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Cross Keys Homes (CKH) has stepped in to save Peterborough Rainbow Savers Credit Union from imminent closure.
The Peterborough based housing association was alarmed by reports that that funding cuts were forcing the Credit Union to close at the end March and has offered a financial package to keep this vital service open.
CKH is also speaking to its partners and local businesses in an effort to secure the long term future of Rainbow Savers in the city.
More than 2,500 city residents use Rainbow Savers to access financial services, such as bank accounts and accessible loans. Around 800 of these people are unable to access services from high street banks, and risk further exclusion because of their situation.
Claire Higgins, Cross Keys Homes Chief Executive said “We believe Peterborough cannot afford to allow this service to close so abruptly. That is why we have stepped in to offer immediate financial help to keep the service running while we work together on longer term plans. An intrinsic part of our work is the active engagement of a range of partners in support of some of the most vulnerable and excluded across our communities. We would therefore like to encourage other local organisations to come forward and contribute as a business community in order to maintain the services of the Rainbow Savers Credit Union for those who so desperately need them.
“Access to affordable financial services is something that many of us take for granted, but is completely out of reach to so many of the most vulnerable. The hardest hit can be the homeless and those with no address. The Credit Union provides a vital service to these people, and plays a significant part in enabling them to get their lives on track. As a housing association we work very hard to support people into secure housing and employment, and when people are faced with a barrier to achieving this, such as being unable to open a simple bank account, it can be truly heart breaking for the individual, but the repercussions are also felt across the wider community.”
Sally Chicken from the Rainbow Savers Credit Union said: “We are extremely grateful for the support that CKH have given us, and we are hopeful that with their help, and that of other partners, we will be able to develop a plan to sustain our service into the future. Despite so called ‘universal banking’ increasing availability of some basic products through high street banks, there remains a significant number of people who are still financially excluded. And this exclusion means they are unable to access their wages or benefits to buy food or keep a roof over their heads. Peterborough needs a service like Rainbow Savers to ensure everyone has access to the services they need to thrive.”
Businesses interested in supporting the drive to maintain the Rainbow Savers Credit Union in Peterborough should contact CKH&RainbowSavers@crosskeyshomes.co.uk