Look back over the past 12 months at FAIRshare

Look back over the past 12 months at FAIRshare

As 2017 comes to a close, we thought it the perfect opportunity to look back over the past 12 months at FAIRshare.

Whilst officially launched at the end of November 2016, the highlight of 2017 has undoubtedly been Online Members Access.   Available 24/7 from a computer, tablet or mobile phone, Online Members’ Access gives you greater flexibility to manage your FAIRshare account at your convenience whenever and from wherever you wish, and more than 30% of our members have registered to use the service.

In Feburuary, the Fairbanking Foundation published a great report highlighting the overwhelming evidence that shows that borrowers that save whilst paying back a loan become habitual savers.  We call this Save as you Borrow, one of the great benefits of borrowing from FAIRshare, and something our members really appreciate.

In February, 2 long serving Directors, Martin Walsh & Dave Hanley, retired from our Board.  Martin was Chairman for 6 years, and an active volunteer for many more years, whilst Dave was a Board member for more than 12 years and Treasurer for many years.  At our AGM in February, we welcomed new Director Steve Wilcox, who was elected to our Board.  Steve brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked in the insurance industry for over 35 years.

March saw the launch of a new School Saver Club at Weston Rhyn Primary School, in partnership with the Three Parishes Big Local.

At the end of March we said goodbye to long term team member, Kate Chetwood.  Kate joined FAIRshare in February 2001 & carried out a number of roles including 12 years as Financial Supervisor.  We welcomed Cynthia Mee to the FAIRshare team to take over the financial supervisory role.

Members who visit our Telford branch may well know team member Matthew Butler.  In March, Matthew was one of only 15 young people in the UK to be accepted onto CU Futures, an innovative programme to support and develop young people across the credit union movement.  In October Matthew visited Westminster as part of the CU Futures programme.

We were really pleased that more than 90% of respondents to our Member Survey in April were ‘satisfied’ with our loan process.  Member feedback is important, and helps us improve our services to you, our members.

Volunteers’ Week in June is always a perfect opportunity to tell all our volunteers ‘they make the difference’ and to thank them for the important contributions they make to FAIRshare.  This year we featured some of our inspirational young volunteers who run our School Saver Clubs.  We asked some of them to share their thoughts and experiences, and hope their stories will inspire you to volunteer with FAIRshare too!

The beginning of July saw our Shrewsbury office relocating to the Roy Fletcher Centre, after 5 years at the Castle Gates premises.  As I write this review from the Shrewsbury office this afternoon, it’s hard to believe we moved 6 months ago!

July was also the month we said goodbye to the Year 6 School Saver Club Officer volunteers who’ve run our Clubs during the 2016 – 2017 school year.  New volunteer Officers were appointed and trained in preparation for the new school year starting in September.

September was ‘Refer a Friend’ month when we asked members to refer family & friends to join FAIRshare.  Your response was fantastic in September and October, resulting in a record month – we welcomed more new members in a single month than ever before.  Thank you!

In October we launched our new Christmas Loan to help you spread your festive season costs and save for next Christmas at the same time.  We’re please this has been so popular with you, our members.

Looking at social media, its clear members and followers enjoy our weekly Wednesday Wobblers!  Every Wednesday on our Facebook page we challenge your grey matter, just for fun, with a puzzle, conundrum or brain teaser!

Long term volunteer Sheila Evans retired in November – we’ll miss her and wish her all the best.  Sheila has helped FAIRshare for many years at the Dawley Service Point and as a member of the credit committee.  Meanwhile we were pleased to welcome Rose Gibson as a volunteer at our Shrewsbury office.

In December we were sad to say goodbye to team member Jean Cope, and wish her all the best in the future.  At the December Board meeting, two new Directors, Tim Williams and Philip Freeth, were co-opted onto the Board.

This month we’ve been asking members for comments and quotes for ‘member baubles’, and a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part.  Hopefully you’ve seen our daily bauble being added to our Online Members Christmas Tree and the fantastic tree decorated with ‘member baubles’ in our Telford branch.

Farewell 2017!  We hope you’ve enjoyed this look back over the past 12 months at FAIRshare.

Everyone at FAIRshare wishes you a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

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