Donore Credit Union's Support Praised by Families

Community 3 min read

22 Apr 2020

‘Donore Credit Union is neither a profit nor cost centre, this is, remains and always will be a people centre.’ – Donore Credit Union.

Donore Credit Union has a banner hanging on their gates – on it a rainbow and underneath, the words: ‘This will pass.’ They want it to be a message of hope to their community – who they are supporting as much as they can right now.

The credit union’s proactive, hands-on support to all members, especially those who are older, lonely, socially, mentally vulnerable or in financial difficulty, has caused a wave of gratitude from the community, members and their families. This stretches fair and wide with even a message came from as far as Florida, when the family of a vulnerable member used social media to share their thanks for the credit union’s support.

Donore’s member-centric philosophy stands to it now more than ever as they reach-out to all members they can. They are providing thorough financial advice, guiding many through difficult decisions and have also extended services, one of which allows third-parties to deliver money to cocooning members.  They are also simply making phone calls to say hello and check in on people.

CEO of Donore Credit Union, Dave McAuley said that being a listening ear, a voice of reassurance, makes a difference. ‘Sometimes members just want to hear a comforting voice or have someone to listen to them. Not only are we reaching out to update members on supports and services, but we actually care about how they’re doing, we want to know they are ok and they can see that.’

‘The level of feedback we’ve received has been big, very positive, especially from families of vulnerable members. It’s reassuring for families to know we’re offering support to their relations and that we care about them - not just when it comes to their financial queries and concerns, but over and above that too.’

‘To ensure staff safety and to mitigate against contagion, we have split the team and have suspended Saturday morning openings but otherwise it is business as normal.’

 

Reaching Out

To date, Donore Credit Union has had a hands-on, proactive policy of reaching out to every member they can, updating them of supports available as well as simply seeing how they are.

‘We’ve had staff on the phone for up to 15-20 minutes per call. As well as hearing about services available, members like to chat and tell us how they’re doing, how this crisis is affecting them. To them, we’re a familiar, friendly voice, when they need it most.’

 

Financial Support

As an essential service the credit union are open and have implemented strict social distancing measures but that doesn’t restrict them from providing thorough financial advice to each and every member who needs it.

We make sure that the decision is right for member,’ said Dave. ‘We discuss the repayment break application form with them, the pros and cons, the terms. We discuss their income difficulties if they need us to, how it will affect them over the long term, all the options available, and give them the best advice based on their situation.’

Budget Accounts

The budget account service is something which Dave says members really appreciate during this time. The service allows members to decide what regular bills they want paid through the credit union, thus easing the burden and process.
 

Third Party Authorisation            

Although Donore have seen a surge in their online and phone facilities, the normal third party authorisation which allows members to give authorisation to a family member party to collect and deliver their money, which has proved a godsend for some.
 

Loans

With people isolating, loan demand is down.  Dave explains “this crisis will pass, people will want to get back to relative normality, cars will need replacing, people may want a break, the house will need doing up, with a great range of loan products and great interest rates, members should really consider Donore Credit Union for their needs.'

Donore is the first credit union established in Ireland. The history of the credit union was covered in the History Show RTE Radio One at 6pm on Sunday, April 19th. (podcast available) If you’d like to get in touch with Donore Credit Union, check donorecu.ie . Contact your local credit union to see what supports are available to you here.