St. Michael’s CU Goes Extra Mile for Charity Walk
15 May 2020
Above: Luke Casey, Marketing Manager, St. Michaels CU, poses with the campaign's pink butterfly
At this time of year, hordes of marathon runners are usually breaking through finish lines around the country, raising funds for those in need. Although our streets and parks remain empty, the elderly residents of St. Luke’s nursing home are giving these runners, well… a run for their money.
In the grounds of the nursing home in Cork, residents and staff pose in the sunshine, their smiles are infectious. They each hold up a page with a pink butterfly; a sign they’ve completed the nursing home’s ‘cocooning challenge’, a campaign where they were sponsored to finish a lap of the nursing home’s garden – raising €20,000 for new PPE equipment. On the donation page hundreds of messages are posted; resident’s families express their gratitude, the messages are from husbands, daughters and sons.
St. Michael’s Credit Union decided to row in behind the home and donate from their sponsorship budget. Luke Casey, Marketing Manager of St. Michael’s, said the two organisations share members within the community:
‘We have members living there, their families are members as well as the staff there. We wanted a way to support a local health service that was doing fantastic work during these extremely challenging times. They are doing trojan work there keeping residents spirts up while also keeping COVID19 at arm’s length. People are fully aware of the challenges facing nursing home so they are proud that their credit union can help in its small way. The donation was really on behalf of all our members as it’s their credit union.’
‘Our support has played a role in helping the St. Lukes to secure PPE so that their great staff can continue providing services in a safe and secure manner for residents and themselves.’
St. Michael’s Goes Extra Mile
Like all other credit unions around the country, St. Michael’s has had to learn to adapt, all the while making sure to still put members first. Opening hours have been cut, but staff still work the hours when the office is closed. It’s also the little touches, the personal treatment that they give all members, that sets them apart –
‘At the launch of the COVID19 unemployment payment scheme, people could only be submit via hard copies of the forms. Most people don’t have access to a printer, so we printed out the forms for members to take away with them. It was something small on our part but helped to reduce one stress for people.’
‘Joan our Assistant Manager, was also busy visiting some of our most vulnerable members who were cocooning but needed access to their funds. She made trips out to these members to facilitate their needs in a social distancing manner. These are our longest serving members and for many of them this is their main financial institution. Every care was taken when paying these member visits.’
The credit union says their member’s wellbeing if off paramount importance – so to get in touch no matter what their concern is. Staff have been working with members whose employment has been affected and impacted their loan repayments. At a time like this the personal touch that credit unions comes to the fore and it’s an aspect they’re proud of having.
‘We’re putting the final pieces in place for a special reduced Business Loan rate for local businesses that have been affected by COVID19 to help get them back to business. SMEs play a huge role in the economy by providing services and employment, we wanted to play our role in supporting them.’
‘We’ve also relaunched our debt consolidation loan to help members who may wish to consolidate repayments and free up disposable income which may be stretched currently.’
Get in touch with St. Michael’s here, or find your local credit union to see what supports are available to you.