Was registered in 2000 and has just achieved the milestone of lending out more than £2 million since it started. Somerset based Mendip Credit Union was awarded “Best Community Support Organisation” at the Mendip Business Awards in June 2015.
The award was sponsored by Aster Communities, one of the local social housing providers who have set up a loan guarantee with the credit union for their tenants. A ‘hand-up not a hand out’ fund by Mendip credit union is targeted at helping people who need to borrow a relatively small amount of money for an urgent need, for example, to buy a bed or to pay a utility bill. Traditionally, the Government’s Social Fund met these requirements, but many people are now ineligible and the fund also runs dry before the end of the financial year. Frome Town Council has opened a savings account with the Mendip Credit Union, an organisation entirely run by volunteers, and is working closely with Fair Frome to look at how best to develop this service for the people living in the BA11 postcode area. It is intended that the profile of the credit union facilities will be raised within the local Frome community, alongside the opening of more service points, which will enable people to access the service more easily. In addition to the Library on a Saturday morning, it is hoped to open the next service point at The Key Centre in Frome.
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