Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 25th March 2024

Mayor Of West Yorkshire Helps Credit Union Celebrate Milestone

Attendees with Mayor Brabin  front row 3rd from left and  and BDCU's CEO  Katie Hurrell 4th from left.
Attendees with Mayor Brabin front row 3rd from left and and BDCU's CEO Katie Hurrell 4th from left.
Financial services provider Bradford District Credit Union (BDCU) recently held an event at Bradford City Hall to celebrate the successes of two new projects and the achievement of reaching 10,000 members, it has announced.

Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, attended the event, which showcased the positive impact two initiatives funded by her office have had on the local community and highlighted the pivotal role the credit union plays in improving its members' financial wellbeing.

Funded by Mayor Brabin's Cost of Living Emergency Fund, the first initiative is BDCU's Cost of Living Loan, which brings support and financial relief to those in need during the ongoing cost of living crisis by enabling them to take out an affordable loan to help with everyday expenses.

The second initiative funded by the Mayor is the organisation's UniformSavers project, which helps single parent families pay for new school uniforms and develop healthy savings habits by offering them a £100 incentive if they save on three separate occasions before July 2024.

Together, the two initiatives will help 600 local households across the district.

As well as celebrating the achievements of the two projects, the event also saw BDCU honouring its very first member, marking a significant milestone in the organisation's journey and serving as a poignant reminder of its impact on the local community.

Themed around the concept of past, present and future, the event began with Mayor Brabin being greeted by BDCU’s senior management team, before a series of presentations from the credit union's partners took place, covering topics including the role of Bradford Council in supporting the credit union, the FoodSavers project which has been designed to reduce reliance among members on Bradford's food banks and various other initiatives.

Mayor Brabin then heard from the credit union's first ever member, Sean McNulty, who described how he became a member and the ways in which BDCU had helped him. Mr McNulty has been a member of BDCU for more than 30 years, since its inception in 1993, and commended the organisation for requiring its customers to save money in order to be accepted for a loan, ensuring members build up their savings and become less likely to require financial assistance in the future while also helping them develop a healthy savings habit.

The credit union's 10,000th member, Melissa Bailey, said that she'd been thrilled to be accepted for a loan from BDCU after many years of being unable to borrow and added that she was looking forward to saving with the organisation.

Mayor Brabin said:
“Our £3 million Emergency Cost of Living Fund for West Yorkshire has already helped thousands of households and is making a real difference to people’s lives, and it's great to see how Bradford Credit Union is supporting people who have nowhere else to turn.

"But as prices continue to rise, it’s vital we do everything we can to support those on the sharpest end of the cost of living crisis, as we work to build a region that works for all.”

The event culminated in a speech by BDCU CEO Katie Hurrell, who said: "We were delighted to welcome Mayor Brabin to our offices and let her see first-hand the positive impact the funding from her office has on the people of Bradford, including Sean, our original member.

"It was exciting to hear that the Mayor supports our call for more collaboration between credit unions in West Yorkshire, in order to benefit as many communities in the region as possible.

"It was also great to have our partners from Bradford council, Bradford 2025, Mind in Bradford and FoodSavers in attendance. By working together, they have all contributed to the success of BDCU and helped support a significant number of people in the local area.

"There is much more work to do over the coming years to help our local communities overcome the obstacles posed by the cost of living crisis but by continuing to work hard for those communities and by making the best use of the grant funding we are so fortunate to receive, I believe we have every reason to be excited about the next steps for BDCU and we look forward to hitting more milestones in the future."

Bradford District Credit Union (BDCU) provides its members with access to low cost loans and safe savings accounts.