Volunteers sign up 
to help credit union

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Credit union members hope they will soon be able to open premises in Stamford after recruiting a team of volunteers.

The Stamford and Deepings branch of Lincolnshire Credit Union appealed for helpers to enable it to set up a service offering low-interest loans and financial services from the Citizens Advice Bureau in High Street, Stamford.

About 12 people came forward and the branch is now holding a training session on April 24 to get them up to speed on how the union operates.

Credit union member Harrish Bisnauthsing, who is helping co-ordinate the Stamford service, hopes to raise the branch’s profile in the town.

An opening date has not been set, but Mr Bisnauthsing hopes it will be as soon as possible.

He said: “We hope to be able to open our doors and get the volunteers trained up.

“We will then be able to take deposits and help people that need money.

“One of the volunteers worked for a credit union in Northampton. Another is a retired accountant. There are various professional people. We have about 10 or 12 all together.

“They have all said it is a very good cause and we should help it flourish in Stamford.”

One of the key aims is to offer an alternative to payday loan companies that offer small amounts of cash at high interest rates. Credit union members can take out a low-interest loan of up to £300 for a minimum deposit of £5.

Mr Bisnauthsing added: “It is a good alternative to the banks and will really help people in the current economic climate.

“It can help families apply for smaller loans to go on holiday and have a break from the stress of everyday life.

“People’s circumstances will be assessed.”

The union was set up in Lincoln and has bases in Gainsborough, Boston and most recently Grantham.

Mr Bisnauthsing said: “I have been a member for nearly 10 years. But we need to raise the profile in Stamford.

“We think there is a need in Stamford. If we can get it to operate it will help a lot of people.

“We also offer debt counselling, encouraging people to become more financially responsible.

“We don’t just want to target people with financial problems. It will attract people with the knowledge that the money is being put to good use.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can call Mr Bisnauthsing on 01780 756000.