Volunteer Meryl Cullen has received a national award from the Credit Union of Wales for promoting the ethical savings and loans movement after being a victim of payday lenders.
Meryl is considered the “lifeblood” of Merthyr Tydfil Borough Credit Union for singlehandedly running a collection point for members over the past 10 years.
She said: “I used doorstep lenders many years ago and their interest rates were astronomical. I didn’t want people in my area also becoming victims because payday lenders destroy you.
“Credit Unions are a much better and fairer option and we’ve seen our collection point in Quaker’s Yard grow and grow with every year. I am so delighted to be recognised in playing my part in that story.”
Meryl engaged an entire community to benefit from credit union membership because she has seen her collection point in Quakers Yard became one of the busiest in the county.
For several years, Meryl was based in a small porter cabin where she would run the collection point on behalf of the financial cooperative. By working with the wider community, they raised £500,000 to build a community centre where she currently volunteers.
Jane Hutt MS, Patron of Credit Unions of Wales said: “The Credit Unions of Wales Awards has highlighted the many success stories of this global movement and I want to congratulate each of the winners for their dedication and commitment to the cause.
“Congratulations to those who have been recognised for their contribution to the success of credit unions across Wales.”
Meryl was one of nine winners of the 2020 Credit Unions of Wales Awards. sponsored by Engage and supported by the Welsh Government.
Geoff Leech Managing Director of Engage added: “Engage Account is delighted to be sponsoring the Credit Unions of Wales Awards for the third consecutive time and we are continually impressed by the high standards of entries.
“This year is no exception as they illustrate once more the commitment and dedication of businesses, workers, organisations, members and volunteers towards the global credit union movement.
“We congratulate all of the winners and highly commended for all that they do to further the incredible work of ethical savings and loan providers across Wales.”