More volunteers are needed to help Welsh communities access ethical savings and loans following the financial impact of Covid-19 according to Merthyr Tydfil Borough Credit Union as we celebrate Volunteers Week (June 1-7 2021).
The member-owned financial cooperative based in High Street, Merthyr Tydfil relies on the voluntary support of individuals who help with their decision-making and daily operation.
This has been particularly important during the past year when Covid-19 lockdown restrictions impacted on people’s finances due to unemployment, furlough or reduced hours.
Delyth Shearing, General Manager of Merthyr Tydfil Borough Credit Unions said:
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the credit union movement because they undertake a wide range of roles, from running collection points to being board members.
“Whether its providing a face-to-face customer service or helping to run the credit union itself, we simply couldn’t succeed without them.
“As restrictions begin to ease across the country we want to encourage more people who may have suffered financially during lockdown to access our ethical financial services. Therefore the need for more volunteers to help make a genuine difference to the financial wellbeing of people within their own communities is greater than ever.”
The 37th Volunteers’ Week is celebrated by small grassroots organisations as well as larger, household-name charities, who together run hundreds of activities across the UK.
According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, in 2018/19, 19.4million people volunteered through a group at least once a year and over 11.9 million did so at least once a month. It is estimated that the voluntary sector contributed £18.2billion to the UK economy.
Volunteer Pat Lewis of Castle Park, Merthyr Tydfil, knows only too well the importance of the movement after being brought up in Belfast where credit unions have a strong following.
“All of my family relied on credit unions for savings and loans because they didn’t like banks so I was brought up in this environment and it remains an important part of my life today,” she said.
“Merthyr Tydfil Borough Credit Union is such an incredible help to people who otherwise may be excluded from financial services and I just wanted to play a role in something genuinely valued in a community.”
Volunteers can help steer the future of credit unions by standing as a voluntary board member in the AGM. The range of board members in credit unions differ in walks of life, professions and experience.
Volunteering can help people gain valuable new skills and experiences which helps develop a CV and boost their job skills.
It also boosts confidence and helps people realise how valuable they are to an organisation through their voluntary work.
To find out more about becoming a volunteer contact Merthyr Tydfil Borough Credit Union on 01685 377888 or email mtbcu.org.uk