downloadDarlington Credit Union’s financial support scheme, aimed at assisting vulnerable people in the town, has been given the green light after it won £34,741 worth of funding.

The credit union was awarded the sum from Natwest’s £2.5 million Skills and Opportunities Fund, which will support its MoneySmart project, following a public vote.

MoneySmart will support up to 200 vulnerable people by providing one-to-one money management advice for clients to help them develop the skills they need to become more financially aware and included. The scheme also runs financial education workshops for those aged 15 and over.

The project will be managed by Darlington Credit Union employees Selina Tsang and Emma Wilson.

Tony Brockley, chief executive of Darlington Credit Union, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been awarded this funding and am grateful to the public for supporting our MoneySmart project.

“Many schools are now recognising the importance of providing financial education from a young age and incorporating it as part of their studies, but many people still don’t possess the financial knowledge that is necessary to properly manage their own money. We will now be able to run MoneySmart to its full potential and support even more people in the town by educating them about the importance of effective money management and offering ongoing support.

“We welcome any organisation, school or college that are involved with young adults aged between 15-24 to get in touch and learn more about our MoneySmart project, which is being spearheaded by Selina and Emma, who will be on hand to offer their full support and guidance.”

Richard Topliss, chairman of NatWest’s North Regional Board, said: “It was a challenging decision because of the standard of entries we received. But the panel felt that all of the organisations would make a massive impact in their local communities.

“Our congratulations and best wishes go Darlington Credit Union and I’d encourage anyone who wasn’t successful this time to try again when applications open in August for the next round.”

Mr Brockley added: “We would not have been able to drive our MoneySmart project without the funding, so I would like to thank everyone who voted and the Skills and Opportunities fund for putting forward our initiative.

Located on Tubwell Row, Darlington, Darlington Credit Union has a membership in excess of 6,000 people.