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Financing a community

163. Ben Goodwin

A 37 year old bank manager helps thousands of people in Manchester look after their finances and stay out of debt.

10 Downing Street

Ben Goodwin, a branch manager from Barclays, has played a leading role in Cash Box Credit Union, a community savings and loan cooperative where members pool their savings to offer low interest loans to the community. Ben uses his professional skills to help people access these loans and grow returns for investors. Since joining the Tameside business in 2012, Ben and his fellow volunteers have seen dividends increase and membership grow.

Ben was inspired to join the team of volunteers after witnessing first-hand the financial problems people can face. Often those who cannot access high street credit have little alternative but to turn to loan sharks – unethical high interest lenders that can lead to people accumulating severe financial debt.

Using his decade of experience in banking, Ben helps to write new lending policies, implement new systems and offer strategic advice. Amongst his achievements Ben met with all local debt advice agencies, housing associations, the Citizens Advice Bureau, and Tameside Council to develop partnerships that would help those most at risk in the community. He also uses his skills to coach fellow volunteers on how best to offer advice to members.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“What Ben has helped achieve in Manchester has the potential to be life-changing. Offering people support to establish financial security is incredibly helpful and will have a valuable impact on the community. Ben can be proud of what he has achieved and I am delighted to name him the 163rd UK Point of Light.”

Ben said:

“It’s a huge honour to have been given this award. In my role at Barclays, I see the important position a credit union has to play and I’m delighted to have been able to share my skills and knowledge with them in order to support the local community in which I work. “I’m incredibly proud to see that the collective efforts of the many others who dedicate their spare time to supporting Cash Box Credit Union enable it to truly benefit those members of our community who need it.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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