A Rugby group described as an alternative to payday loan companies has celebrated ten years of helping people make ends meet.
Rugby Credit Union held an open day on Monday to thank its members and people in Rugby for their support over the last decade.
Staff, customers, numerous volunteers and Rugby’s mayor gathered together over coffee and cake on Monday afternoon to mark the milestone.
Laurie Bird, chairman of Rugby Credit Union, said he was delighted the organisation was still being supported ten years on.
He added: “Over the years quite a few credit unions have fallen by the wayside but we’re still here and still helping people.
“We provide people with a place to save money and take out small loans. Our interest rates are very low and this makes us more attractive than the payday loan companies which can charge incredibly high rates.
“We’re very reliant on volunteers to keep us going and we wouldn’t have a credit union without them.”
Mr Bird, a retired engineer, has been the chairman of the union for the last eight years.
He said: “I’ve seen things grow and change over the years and we would like to continue to develop.
“We are very grateful to Rugby Borough Council who have supported us over the years. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their help.
“We regard ourselves as responsible lenders and we try to help people in any way we can.”
Rugby Credit Union is a not-for-profit organisation which is controlled and owned by its members.
It allows people to borrow money at affordable rates and relies on savers to sustain this service.
Ami Mistry, office manager at Rugby Credit Union, said the staff, customers and volunteers enjoyed the open day at their office on Regent Street. She added: “We’re really pleased to be able to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the credit union – it’s a big achievement.
“Hopefully we can make people more aware of the services we can offer and encourage them to pop in and see us.
“We always offer a friendly, face-to-face service, and that’s what people need when it comes to discussing their finances. We’ve grown in the last couple of years and it has been great to see new members joining us.”
Ms Mistry, who has worked at the union for three years, said she was keen to show people that there are other options to payday loan companies.
She added: “We charge very low interest rates which means our loans are affordable and accessible. We want people in the area to know that we are here to provide advice, information and support.”
As part of the celebrations, the union will waive the £5 joining fee for the first 50 new members before the end of July and deposit the money into the savers’ new account.