Credit union service point is opened in Great Yarmouth’s King Street

Cllr Penny Carpenter and Daniel Hastings, of Great Yarmouth Borough Council (on the right), with Nor

Cllr Penny Carpenter and Daniel Hastings, of Great Yarmouth Borough Council (on the right), with Norfolk Save & Borrow representatives and volunteers Picture. GYBC - Credit: Archant

A credit union service point has opened in Great Yarmouth, providing an alternative financial service for residents.

Norwich Credit Union has established a Norfolk Save & Borrow service point at the Neighbourhood Centre, based at 135 King Street.

It is open every Friday, from 10.30am to 12.30pm and run by fully-trained volunteers.

The need to provide the facility was recognised through Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Neighbourhoods that Work Project.

A credit union is a savings and lending co-op, or club, based in the community.

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Membership of Norwich Credit Union is open to anyone lives or works in a Norfolk postcode area and costs £1 to join (free for juniors). To provide convenience and flexibility, members are given pre-paid cards for use at ATMs, in shops and online.

Councillor Penny Carpenter, chairman of the housing and neighbourhoods committee, said: 'This service point has been made possible thanks to partnership working between the borough council, through our Neighbourhoods that Work Project, and Norwich Credit Union.

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'I would also like to praise the volunteers, who have already signed up 28 new members in a short few weeks, which proves there was genuine need for an additional facility to help people save and manage their finances.

'Credit unions offer a real lifeline for some people, because they offer access to safe and legitimate financial services, helping to reduce the risk of people going to illegal money-lenders who often target desperate people on low incomes.'

Alan Camina, Vice-President of Norwich Credit Union, said: 'We're delighted to have this opportunity to reach more people who can benefit from our services. We're grateful for the support of Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Neighbourhoods that Work, and of course, the enthusiastic volunteers who are providing this weekly service.' Jay Stephen, of The Barracks, who is one of the service point volunteers, said: 'I work in town anyway and my hours had been reduced so I figured I would give something back to the local community. It is something I enjoy – in fact if anything it has made me want to get more involved.'

Christine Bird, of Gorleston, who volunteers at both the service point and at the Neighbourhood Centre reception, said: 'So many people find it difficult to actually be able to open an ordinary bank account. The credit union is a way of helping people to save as well, of encouraging them to be able to budget their money.'

Prospective members need to bring two forms of ID (one with a picture if possible) to prove their identity and current address.

For more information visit the Great Yarmouth service point or call 01603 764904.

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