In a recently published Social Impact Report, the East Sussex Credit Union (ESCU) has highlighted its significant achievements in the past couple years. The Credit Union works across the county to help fight financial exclusion and poverty by working in partnership with local authorities, agencies, and charities to provide financial services to many vulnerable people in its community.
Ann Hickey, CEO of ESCU, said “When we are so busy focusing on our day-to-day work, it is important that we stand back and look at what we have achieved helping people in our community. The report highlights the importance of our partnership working as a community credit union and gives us the opportunity to tell people more about our pioneering and award-winning schemes that have made a genuine difference to our community.”
Key highlights from the report include surpassing 8,700 members this year, 31% joining in the last two years, with over £4m in savings and £1.7m lent out in the last year.
ESCU also pioneered an award-winning scheme to help street homeless people access a basic bank account so they could claim Universal Credit. By working in partnership with local homeless charities including the Salvation Army in Eastbourne and The Clock Tower Sanctuary in Brighton, the Credit Union has helped over 200 people open bank accounts so they can access the benefits system.
As well as its work with local homeless charities, ESCU runs a successful rent deposit guarantee scheme with BHCC where the council guarantees the rent deposit for private rented accommodation and the tenant then saves the deposit with the ESCU. This partnership has helped over 800 people into private rented accommodation.
Throughout the lockdown period, staff planned meticulously to make sure they could continue to serve members as they moved to working remotely. A key priority was to improve its digital services and successfully launched a new mobile app and improving a secure member area of the ESCU website.
Ann Hickey added: “I’m very proud of the work we do supporting the people of East Sussex and Brighton & Hove, and we will continue to build our membership and new partnerships so we can continue to innovate as we move forward.”
You can read ESCU’s Social Impact Report here.