WORKFORCE: Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust is urging all its staff to join a credit union, HSJ has learned.

The initiative, which allows all 3,200 employees to join one of the community based banks through a payroll deduction scheme, came about after local members of the trade union Unison used them to get out of financial difficulty.

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The trust has encouraged staff to use credit unions as a way of saving their money

An internal staff memo cites the benefits of joining a credit union as encouraging employees to get in a “healthy savings habit”.

So far only “a handful” of staff have signed up to the scheme, created last month, a trust spokesman said, emphasising it was “early days” for the initiative.

Lynn Booth, head of staff partnership at the trust and a Unison member, suggested the trust open a credit union scheme to its employees.

Ms Booth said: “Credit unions are playing an increasingly important and supportive role by keeping money in the local community and providing access to affordable credit in times of difficulty.

“They also encourage sensible saving and in turn promote and protect the mental health of our staff by reducing stress and anxiety caused by debt and other types of loans.”

Staff will be able to access services from one of five credit unions operating in Derbyshire:

  • 2 Shires Credit Union, based in Bolsover;
  • Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Credit Union;
  • Erewash Credit Union, serving Amber Valley, Erewash and Derbyshire Dales;
  • Manchester Credit Union, based in High Peak; and
  • Money Spider Credit Union, covering southern Derbyshire.