Credit Unions – The Trusted Alternative to Banking

 

What is a Credit Union?

A Credit Union is a not-for-profit community savings and loans co-operative run by the community for the community, where people put their money/savings in so they can be lent to others.  There are approximately 450 Credit Unions across the UK.

 

What is a co-operative?

A co-operative is basically an organisation that is jointly managed and owned by a group of people who run their services for the sole benefit of their members.

 

What are the criteria required to join a Credit Union?

To join a Credit Union you are required to share a “common bond” with the existing members, such as working for the same employer or living in the same local area, or belonging to the same church, trade union or other association. So long as one family member shares the “common bond” and joins the Credit Union, then all other family members are permitted to join too.  Each Credit Union has its own definition of a “common bond”, so do contact them and discuss your options.

 

What does not-for-profit mean?

Not-for-profit means the members use their own money to run their services and reward its members not to pay external shareholders.  They have to set aside enough money every year to make sure they don’t go bust.  It’s usual occurrence to use any outstanding monies to improve services to members, and usually share it equally between the members in the form of a “dividend”, which can be anything up to 8% a year.  Credit Unions aren’t permitted to lend all of their money out at once and must put it into bank deposit accounts to ensure they can get the money back if they need to.

 

What services does a Credit Union offer?

All Credit Unions offer savings and loans accounts. Most also offer life and loan protection insurance. Some also offer other types of insurance products including travel, motor insurance and contents insurance.  Again, you would have to call them and confirm this.  Some of the larger ones also offer extra services such as debt management, mortgages, Child Trust Funds, funeral plans, current accounts, ISA’s and more.

 

 

How do I put money into a Credit Union Account?

You can do this in several ways, either at a local collection point, direct from your wages via payroll deductions, by standing order or direct Debit. Welfare payments can be paid directly into your CU account.

 

How do I withdraw funds?

Smaller Credit Unions require for you to use a pass book to withdraw your funds whilst larger ones can provide you with a Debit Card to use at a cash machine.  You can also visit a local collection point or arrange for payments to be made directly to a bank account (this is known as “Bacs”).

 

How can I borrow money from a Credit Union?

The lending guidelines vary with each Credit Union, so you would need to enquire about this.  Firstly though, they have to make sure you’re able to afford to repay anything you borrow.  They usually lend small amounts for any purpose and most CU’s can lend over a period of 5 years for an unsecured loan and 10 years for a secured loan. How much a CU can lend you depends upon the amount its members have saved and how good they are paying loans and interest back on time.

When you borrow from a CU you will usually get free life insurance to cover the value of the loan so that if you die before repaying the loan in full, then the insurance repays it.

 

What happens if I don’t make the repayments?

If you don’t make the repayments, a CU can enlist the help of debt-collection agencies.  They can also contact the DWP if you are on Welfare and request it be taken from your monies prior to you receiving them.  If you are employed, they can get the monies back through the County Court.

 

What is the typical APR on borrowing?

The maximum is APR 26.8% which means that if you borrow £100 over a year, the most you will pay back is £126.

 

How do I find my local Credit Union?

The best way to do this is to use ABCUL’s “Find your Credit Union” website:

http://www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk/home

Or you can telephone ABCUL on 0800 015 3060.

You can also try your Yellow Pages or ask at your local Citizens Advice bureau for contact details.

 

Cats by City Youth Theatre, Brighton: A Review

TOM – The Old Market Theatre, Hove.

Tuesday 11th – Saturday 15th June 2013

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

based on “Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats” by T.S. Elliott.

 

A young, talented and energetic cast used all the space of a very well put-together set of “Alley cat” junk and street objects, by crawling round the theatre and interacting with the audience to draw you closer to the feline frolics of a usually confusing storyline.

 

The Jellicle cats gathered for their annual Ball where their leader Old Deuteronomy, played by Jamie Landmann, selected one special cat to be transported to “Heavyside Layer” to be reborn.

 

We were then presented with character sketches, where each cat told their own story in song and dance, hoping to be Deuteronomy’s chosen one.

 

The “stand outs” here for me were Rum Tum Tugger, played by Louis Livesey-Clare, who performed his character as well as a West End stage star.  Alonzo, played by Jordan Lamarca, so feline in his stage presence and interactions with both the cast and the audience, and especially in his interactions with Munkustrap, played by Rory Maguire, who pulled off another stellar performance in the lead role.

 

But the stars of the show, for me, were Rhianna Mcgreevy, who played Grizabella, the cat chosen for rebirth by Old Deuteronomy and Lauren Dawes, who played Jemima.  Despite an out-of-tune bassist and a slightly out-of-time orchestra accompaniment during the famous performance of “Memory”, both girls gave a truly amazing and highly emotive performance vocally and stole the show.  These ladies have a very bright future ahead of them.

 

Once again, Producer and Artistic Director Katy Markey has made her mark (pardon the pun!) on youth theatre in Brighton.  Assisted by an amazing team that included Ben Simpson, Luke Marshall, Josh Mills, Dara Novakovic, Joe Mott, Amanda and Vicky Schofield, CYTC produced and performed a production to be proud of.

The Story of George Rolph. (part iv)

DAY 23: FROM GEORGE ROLPH – A STATEMENT OF REASONABLE DEMANDS AND A FURTHER CALL TO ACTION.

Posted on 12th June 2013 – Day 23 of George’s Hunger Strike

George’s FB page:https://www.facebook.com/george.rolph.564?fref=ts

 

A STATEMENT OF REASONABLE DEMANDS AND A FURTHER CALL TO ACTION.

 

George Rolph

14 hours ago

 

“When I first began this protest it was in a state of general fury, that a government in the UK would DARE to attack the most vulnerable people in the country and allow a private IT Company to profit from their misery. It was like a return to the days of Robin Hood; robbing the poor to give to the rich! Sheriff of Nottingham style.

 

I could not stand for that and no other decent person should either.

 

It was NEVER just about what they had done to me in removing all my benefits and leaving me on the verge of destitution. It was also about those mothers and fathers who found, like me, all income cut off who could not now feed either themselves or their children. It was also about those men and women fighting every day to survive in the face of crippling physical and mental illnesses; who were already living on the edges of poverty; now finding that the safety net that may have paid for all their lives with National Insurance Contributions being pulled out from under them as the government and ATOS pushed them off the high wire above it.

 

Now, let me just say this so there are no misunderstandings. If you are fiddling the system and are drawing money out you are not entitled too then in my eyes, you are scum. Nothing less than a common thief and you should be jailed and made to pay back every penny. However, this fight is not about those doing that. This fight is about people who are genuinely sick and need our help.

 

The problem here lies NOT with the sick and disabled, but with assessments that are target driven and which take no account of the real lives of those sick and disabled people. The problem is that the tick-box system that has been put in place is clearly unfit for purpose and MUST be scrapped.

 

There is also another issue and that is far more pressing because it is killing people at a rate of up to 32 a week, who are driven to despair and placed in a position of unrelenting fear. My first argument relates to those people.

 

Here than are my two demands and these are NOT negotiable.

 

1. That anyone who appeals against the decision to stop their benefits MUST have those benefits restored until the appeals process is complete.

 

2. The government will set up a genuinely independent committee of people with medical backgrounds, to look hard and quickly at the failings of the ATOS system; and make rapid and permanent changes to ensure that a holistic approach to each patients needs and concerns is fully implemented, BEFORE any decision is taken regarding their suitability for employment.

In other words, a system where patients attending assessments is put in place, whereby those patients are given space and time to explain how their illness affects their everyday life; and that those statements are also recorded and entered into evidence.

 

Both of these demands are reasonable. Both are achievable. Both are desirable.

 

If these demands are met then my protest can end and we can all get on with trying to live a normal life. There is nothing extreme about these demands and nothing in them that any reasonable minded person can object too. If the government refuse to implement these two recommendations and to do it quickly, this protest will become about corporate manslaughter charges and an ever escalating, non violent, but VERY LOUD international protest.

Now, in case any government ministers from both coalition parties are still under any illusions they can simply ignore this issue, let me spell this out:

 

Politically, this will utterly destroy you as political entities! NO ONE will ever trust you again and you will be confined to the dustbin of political history as people who tipped from democracy to cruel, idealogical tyranny. When the vast majority of our people have understood exactly the magnitude of what you have been doing, their anger will become utter disgust and then fury and you will be finished.

 

Furthermore, less the socialists among us are also thinking this will have a minimum impact upon them politically, let us just say this. We know and remember that it was YOU that introduced ATOS into this land and it was YOU that started this whole ball rolling. YOU will ALSO be brought to account for the deaths and misery it has caused.

 

We are NOT your serfs any longer. Get used to it! THOSE DAYS ARE GONE.

 

You are public servants NOT public masters. You are elected to serve THE PEOPLE not the policy whims of David Cameron, the EU, your whips, the media or those business lobbyists buying your ears. Trim your arrogance now while you can or we, the people, will trim it for you, and all the force and threatenings you can muster will not be enough to stop us. Your tin-pot feudal empire will not stand without the cooperation of the people and if you wish to avoid an English Spring you would do well to listen. No one sane wants trouble for his land and his people, but no one sane wants a government boot stamping on their necks either. Do not force a choice between the two.

 

I am one voice with a growing number of supporters but do not think you can just silence me and the whole thing will go away. From the ashes of my life will grow a movement that you will NEVER stop. Not because I am great, but because our PEOPLE are great and despite your best efforts to pervert them, enough have resisted those efforts to understand the difference between common decency and evil. They will form the hardcore of an avalanche that will sweep away those corrupt vermin now running our country. Once that happens here, it will spread around the developed world.

 

The population have been sending you old guard politicians very clear signals for a very long time. The rise of UKIP is the strongest of all those signals and your old methods for using the media to shape public opinion in your favour is weakening by the day. Ignore them at your peril. The spirit of the British lion is stirring. If it wakes up and roars you will never defeat it.

 

In closing I want to say a word to those urging me to give up because the psychotics in suits in Westminster cannot be beaten.

 

Go away from me!

 

I will not listen to you.

 

A war conducted by defeatist cowards can never be won. This fight goes on until those two very reasonable demands are met. Fight with me or go away. I have neither time nor energy to battle with you. I am offering my own life to save the lives of others. That is the tradition laid down over the millennia of human history. Some fights are worth dying for. This is one of them. To live in a land that would do these things to the very weak would be intolerable to me and only when YOU feel the same way will you have any understanding of why I am making this stand.

 

In times of war, it is good and right to call upon others to risk their lives for us in combat. This is a war none of us wanted. It was declared by a bunch of hyperactive civil servants who have forgotten the word ‘servant’ in their job description. I do not want to die, but neither can I live in a land willing to tolerate this evil when we have sent millions of our best young people to spill their blood around the world to prevent tyranny ruling. This is a domestic tyranny. It is REAL. It MUST be fought.

 

I am NOT the peoples saviour. I know of and acknowledge only one saviour – my Lord Jesus Christ – and He said this: Greater love has no man than this; that a man lays down His life for another. John 15:13.

 

Because I love you. Because you matter to me. Because I want YOUR suffering and the suffering of your relatives to end. I offer my life willingly. No one is taking it from me.

 

So,

 

GET UP!

 

STAND UP!

 

FIGHT BACK!

 

YOUR PEOPLE NEED YOU!

 

George Rolph.

11th June 2013

 

Join the fightby Ros Wynne-Jones

Have you or your family been affected by the cuts? Or have you been shocked by how your area has been hit?

I want to reveal what’s really happening around the country every week.

POST: Real Britain, Daily Mirror, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP

CALL: 020 7293 3000 and ask for the Real Britain desk.

TWEET: @realbritainros

EMAIL: realbritain@mirror.co.uk

Laura Lamarca Serves As Country Manager United Kingdom

After half a year of successful writing on Johntext UK, I am proud to present Laura Lamarca as country manager.

 

5640_103350434641_6932997_n 2

My experiences with Laura have led me to believe she’s a person full of energy and compassion, and she is motivated and able to help others by her articles.

Hans-Jürgen John

Interview with George Rolph.

Hunger strike: Day 20.

 

Q.  Firstly and most importantly, how are you feeling both physically and mentally?

A.  I actually feel very good right now. I am clear headed, in no pain at all and as determined to finish this as the day I started.

 

Q. For those amongst us who are still unaware of what is happening, could you please outline the nature of your protest against the ConDem government?

A.  In truth, I am NOT protesting against the CON/DEM government. I am protesting against those WITHIN the government that enacted these policies that are causing so much pain and who have the unmitigated gall to call them “compassionate.”  There is, in my opinion, now way that you can inflict so much damage on the mentally or physically sick in this country that they kill themselves in huge numbers or are placed in destitution and claim to be, in any way humanly possible, a compassionate person. To think that a person could do such things and describe themselves in that way, betrays such a lack of a grasp of reality that I, as a lay person, would consider them to be insane.

If you took a donkey with a broken leg and forced it back to work, the people of this country would be up in arms about the cruelty of it. The media would be going crazy too. There is something very, very, wrong with a society and it’s leaders when they think they can take very seriously ill people and do as ATOS/DWP are doing to them while everyone looks the other way.

 

Q.  What made you decide upon this course of action?

A.  The decision was made for me in a sense. All my benefits had been stripped away leaving me with zero income. That ultimately meant homelessness and death on the streets. I decided if I were going to die it would be in my way, in the place of my choosing at my timing. I also decided I would not go meekly into that death bowing to my ‘masters’ and tugging my forelock, but rather, that I would make a heck of noise about it. The only question left, once that decision had been made, was how I would go.

In the beginning this was a personal protest about what had been done to me, but as I looked into ATOS and their activities I discovered that they had done this, or similar things, to too many other people and that some of those people were dying. That infuriated me. I realised that these policies were every bit as extreme as those brought to bear upon the disabled in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. The same kind of cold, dead hearts which were willing to kill the most vulnerable people in their countries and under those regimes had now arrived in the UK in 2013 and they have to be stopped.

 

Q.  So far, how successful has your protest been, both with the general public and with the media?

A.    I cannot answer this question yet as these are still early days. Ask me again close to the end of matters.

 

Q.  How have ATOS and the Department of Working Pensions (DWP) responded to your protest?

A.   My benefits have been restored completely, for which I am very grateful. However, this is not just about me. There are many other people out there for whom the misery and fear goes on. My fight now is about them.

 

Q.  Personally, do you think they re-instated your benefits because you are legally entitled to them? If so, then what are your thoughts about why they denied you of them in the first place? Or do you think they re-instated them to prevent any further bad publicity from smearing their already tarnished reputation?

A. Honestly. I think a little of both.  It is the nature of the self righteous and criminally corrupt mind that it thinks everyone else does, or should, think as it does. However, it also carries within a very strong sense of personal preservation and will rush to protect itself when it is under threat. It wants to give the impression of purity and hide its perversity. That is how it survives among us — by faking goodness. 

 

Q.  Ideally, what do you hope to achieve by the course of action you have chosen to take?

A.   I want to see those benefits restored to everyone who has had them taken away wrongfully and I want the system of evaluation used by ATOS completely dismantled and reappraised. So that qualified personnel make the decisions about a person’s fitness or otherwise for work and not, as in my case, a physiotherapist diagnosing cognitive abilities she was not qualified to understand or make.

 

Q.  Many of us are naturally concerned about your well-being and are of the belief that this government aren’t worthy of your life. You are such an inspiration to us all and give us the strength to stand up and fight against the cruelty inflicted upon us.  We’re aware that you’re prepared to die for this cause and its possible outcomes and whilst we respect and support such a noble act, we’re also aware that you are more of a threat to this government alive than you will be if you die.  What is your response to this?

A.   Be as concerned as I am about the welfare of the mother with no benefits, or the single disabled dad in despair. FIGHT FOR THEM. Don’t copy me but use my protest as your symbol. Take your eyes off of me and put them, with all the energies you can muster, into the fight. Oh and fight an unconventional war. They have set up hoops for you that they expect you to jump through and are ready for that. By-pass those hoops and come at them from another direction. MAKE A VERY LOUD NOISE AND DO NOT BE SILENT UNTIL THE PEOPLE LISTEN.

 

Q.  In the event of your death, how would you like to see this fight progress?

A. To victory because the alternative for our people is unthinkable.

 

Q.  If you had the opportunity to be in the same room as David Cameron for 20 minutes, what would you say to him?

A.   Get some psychiatric help. You have no idea how ill you are.

 

A very big “Thank you” to George for taking the time to allow me to get this interview, it’s much appreciated.

 

Other interviews:

http://bambuser.com/v/3647737

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/george-rolph-hunger-strike-after-1946899#ixzz2W0aoe11A

 

 

 

The Story of George Rolph. (Part iii)

 

I’ve spent the past few days wondering how George is. Today I visited his new Facebook page and read the following update:

“Hunger strike: Day 18. Health Report And Other News.

John 15:13.

June 7th 2013.

I want to begin by warning people NOT to copy me and to begin your own hunger strike. If you are seriously physically ill already, you could make yourself much worse. Also, if you are taking powerful drugs and they are not being absorbed slowly by stomach contents, even your normal dose could become too strong and do serious damage to you or even, kill you.

Weight: 227.02 lbs
Start weight: 260lbs

I feel fine in myself. Although I went through a period of slight dizzy spells now and then, those have now passed it seems. I can walk OK which I could not do when I was not taking fluids.

I have fasted for 14 days before and felt no ill effects but I am five days into new territory here and so far things are going well, so no need to worry dear reader. If that changes I WILL tell you.

I have noticed that I am getting irritated by things much quicker than normal. I am usually a laid back fellow but things seem to be getting under my skin much more easily these days. If you are a Christian, please pray about that for me. Love is everything and the peace of God enables it.
Thank you.

All in all I am quite well. So far, not a single hunger pain. Our God is good and the Lord Jesus Christ sustains me by His Spirit.

OTHER NEWS:

The DWP manager is returning today to fill out a form about care allowance. (He just called. 12:00pm and will be here within 45 mins). I have no idea what that is and I want to be careful not to get more than I should. I do not want to be overpaid now and have to pay back a huge sum later when some robot in the machine discovers the error. I want only what I am legally entitled too.

Mary and James who are making an independent documentary are coming today. That will be interesting. Hope they can cope with the state of my house. Poverty and clean and tidy do not go together, but they do add to the overall sense of helplessness and shame.

Beren Cross (Love that name) of the Independent Newspaper spoke to me by phone yesterday. He is researching a story on me.

The Daily Mirror are sending someone on Monday 10th June.

A smashing chap turned up last night and spent hours setting up a live stream for me. It was difficult because the Cam would not perform correctly at first, but once we figured out the mistakes, we got it together in the end and I broadcast my first test stream.

This is good because I hope later to make regular broadcasts to let everyone know how I am, but it also means I feel slightly safer. If the police cut up rough on the orders of some psycho’ politician somewhere, and burst through the door with an order to section me and force feed me or something, at least I can capture the live event. Let’s all pray that does not happen.

I have a plan to form a committee of workers to discuss ideas and make ongoing plans. Anyone willing to be considered for such a committee and who is dedicated to seeing this through to the end, should contact me and let me know. So far, the most committed people who have done so much to help have been mostly females. Come on guys! Stop finding ways out of things and start getting involved here. This is about all of us.

That leads me neatly to my next point. PLEASE, do not focus on me and my health here. THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE. The big picture here is that people are dying and living in fear of what the DWP and ATOS are doing to them. THAT is what we are here to stop; and while I understand and thank you for your concerns; if you are spending all your time worrying about me, your focus is in the wrong place. Worry about THEM. I do, which is why I am doing this.

We have to stop this monstrosity dreamt up by spoilt rich kids with no life experience and no concept of what life is like when you CANNOT work, no matter how much you want too.

Sharing things is anathema to them, because they have been trained to think in terms only of kill or be killed in the market place. That is their ideological pathology and it is thinking like that which leads to the deaths and misery of others.

On the other hand there are the Socialists who think, ‘what is yours is mine.’ That is also an ideological pathology. What you work and strive for in life is yours. The idea that central government should take that from you and ‘redistribute it’ (steal it) is as perverse an idea as only caring about number one.

Both of these ideas will do — and have done in the past — terrible harm to our country. However, there is little wrong with the idea of a common pot that we all pay into in order to protect the weakest in our land or, God forbid, in the event that we ourselves are made unfit for work though accident or sickness.

The common pot is a very old idea and it has excellent provenance and you can read more about that provenance here:  http://biblehub.com/niv/acts/2.htm

Jess.
Ian.
Lizzie.
Berni.
Kurt.
Sarah.
Mary.
Maxine.
Christine.
Kat.
And so many others.

THANK YOU.

You are stars and make me proud of my people and our country. We need more of you so let’s go find them and let’s put an end to this evil that is ravaging our people, raping our culture and perverting our values as a nation. There are some very sick minds in government, the House of Commons and elsewhere and those minds are churning out some very sick ideas. We have to challenge them, instead of forelock tugging our way back to the middle ages.

You are standing up and fighting back. Come on everyone. Join us. Our country needs you because you ARE our country.

I love you all. Thank you for getting into the fight. Remember, this is about US fighting for those who cannot fight. It is not about me or you but ALL of us.

George Rolph
June 07th 2013.”

 

I know that many of you across the globe have also wondered how George is holding up, hence me sharing this with you…time to stop worrying about the negatives, this is George’s choice and we must both respect his decision and support him and ourselves in any way we can.

The BBC are still ignoring our complaints, even though they’re very polite and keep promising to pass the information on to a higher person.  But as you’ve just read, certain media sources are now prepared to research and tell George’s story…and that, can only be a bonus.

We’re with you George, every step of the way…for not only are you giving others the courage to stand up and fight, you’re also leading by example and we are all in awe of you. Keep being you.

The Story of George Rolph (Part ii)

George Rolph is now on his 14th day of hunger strike in protest against the UK Government’s ongoing cruelty to the vulnerable people in UK society through medical assessments undertaken by French IT firm ATOS on behalf of the DWP.

Today, Facebook decided that George’s page held no positive worth to them, that truth has no place and that the people of the UK should suffer in silence…they removed George’s page and in turn, obliterated his support network.  This has only served to anger his supporters further, both nationally and internationally, as his fight gains further momentum.

George had his benefits reinstated several days ago and the DWP also made an arrangement to visit him at his home to see if he would qualify for an extra benefit. It seems they thought that this tactic would silence him and they would prevent any further bad publicity…but as George has stated many times, his hunger strike will continue until the government review their policies so others will not have to suffer what he has endured. He is doing this for us, for those who have already died, through suicide and stress-related illnesses as a direct result of how ATOS has treated them.

The BBC have been contacted by many people urging them to run this story in their National News (including myself) and so far, we as people have been conveniently ignored.

So it is with urgent need that I request you read all of the links below and do what you can to support George and of course, the people of the UK, while there is still time for George to experience the triumphs…for that is one thing NOT on George’s side – time.

http://tompride.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/hunger-striker-protesting-against-uk-governments-treatment-of-disabled-censored-by-facebook/

http://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/george-rolph-on-hunger-strike-because-of-having-his-benefits-denied-is-censored-by-facebook/

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/10443325.Mentally_ill_Downham_man_on_hunger_strike_after_his_benefits_are_taken_away/?action=success

http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/2013/05/23/victim-of-atos-goes-on-hunger-strike/

http://www.cantpaywontpay.org/publish/?p=5598

https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=T9-FgzFa9GI

http://jemmyfarmer.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/george-rolph-update-please-share/