Why we are excited about Community Banks in Northumberland


Back in the long sunny days of the Summer I wrote about our exciting new Northumberland Community Bank. Fast forward to the short cold days of November and I am still just as excited.

Thanks to the Community Bank, Ashington Town Hall is now buzzing with the kind of activity you’d normally expect to see in a high street bank. There’s a real sense of momentum as we head into the new year and I am not the only person excited about it.


I wrote an article for the Newcastle Diocesan magazine recently. It was just a small article that called for volunteers to join the bank, but it’s led to a big response. One person who responded was Marilyn, the HR Adviser for Newcastle Diocesan Board of Finance. This is what she told me:

“I’ve been thinking of doing some voluntary work for about 12 months, something that was a little different to my ‘day job’ but allowed me to make a real contribution. I read the magazine article and it immediately grabbed my attention. It offers the opportunity to do something really worthwhile and I’m hoping I’ll be able to make a big contribution through this excellent work.”

Marilyn is just one of many people who have stepped up to support the bank as it has grown. As people with experience like Marilyn join us we are able to have our policies and procedures face professional scrutiny. Excellent volunteers and supporters like Marilyn really change the game for us. This support is where our momentum has come from.

The excitement

I said I was excited before, and I meant it. As this bank grows in 2018 we will reach more and more people across Northumberland. This isn’t just about commercial growth for us. We are excited because recruitment to the Community Bank means more people saving and protecting themselves from any financial difficulties that may lie ahead. It also means we are able to make more loans to people across the County who are in need of a step up.

This isn’t momentum for the sake of momentum, it’s about changing lives and communities. It’s about making finance fair for all.

If you’re in the area and would like to get involved with Northumberland Community you can contact Liz Chadwick: liz.chadwick@together-newcastle.org

If you’re elsewhere in the country, why do a quick Google search and see if you can find your local Community Bank or Credit Union?