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East Sussex Credit Union celebrates 18th year of service to its community

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28 Sep 18

East Sussex Credit Union (ESCU) held its 18th AGM this week, sharing with members its dedicated work in the community over the past year and the launch of a new charitable foundation.

Chairman Richard Priestman and members of staff delivered presentations on the work they have been doing in the community and how they have tackled the impact of Universal Credit.

Earlier in the year, ESCU were praised by East Sussex County Council for helping people access financial services who otherwise would be reliant on expensive alternatives.

Cllr Keith Glazier made clear the importance of the credit union in its community, he said: “The roll-out of Universal Credit in the county may impact on residents who have to wait to switch over to the new system or who are currently not able to obtain a bank account.

“East Sussex Credit Union does a fantastic job helping people on low incomes to manage their finances and avoid falling into the trap of high-interest loans, so they have more money to spend in the local economy or to save for the future.”

In attendance was ABCUL CEO, Robert Kelly who praised the credit union’s innovative work in the community. During the meeting, Robert Kelly spoke to members expressing his delight to see the sense of innovation and partnership work ESCU has shown in its community. Robert congratulated ESCU on their capital ratio and the  strong base it provides to build upon and develop its membership, products and services.

Robert added that “the continuing effort for innovation in a sustainable way is what credit unions are all about” and he acknowledged the skilled expertise at ESCU and how it is a good practice model for other credit unions.

Finally, ESCU launched its charitable foundation which aims to address the ongoing financial issues facing its community. Speaking on behalf of the foundation, Trustee Keith Harrison said: "We would like to do more with some of the wider and long-term issues which members face. To help us understand some of these wider issues and look at what additional assistance can be offered, the credit union has set up a charity foundation as a partner organisation.

"Its initial role will be to research the current financial issues facing our community, identify good practice and potential new approaches and services, which will assist individuals and families deal with future financial challenges. It will also explore funding availability to charities, which can be used by East Sussex Credit Union to support this work."

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