August 2013 - FIRST DORSET CREDIT UNION LTD WINS FUNDING GRANT FROM BARCLAYS COMMUNITY FINANCE FUND
First Dorset Credit Union Ltd is celebrating its success having been selected from dozens of applications from across the UK to be awarded £13,000 from The Barclays Community Finance Fund, to support its next step towards sustainability and growth.
Transact, the national forum for financial inclusion, which manages the fund, worked with a panel of independent experts to reduce nearly 80 high quality applications to just six successful projects.
Established in 1999, the credit union based in Dorchester, has 2,200 members and operates 13 service points across Dorset. The funding will support the purchase and upgrade of IT equipment which will improve existing services and increase the number of new service points across the county.
Rosemary Britten, President of First Dorset Credit Union Ltd, said:- “We were initially very surprised that we had been awarded the grant due to the number of applicants we were competing against. Upgrading our IT system is essential to support our ability to grow our business within rural Dorset, to make inroads to the East of the county, and to support future software developments associated with the Credit Union Expansion Programme. Our existing system is beginning to inhibit our daily operations and an upgrade would have been difficult without the Barclays’ funding, thank you.”
Barclays has committed £1 million over 3 years to the Barclays Community Finance Fund to support the delivery of affordable credit. As part of its commitment to financial inclusion, the fund is targeted at organisations that support individuals who may otherwise be restricted to accessing high cost credit or taking out illegal loans.
Tim Kiy, Corporate Affairs Director for UK Retail Banking at Barclays, commented: “The applications this year were of a particularly high standard with many innovative and interesting project ideas, which made it extremely difficult to shortlist them down to those we could fund. This is a great opportunity for First Dorset Credit Union to use the funding to support its next steps towards increasing membership, sustainability and growth. We hope that the experience they gain this year will provide important knowledge that can be shared by the sector.”
Projects are funded over 12 months to develop and continue work to increase access to affordable credit.
The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, added:“I am really delighted to hear that the First Dorset Credit Union has got this grant from Barclays. I have been personally involved with the Credit Union since their foundation and supported their application for this grant. I am sure that it will help the credit union to expand and thereby help it also to have a long and prosperous future in Dorset – to the advantage of all those who benefit from the excellent work that it does.”
Online accounts access - February 2013
You can now check your FDCU accounts online. You need to register first, just go to the internet banking page of the website and follow the link. You can check your balances and transactions, request withdrawals and submit loan applications.
30 September 2012 Accounts and 2013 AGM
The accounts of FDCU for the year to 30 September 2012 were presented to the Annual General Meeting on 23 February 2013.
November 2012 - Shaftesbury Move
The Shaftesbury FDCU service point has moved to Toby's, 1 Bimport, Shaftesbury, SP7 8AT. Opening hours remain the same; Thursdays 10am to 12 noon.
July 2012 - Prepaid Cards
Prepaid cards are now available to FDCU members.A prepaid card is a prefunded payment card. Cardholders ‘load’ money onto the card, which can then be used to buy goods and services, or withdraw from ATMs, in the same way as a debit card. For more information see the Prepaid Card page of the website.
The AGM of FDCU was held on Saturday 24th March 2012 at 2pm in Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Culliford Road North, Dorchester, DT1 1QG.
The audited accounts for the year ended 30 September were presented at the meeting.
The Board proposed a change to the Credit Union Rules which was approved by the meeting. This will lead to FSCU adopting the Model Rules developed by ABCUL and approved by the FSA incorporating the specific clauses attributable to FDCU set out in this form. The principal changes from the previous rules are:
To expand the Common Bond area to cover the whole of Dorset and adjoining parishes; and
To allow corporate members to be admitted to the Credit Union.
Several West Dorset residents received early Christmas presents when Gillian Summers, Chairman of West Dorset District Council, drew the winning tickets for the Friends of First Dorset Credit Union Christmas Raffle at the FDCU Service Point on High East Street, in December.
Prizes included a mountain bike, luxury Christmas hamper, and items kindly donated by various local businesses including Margaret Balfour Beauty Salon, Home Sweet Home, Marsh's and Castle Gardens.
Richard Thorley, President of the Credit Union, said 'We are delighted that the raffle has raised £1,046, which will be used by the Friends to support our fantastic group of hard-working volunteers in operating our service points and promoting the Credit Union across West Dorset.
Award for FDCU Loans Team
A total of 170 guests attended theVolunteer Centre Dorset awards in Dorchester in the first week of November. The loans team from FDCU received recognition as Volunteer Group of the year. The team of 15 volunteers assess all loan applications and determine whether or not to make loans to members. This involves a great commitment of time but is fundamental to the successful operation of the Credit Union.
Bridport Volunteers Contribution Recognised
New Service Points
New service points have opened in Sturminster Newton and Lyme Regis continuing the expansion in coverage across Dorset of First Dorset Credit Union.
Sturminster Newton - Mondays 10.30 - 12.30 from 28 February 2011. The Council Offices, Old Market Hill, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1FH.
Lyme Regis - Tuesdays 10.00 - 12.00. St Michael's Business Centre, Church Street, Lyme Regis, DT7 3DB.
Prince Charles meets FDCU volunteers - November 2010
On 16th November, 2010 HRH the Prince of Wales met a group of volunteers from First Dorset Credit Union. This formed part of one of the Prince's regular visits to Poundbury. He talked to them about the valuable work they perform in providing an affordable source of loans to the community. He thanked them for all of their efforts. The meeting was held on the day of the announcement of the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton which made for a happy atmosphere.
Oliver Letwin Visits FDCU - July 2010
West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin heard how people’s banks are fighting the loan sharks.
He was told of some of the worst excesses of unscrupulous lenders when he visited the First Dorset Credit Union.
FDCU offers affordable financial services, such as savings accounts and insurance and is also attractive to many for its low interest loans.
Mr Letwin called in to see how FDCU was faring and heard how credit unions were hoping to persuade the Government to target lenders preying on the poorest people. He said: “I’ve been associated with the credit union since its foundation over ten years ago and I’m also an active member of it. I’ve frequently found it’s enormously useful when people arrive at my surgeries with problems. Sometimes they just can’t get hold of money or they’re going through a bad patch and normally the credit union can help them. It’s a wonderful institution, I’ve been working with them the last two or three years through the banking crisis and they’ve come out of that in very good shape.”
He added: “On my latest visit we talked about general issues they’ve been seeing as they go about business, which includes people paying 2,000 per cent to loan sharks.
“So I’ve taken that up now with the Treasury, it seems to me we need to do something about it".