Lanarkshire CU creates youth hub
24 Jun 16
Lanarkshire Credit Union has created the UK’s first credit union hub just for young people.
The idea originated with members of the South Lanarkshire Youth Council (SLYC), following on from a successful entry to the Money for Life Challenge in 2014 with the Valuable Information Penny savers (VIPs) project. SLYC members sought to learn more from high street banks and financial institutions on how they lend money, specifically to young people.
Lanarkshire Credit Union was quick to embrace the idea and invited SLYC members to make suggestions which resulted in the establishment of the hub, which is a bespoke ‘youth zone’ within Lanarkshire Credit Union where services are tailored and delivered to 16-24 year olds.
SLYC members have also signed up to volunteer in the credit union to build their skills and knowledge, which they hope to pass on to their peers through workshops, open days and other community events.
Chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Education Resources Committee Councillor Jean McKeown said: “The aim of the hub is to positively impact on decisions made by young people by giving them the tools to make reasoned decisions about financial management, understanding the potential impact of borrowing, or getting into an unmanageable cycle of debt.
“This is the first time in the UK that a credit union has worked in partnership with young people with a view to providing specific services aimed at educating them on financial matters, as well as providing a strategic direction about how future products and services would be promoted to young people.
“It is also the first time a credit union has specifically designed an area where young people can feel comfortable coming in to ask about services.
“The hope of this innovative project is that the time spent on financial literary education will have a secondary benefit for young people managing other aspects of their lives, developing their feelings of responsibility and contributing to their social, mental and emotional wellbeing.”
Lanarkshire Credit Union’s Chief Business Development Officer Carolann Smillie said: “We are extremely happy to work in partnership with South Lanarkshire Youth Council to provide services to the future generation of credit union members. We hope this innovative approach will help those of a younger age feel comfortable in discussing their financial needs in an environment tailored to suit.”