We are community
Community is at the heart of everything we do – from improving financial wellbeing to building stronger neighbourhoods.
Your membership and support make it all possible. Welcome to your credit union community.
We look after each other
You’ll see our commitment to the community shine through in the way we treat our customers. Our branch staff are here to help you really understand your finances, aiming to take away any worry or stress.
Everyone’s a VIP to us – no matter your situation. We’ll consider you for a loan, even if you’ve been turned down elsewhere.
Healthier finances for all
Over the last 20 years we’ve:
- Helped more than 33,000 people in our community start saving
- Approved 42,820 loan applications
- Lent £30m in affordable loans
- Saved our members at least £17.4m in loan interest charges
As part of the End High Cost Credit Alliance, we actively campaign for better lending practices across the UK. This includes pushing for positive change by taking our members’ concerns to national regulators and policymakers. Read more about our Social Impact.
Strengthening our local economy isn’t the only way we benefit communities. Your membership also allows us to support fantastic local projects that are making our neighbourhoods better places to live. Here are some of the highlights:
Supporting our young athletes
Each year, Bristol Credit Union looks to fund a number of local organisations who are inspirational and impactful in making a difference to Bristol and its residents.
This year, we are delighted to support Bristol and West Athletic Club (B&WAC) with sponsorship which will allow bursaries for young athletes to get to race meets, once competition is re-started after the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Supporting our community resources
We've invested £15,000 in South Bristol Sports Centre to create six new state of the art football pitches. Our investment helped secure a vital and much-used community resource, benefiting its local area, the rest of Bristol and the wider region.
It's part of a total package of investment of c£1m, raised with the help of Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC, to help the centre become a more sustainable social enterprise. We were delighted to play a part in helping support our local community and our members by investing in such a worthwhile venture.Read more
Making our region cleaner and greener
We supported Bristol Energy Cooperative to become one of the UK’s largest generators of community energy by investing in their solar bond offer in 2016, doing our bit to support renewables and keeping more money circulating within our local economy.
In 2018, solar panels were installed on our offices in Upper York Street, and since then we have saved around 2,200 kg CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of planting ten trees, having generated 7.76mWh of our own power in 2018/19.
In 2019, we started offering loans to our members to enable them to fit solar panels to their own houses.Find out more
Helping children and young people shine
We were proud to be one of the core sponsors of the Bristol Children in Care awards in November 2018. These awards celebrated the achievements of over 120 children and young people in Bristol who are in, or have recently left, care.
Helping people triumph through adversity, through their own efforts and with the support of others, is one of the core values at Bristol Credit Union, and we were so pleased we could do something to recognise a really inspiring group of young people and give something back for them.Find out more
Helping those who are underserved in our community
We work with Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, and Shelter to help support some of the most vulnerable in our communities.
During 2018/19 we helped 277 people who were at risk of homelessness, by offering them interest-free loans. We supported a further 47 people through the VPRS scheme, which helps provide housing to refugees fleeing the most terrible of circumstances in other countries.
Biting back against loan sharks
For several years, we’ve teamed up with ‘England Illegal Money Lending Team’, to encourage residents in Bristol and Bath to sign up to a credit union account.
As part of the incentive, anyone opening a credit union account received £10 into their account after 3 months of saving. The money used to fund this was sourced from convicted loan sharks, via the Proceeds of Crime Act.Find out more
Volunteers play a huge part in our work, from advising customers at service points to helping out with admin. We are always on the look out for new people with skills and enthusiasm to support us. The time you give really matters, even if it is just a couple of hours a week.Learn more
Our Members’ Forum is the perfect volunteer opportunity for anyone who would like to have a voice in how we can improve our work. We meet every couple of months to share ideas. The meetings are really informal and a great way to meet other members.Learn more
Is it time to prioritise housing security?
Housing security needs to be high on the agenda as we build back better post-Covid
Bristol Credit Union launches first ever Social Impact report
The 2018-2019 report details how the Credit Union has provided social value to the region.