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Forres Area Credit Union re-launched as Moray-wide co-operative


By Garry McCartney

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Friday volunteer David Thompson, work place savings promoter and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Alan James and interim chairwoman Lorna Creswell.
Friday volunteer David Thompson, work place savings promoter and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Alan James and interim chairwoman Lorna Creswell.

A LOCAL savings and loans co-operative has relaunched with a new name to reflect its expanding customer base.

Forres Area Credit Union, started 25-years-ago to help families whose members had been made redundant from the McDermott fabrication yard in Ardersier, now offers more than 3000 members saving facilities and loans at favourable rates of interest while promoting financial education and encouraging good savings habits.

Founding member Lorna Creswell confirmed its new name, Moray Firth Credit Union (MFCU), more accurately represents its membership.

She said: "We cater for the wider population of Moray and Nairn so some questioned why we were still called Forres Area Credit Union. We consulted our members and the new name was agreed."

Unfortunately the coronavirus lockdown started just after the new name was registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in March.

Lorna said: "We lost some of our volunteers and as they self isolated and Heather Shaw retired. However, we felt that the credit union needed to remain open to support those who use as their essential financial service such as members with benefits being paid into their accounts.

"We didn’t promote the name as it didn’t seem appropriate when people were facing such huge challenges as isolation, job loss and uncertain futures."

MFCU's volunteers continued to work in the background, supporting people with applications for emergency funds, distributing food vouchers, referring members for meals and signposting them to other support services.

They also amended its stationery and prepared members and suppliers for the relaunch.

Lorna said: "We ordered a new sign in June and this week we got permission from Moray Council to erect it - the shop is in a conservation area."

MFCU's expansion continues and is training volunteers to operate a new collection point in Buckie. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for a range of roles or join the board of directors should call 01309 676735.

Visit https://www.forresareacreditunion.co.uk/ for more information.



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