New scheme from Connect programme
by Richard Kilner
Story link: New scheme from Connect programme
The Connect programme, supported by Barclays, seeks to bolster the link between credit unions and Citizen Advice, and has recently launched the new Small Bursaries Scheme.
The scheme is co-ordinated by the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) with the intention of supporting new partnerships between credit unions and Citizens Advice Bureaux.
A range of initiatives have been rolled out by partnerships awarded with funding, including training days for staff and volunteers, the co-establishment of a local Financial Inclusion Forum, and the costs of renovation and equipment for co-run clinics.
ABCUL Project Manager Anne Selka has described the response as fantastic, with over 80 applications for bursaries, with many varied and innovative applications.
Elizabeth Adimeji, Head of National Partnership Development at Citizens Advice, explained that many of the poorer people requiring support can benefit hugely from access to a credit union, adding that it made perfect sense for the two organisations to collaborate wherever possible.
Barclays Community Investment Manager Rachel Herbinson has stated that the firm has given £3m to the UK community finance sector over the last five years, and expressed the bank’s strong support for the Connect programme and the new Small Bursaries Scheme.