Volunteer of the Month
Congratulations to Tanya Whittle, volunteer with Mendip Community Credit Union.
Tanya started volunteering with the credit union in Frome this year. She heard about it from a neighbour in January and joined to save for next Christmas. At the service point she was asked if she’d be interested in volunteering. She says:
‘At the time I was looking for something to fill my life a bit. I couldn’t do paid work because of ill-health.’
It wasn’t long before she started working with other volunteers to help members, both face to face and on the phone. She says:
‘It’s good because you don’t need to leave home to do the phone helpline. Before I started, my confidence levels were at rock bottom. No self-esteem. Doing the work, confidence has gone up 10-fold and I believe in myself. I’m happier. I feel I’m doing something for society. And every volunteer has been helpful and they’re nice people. I’d recommend anyone with spare time to volunteer.’
The organisation also celebrated their 10th anniversary in Frome last month! That’s 10 years of keeping money local – helping members to save and offering affordable loans.
- The ‘hand-up not a hand-out’ scheme has helped people who haven’t previously saved to avoid the high interest charged by doorstep and payday lenders (who are very active in Frome)
- By encouraging ‘save as you borrow’ MCCU has helped several members to build up a life-changing rainy-day fund.
- Loans to self-employed members have funded equipment or materials for small businesses from a market gardener to a web-site designer
MCCU is wholly operated by volunteers so there’s a wide range of opportunities for people who want to help.
You can view MCCU’s current opportunities here.