The living wage foundation UK has accredited Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union for recently becoming a living wage employer.  The Foundation recognises employers that pay a living wage and offers a ‘service provider recognition scheme’, the foundation believes that ‘work should pay’.


The living wage is £7.85 an hour and the employers choose to pay this on a voluntary basis. The introduction of the living wage will have an impact on 5 of the 10 staff members at Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union and will help improve their lives and their families. Pauline Tevarthen, cashier for us at RWCU, added “Receiving a living wage enables me to have a better standard of living. Knowing that the credit union has committed to living wage policy has made me feel more valued as an employee.”


Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan has praised Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union adding, “My congratulations go to Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union for gaining living wage accreditation. As well as being a key partner of the council in our fight against poverty by offering ethical alternatives to payday lenders, the credit union now makes a firm stand against in-work poverty.”




Manager of RWCU Karen Graham said: “We are proud that we are now an accredited living wage employer and that everyone who works at RWCU earns, not only a minimum wage, but a living wage. There are more people today in working families living below the poverty line than those in workless families or retired. This is a shocking statistic and we all have a part to play in ensuring we support working communities as a whole. We are proud to do our part in eradicating poverty, be it through offering ethical affordable credit to our members, or fair pay to our staff.”

There are a number of employers being recognised on the living wage UK website which is great news and at RWCU we are proud to be one of the employers on the website giving our staff fair pay.

For more information visit and you can also visit living wage UK to find out more about the work they do.


What is a credit union?

This is a question we get asked quite a lot, so hopefully this blog post will explain things a little better for you. A credit union is a financial institution similar to a bank or building society except it is owned and operated by its members. Members have a say in how the credit union operates and contribute to all aspects of decision making through the board members. We care about you and our community as a whole; credit unions are for the people. The main difference between a bank and credit union is that banks have shareholders; banks focus on making money for their shareholders. Credit unions are not for profit and are run by members, so any decisions that are made have the members at the centre of the decision.


Why the credit union is for you…

Our Credit union is open to everyone who lives, works and studies in Renfrewshire, we offer many products and services to our members. We are there for you through all occasions whether it be a family holiday, new car, wedding, home improvements and even unexpected bills. There is something here for everyone at Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union. Looking to carry out home improvements we can give you a loan of up to £10,000 with an APR of just 6.7%, can you get that from the bank? We didn’t think so…

Our aim at the credit union is to –

  • Encourage members to save regularly
  • To provide low cost loans to members
  • To encourage careful money management among members
  • To develop a sense of co – operation and community

We also offer loans that are ethical alternatives to payday lenders, we offer fast cash and salary stretcher loans for times of need as we know life doesn’t always run smoothly.

Other products and services we offer at Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union –

  • Savings
  • Loan Products – Fast Cash/ Salary Stretcher/ Diamond Deal
  • Foreign currency exchange (We promise to beat or match any other high street offers so our members receive the best rate.)
  • Payroll deduction
  • Junior savers/cash cubs/ Isave


Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union has 10 fantastic members of staff who constantly strive to deliver the very best service to our members. Each member of staff has a specific role in the day to day running of the Credit Union. We also have an amazing group of volunteers that give up their time to come in and be part of the credit union, we must be pretty cool to work for as one of our volunteers has been here for ten years. Volunteering can also lead to employment opportunities as many of our full time staff members were volunteers before they were offered paid employment.

As well as being situated on the Paisley high street we are very much in touch with all the cyber bots out there. We have recently refurbished the website in order to make it more accessible to new and existing members this can be accessed on all electronic devices. This means that on the move you can sign up online, apply for a loan and you can even take a selfie outside our building if you want and post it on our Facebook!

To join and become a member of Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union all you need is to live, work or study in Renfrewshire. You can join online through our website or you can come in and visit us at –

41 High Street



We hope to meet you soon and have a chat with you about how we can help you and your situation whatever that may be.


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Council’s credit union investment to tackle payday lender rise

Renfrewshire Council has rubber-stamped the latest stage of a major £500,000 commitment to fight payday lenders.

Two local credit unions will now receive an investment of over £220,000 following approval by the council’s Leadership Board yesterday.

The council wants to work more closely with credit unions to make sure local people have access to their affordable rates and will now commit £200,000 to Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union (RWCU) and £27,000 to White Cart Credit Union (WCCU).


The money will support development to help the credit unions modernise services; build capacity to meet wider demand; offer a greater variety of ethical products; build on financial education work in local schools; and raise awareness of the benefits of credit union membership while also encouraging saving and budgeting.

Councillor Mike Holmes, Renfrewshire Council’s Depute Leader said: “We are willing to be bold and innovative in our two-fold fight against payday lenders and poverty – that’s why we earmarked £500,000 for this in this year’s budget.

“To tackle the sharp rise in high interest loans and the negative impact they have on families, we must make sure an alternative is in place by providing access to dependable banking services and affordable credit. And I’m delighted that one of RWCU’s new proposals is to develop an express loan.

“Credit unions can help us reduce the financial exclusion and poverty cycle that many Renfrewshire residents on low incomes and state benefits often face. This £227,000 funding will be a major step forward in ensuring they are equipped to support communities to their full potential.”

As part of the UK Government’s planned Welfare Reform programme, Universal Credit will be introduced to replace six key benefits, including Housing Benefit and it will be paid directly to bank accounts.

Not only will the claimant need a transactional account for this, but will also have to budget to ensure the Housing Benefit element is paid to their landlord. Budgeting accounts that can help tenants cope with Universal Credit (currently planned for 2016 roll out) will also be developed by RWCU as a result of this investment.

A paper recommending the £227,000 allocation was approved by the council’s Leadership Board on 4 June 2014.

Additional investment has also been made to set up the Council’s iSave Credit Union Initiative, where all S1 pupils will be offered a credit union account with a £10 deposit from the council. Application forms to join are with P7s so their accounts can be opened when they start high school in August.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Schools Dragons’ Den Event

Seven teams of school pupils in Renfrewshire faced a panel of ‘dragons’ in a bid to win financial backing for each of their school’s social enterprise projects.
Projects including a mobile beauty service, a wormery to help break down rubbish into compost, a project to clean up a local forest, a service supplying affordable school uniforms, a nail bar, a school newspaper and a Fairtrade Cafe were all successful in the Schools’ Dragons’ Den Event.
The event, organised by Renfrewshire Council, was open to all Renfrewshire schools with the aim of giving young people practical experience in social enterprise and financial education.
Councillor Lorraine Cameron, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, said: “The Dragons’ Den project is a fantastic way to get young people thinking about finances and how to run a viable business. It’s also a great opportunity for teamwork and giving back to their local communities. It’s wonderful to see the range of different ideas presented by the winners and the level of thought they’ve put into their business plans. I’d like to congratulate all of them on their success and look forward to hearing how their businesses are getting on in future.”
All entrants had to submit a business plan which identified how much funding their project would need to make their business sustainable. A key element was also to focus on social enterprise that would in some way give back to the community.
A shortlist of seven finalists were selected to go up in front of the panel to present their ideas and take questions on the viability and the social enterprise aspect of their idea.
On the night, held at Reid Kerr College, all seven projects impressed the judges enough to secure funding.
The five ‘dragons’ were Social Entrepreneur Jay Lamb, Jim Lally from Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), Audrey Cumberford, vice principal of Reid Kerr College, Linda Wilson from Clydesdale Bank and Alison Dowling from Renfrewshire Credit Union.

The seven winning projects were:
Mary Russell School,
Project title: Vermi Good
Vermi-composting is the process of using earthworms to break down kitchen and garden waste materials into quality, nutrient-rich compost and concentrated liquid feed. This project will provide the pupil ‘gardeners’ with compost and liquid fertiliser for their flower and vegetable gardens, potted plants and potato barrels.
It will support the school’s eco status and will encourage pupils and staff to be responsible for appropriate disposing of their rubbish. It will help the pupils develop an interest in their local environment by recycling rubbish, care for the environment, lower their carbon footprint.
Our Lady of Peace Primary School
Project title: Ecoforms
The school plan to open a shop selling recycled uniforms as a practical way for pupils to see how they can reduce their carbon footprint by re-using items of clothing which are still in good condition. It will be set up and run by pupils, giving them real business experience and the opportunity to learn about teamwork, good communications, coping with problems.
Paisley Grammar School
Project title: Bringing Glamour to the Grammar
Pupils who have completed a City and Guilds Beauty course have already raised money for charity by offering a nail-painting and hand massage service to staff. They plan to establish a full nail and beauty bar in the school to open the service up to staff and pupils raising regular funds for charity. They would also use funds raised to offer a free mobile treatment service to residents of a nearby care home. The care home manager has welcomed the proposal.
Auchenlodment Primary
Project title: Fantastic Forests
The school plans to further develop partnerships it has with the rangers, community wardens and Forestry Commision to clean up the wood which surrounds the school. The aim being that the woods can be used by the local community. This would also help develop children’s interest in local wildlife, and actively involve children in improving their local area, and attract the public to the woods.
Bushes Primary School
Project title: Sparkles Nail Salon
The school plans to run a weekly nail salon service which sees pupils convert the maths bay in the school into a nail bar. The business runs every Friday and the service is available to staff and pupils. A large part of the profits go to charity. The project is part of the school’s leadership and active learning. The P7 girls who run the nail bar will create a training manual and work with a team of P6 children to carry on the nail bar when they go to secondary school.
Bushes Primary will be presented with a 2010 Social Enterprise School Award by Finance Secretary John Swinney at a ceremony in Glasgow this month.

St Fillan’s Primary
Project Title: Fairtrade Cafe
The business plan involves setting up a Fairtrade cafe which would use the profits it makes to sustaining the service. They would also implement four enterprise drives each year to increase their profit margin. The profits would be divided between four charities: sponsoring a guide dog, supporting businesses in the third world, the school fund for developing ICT in the school and SCIAF which helps children in Africa.
Trinity High School
Project Title: School Magazine
The aim is to develop the success of the existing school magazine called The Trinity Times by expanding readership and making it more attractive and colourful to readers. The team want to produce a colour version of the magazine in response to complaints from readers about it being only in black and white. The magazine celebrates the many achievement of pupils, staff and parents in particular on issues affecting the wider community.
The magazine has been nominated for Best Feature Article and Best Commercial Strategy in the Scottish Schools Magazine Competition.