My name’s Ryan and I came into the credit union world blissfully unaware of the positive impact the organisation could have on its community.
So, a brief summary of a credit union is that we are not-for-profit co-operatives that provide a saving and lending service to our community. South Manchester Credit Union prides itself on responsible lending. By offering an easy method to save and flexible and affordable loans, it is no surprise that our adult membership has increased by 6% over the last financial year.
My employment was the result of the Southway Solutions Loan Scheme. The interest from the loan was saved over the course of two years and was used to offer one lucky student the opportunity of a placement year as a Marketing Officer – thankfully, I was that lucky student.
It was particularly enlightening to know that South Manchester Credit Union chose to do marketing in-house rather than using a marketing agency. They wanted someone embedded in the roots of the organisation, to be aware of the organisation’s objectives and to understand the members through direct contact. For me, it has been fantastic to interact with the wonderful people of South Manchester.
From the get-go, it was clear that we offer a quality service. This was instantly recognisable after seeing my team show devoted care towards our members. I wanted to emulate how my team behaved, mirroring them was certainly rewarding as I quickly saw myself building relationships with the people that came through the doors on Fog Lane. The gratitude shown by members can be overwhelming at times – some people rely on the service we provide and knowing we can help them is a great feeling.
So far it has been a fantastic experience. I have come to realise that finance doesn’t have to be so cutthroat, I have found that real, understanding people work in the industry and these people want to make a positive impression on the community they serve. I have seen that decision-making doesn’t have to be purely profit orientated, but should rather be member orientated instead.
South Manchester Credit Union offers a sense of harmony and togetherness in the community, which I’ve found to be quite rare elsewhere. The organisation is built on people helping people and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity.