A LOCAL credit union celebrated being open for 20 years with a party at Dorchester‘s Town Hall.
Wyvern Savings and Loans, based in Dorset, has been providing a place for safe savings and affordable loans for the past two decades.
In that time the union has given out more than 7,600 individual loans, totalling more than £5million, to the people of Dorset
This has directly helped members as they have saved a lot of money by repaying at rates much lower than those charged by doorstep lenders or payday loans.
The group says that that money has stayed within the local community and has enabled its members to lead better lives.
Currently the group has more than 3,500 active members who take advantage of the products and services the union offers.
Behind the success story is a team of four dedicated staff and an army of volunteers. They got together to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the credit union on July 5 and the Mayor of Dorchester, Cllr Richard Biggs, cut the cake to mark the occasion.
Cllr Biggs congratulated volunteers on providing a valuable service to their community. He said: “Having been an early member back at the beginning I was delighted to be invited to the 20th anniversary celebration.
“I met volunteers from all over Dorset who make it all happen. More than ever, credit unions are needed and should be the first point of call for small loans rather than pay day lenders. I wished them well and hope to see them prosper for many more years to come.”
A spokesperson for the group said: “Some of the founding members caught up on what has been happening since they started things in 1999.
“They talked about our success stories, big and small, such as the lady who we helped out of the clutches of loan sharks, a young woman we helped to get back on her financial feet, or the chap who had to travel into Yeovil and was charged to cash his weekly cheque before he became a member. He was quids in.”