Residents of Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor and the East Durham Rural Corridor area are being encouraged to start saving and borrowing from their local Credit Union. NEFirst Credit Union has recently been boosted by the news that three of Durham County Council’s Area Action Partnerships have contributed funding towards the recruitment of a Credit Union Development Officer. Once in post, the worker will engage local residents and businesses to promote the benefits of saving and borrowing from the Credit Union

Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (GAMP) contributed funding from the Neighbourhood Budgets of Durham County Councillors Eddy Adam, Kate Hopper, John Clare, Joan Gray, Mike Dixon, Jed Hillary and Sarah Iveson. Spennymoor Area Action Partnership and East Durham Rural Corridor Area Action Partnership also contributed funding from their Area Budget allocations towards the initiative. Members and supporters of the Credit Union came together to celebrate the news at the St Clare’s Church collection point.

Speaking on behalf of NEFirst Credit Union, Sid Rooke, said: ‘I’m grateful for the support we have received from the three Area Action Partnerships. It is hoped that once in post the Credit Union Development Officer will help promote the virtues of saving and borrowing from a Credit Union, instead of using other high interest loan providers’. Residents of County Durham are being encouraged to save and borrow from their local Credit Union, especially in the run up to Christmas.

The benefits of saving and borrowing from a Credit Union can be far-reaching, for example, the Money Charity states that; ‘using a Credit Union loan rather than a high cost furniture provider saves on average £900-£1,200 per item, also £500 borrowed from a doorstep lender, for a school prom, could cost more than £2,000 to repay’. NEFirst Credit Union can be contacted via: www.nefirstcu. or by calling 0330 055 3666

IN PHOTO:Councillors and Credit Union volunteers at St. Clare’s Hall