Local credit union CLEVR Money supports kids activities

CLEVR Money, the credit union for Preston, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, has donated £200 to support community activities for local children in Ribbleton this summer. The money will be used to help fund kids clubs and trips at the Farringdon Park Community Centre.

Unlike community centres which are owned and supported by local housing associations, Farringdon Park relies on the proceeds generated from room hire to cover running costs such as heating, lighting, maintenance, and administration.   

Throughout the year the Centre hosts a weekly Youth Club, Community Breakfast Club, Martial Arts sessions, junior dance classes and an Over 50s Friendship Group.

During the Summer break RAFT – the local Community Group run by Dot Halliwell, Jessica Johnrose and a small team of volunteers – will be organising extra activities to keep local youngsters entertained, including craft and cooking sessions, football coaching with PNE, and trips out to the seaside and other local family attractions.  

In an attempt to ensure families are not put off by the cost, the team tries hard to keep any payment down to around 50p or £1 and any shortfall is covered by monies received from fundraising activities held throughout the year, such as bingo, family fun days and donations.

Dot said: “This donation is really wonderful and will go towards giving the children of Farringdon Park a fantastic summer of activities that they will really enjoy. We have a small, but dedicated, group of volunteers helping to do great things for our community, and we’re thrilled that CLEVR Money has recognised that and wants to support our community group.”

Anthony Brookes is head of community engagement at CLEVR Money and runs a weekly session at Farringdon Park for members and new members to save and borrow with the credit union. He was impressed with how many community activities were available at the centre, considering it is run by volunteers and on a small budget.

Anthony said: “We know how expensive summer can be for parents with the kids out of school, so the activities staged by centres like this are a Godsend. We don’t want anyone unable to take part in the activities because of the cost, so we hope this donation will help to make sure as many children benefit as possible.  

“As a not-for-profit organisation ourselves, we don’t have a huge pot of funding to give away, but we do have a small community fund that we can dip into for causes such as this. We’re so impressed by the hard work of Dot and her team and we’re delighted to be able to help out in some small way.”

As the local credit union, CLEVR Money provides savings accounts and ethical loans to people within the community. Loan interest rates are capped and all members are offered help and advice to sort out their money worries. More than 30 people from Ribbleton have signed up as members since the community sessions started six weeks ago. Anthony or his colleague Kenny Connolly attend every Wednesday morning while the breakfast club is in full swing.

Dot added: “Having CLEVR Money at the community centre is a real asset, as they’re providing a really important service for local people and attracting new people to come and see what we’re doing here. We hope it will attract more people to our Breakfast Club  who can meet new people and enjoy a bite to eat at a reasonable cost.” 

For more information about CLEVR Money go to www.clevr.money or contact the branch in Birley Street in Blackpool on 01253 478 827. Or, to meet one of the team face-to-face, book an appointment at one of the community meetings in Preston, Blackpool or Fleetwood.

Preston sessions are held every Wednesday morning at the Farringdon Park Community Centre in Thirlmere Road and fortnightly at the Sion Park Community Centre in Longridge Road and at Oak Tree Court Community Centre, Preesall Road in Larches. Fylde Coast sessions take place at Mereside and Fleetwood. Details of where and when the team will be out and about are available on the website or Facebook page.

Any other organisation that would like to discuss bringing CLEVR Money to their community can contact Anthony by emailing hello@clevr.money

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