Pentecostal Credit Union celebrates Black History Month
13 Oct 17
Pentecostal Credit Union (PCU) has played an important role in the socio-economic development of the African Diaspora in the UK.
October is Black History Month in the UK and this year it turns 30. PCU in their recent newsletter has emphasised the importance of this month and how it has impacted their credit union in the past and present.
Throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, many of the African and Caribbean people arriving in the UK faced financial struggles. Racial discrimination was common throughout the banking sector and black people were more regularly turned down for loans.
PCU’s Founder, the Rev. Carmel Jones, describes a ‘vision’ that fuelled his passion and energy for developing the PCU in those early years. Hard work and dedication saw the PCU grow quickly, as the news spread to churches throughout south London. The Pentecostal churches grew too and remain a strong influence on PCU’s work.
Today, as PCU reaches its 37th year, the credit union is one of the largest credit unions in the UK and a credit to all who have worked to make this happen. Still making differences in people’s lives and, above all, doing so in ways that reflect faith and their backgrounds as members of the African Diaspora.
In relation to Black History Month the PCU Youth Shadow Board enjoyed eight days of fulfilling leadership development activities, the highlight of the programme included a visit to the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, where the Board took a guided tour and learned about the history of the African Diaspora in the UK.
The Youth Shadow Board is a leadership development programme where PCU junior savers act as a governance board to not only develop themselves in the financial sector, but to develop PCU in membership growth and successful marketing campaigns. The Youth Shadow Board operates just the same as a credit union board with a chair, treasurer, secretary and they have a budget that they manage.
Elaine Bowes, Marketing and Communications Manager at PCU, speaking about the Youth Shadow Board, said: “What began as a programme to reach out to our younger members is now an integral part of our business. We have seen great development in our credit union since they began work in October 2016. They revised and renewed our junior membership saving policy and their work has helped to increase our membership growth. 28% of all new members in 2016/17 were junior savers which has also helped membership growth in adults due to family and friends joining the credit union through the influence of the juniors.”