Stamford Citizens Advice Bureau in High Street.

But in order to do so it needs volunteers to give up a couple of hours every Wednesday to help out.

Full training will be given for the role.

For more information and to join the team, call 01522 528886 or 01780 756000, or e-mail volunteer co-ordinator Linda Burden at lburden@lincupcu.org