We work with West Cumbria's Affinity Credit Union to run our Junior Savers club. Each week, on a Thursday, from 8.30am we open our Junior Savers club. Every child in school can have a savings account and we encourage everyone to save...little and often. Allan and Eve, from the Credit Union, help our Junior Cashiers to run the club. Our Junior Cashiers are year 6 pupils who all apply for the posts and are then interviewed for the position.
We have termly assemblies where we celebrate our most regular savers. We award Gold, Silver and Bronze Savers' certificates.
A credit union is a financial co-operative owned and run by its members offering an accessible saving facility and affordable interest loans. Members of a credit union share a common bond, such as living or working in the same area. Members are accountable to and dependent upon each other. They believe in restoring pride and a sense of community spirit, keeping money within the local economy and in helping each other by working, saving and sharing together.
Affinity is not-for-profit. They say no to big banker bonuses so that they can invest profits back into West Cumbria, reward their members and offer better rates.
The Credit Union aims to:
Provide access to loans at a fair rate of interest
Provide a secure, ethical and local place for people to save and invest.
Affinity Credit Union story:
The establishment of Cleator Moor credit union grew from a joint Church initiative in 1994. In the year 2000 the Maryport and North Allerdale Credit Union was launched and a couple of years later, in 2002, Workington & District Credit Union was registered.
All of these Credit Unions were built and run by local people who were passionate about getting a better deal for their communities. Their aim was to provide an alternative financial service locally that would help break the cycle and high level of dependency of families and individuals on doorstep and other unscrupulous lenders operating in the community.
It was important to safeguard the future of these organisations and on the 1st October 2015 these Credit Unions, recognising their common cause, merged to form the West Cumbria Credit Union.
The Credit Union is now moving forward under the new “Affinity” brand but remains true to the same values developed in the beginning.
At St Herbert’s, all of our pupils are offered the chance to set up an Affinity Credit Union Account through school. The Junior Savers operates on a Thursday morning from 8.30 am to 8.45 am and is run by members of our local community supported by our Year 6 Junior Cashiers. Families can come along and save anything from a few pence upwards and we encourage regular saving, focussing on the frequency of deposits rather than the amount. We know that developing good habits when children are young can stay with them for life and help them to become fulfilled adults who are resilient to life’s challenges.
Each year, our Year 1 pupils are offered the chance to set up their account. Our school “Friends of St Herbert’s” donates £1 to each new account and this is matched by Keswick Mountain Bikes in the town, so each child starts off with £2 already in their account. We know from previous years that some children can build up amounts well into the hundreds of pounds by the time they are in Year 6.
Once our children reach year 6, they can either continue to save by visiting the local branches of Affinity Credit Union in West Cumbria (Workington, Cleator Moor or Maryport) or they can close their account and decide how best to invest their money once they start secondary school.
If anyone would like further information, please call in at the Junior Savers Club on a Thursday morning and meet the team. We look forward to seeing you there!