A CAMPAIGN has been launched in Kirklees to encourage people to save with their local credit union.
Organisers of the DIY banks say now is a good time to join - to start saving for Christmas.
Kirklees Credit Union development officer Jane Gillespie said: "Unlike many other institutions, credit unions encourage people to save small amounts. You can save any amount from a pound a week upwards.
"Credit unions also encourage young people to save. Young people under the age of 16 can join as young savers."
The number of members of credit unions in Kirklees is on the rise, with the figure currently standing at 3,000 members. Between them, they have £1.6m in savings.
Anyone living or working in Kirklees can join Castle and Minster Credit Union.
There are also credit unions in some local areas including: St Patrick's Save and Credit Union, Trinity Street, Huddersfield; St Brigid's Save and Credit Union, Longwood; Meltham Savings and Loan Credit Union; Borough and Parish Community Credit Union in Dewsbury and All Saints (Batley) Credit Union.
Volunteers are needed to help run collection points for the credit unions.
They are especially needed at Dalton, Rawthorpe, Moldgreen and Newsome.
The campaign is being launched by Huddersfield Pride's Access to Finance Project.
Anyone who is interested in joining a credit union, or who would like to volunteer to help, should contact Jane Gillespie on 01484 223784.
CREDIT UNIONS: HOW THEY WORK
Credit unions, regulated by the Financial Services Authority, are run by members for members and have no external shareholders. Profit made by credit unions is paid back to members as an annual dividend. There is also free life insurance.
If a member dies, their savings are paid to the person they have nominated.
Anyone who has saved regularly for three months and is over 18 is entitled to apply for a loan.
This can be up to three times the amount they have saved.
Also, anyone who borrows £100 pays just £3.38 in interest charges over six months compared with £45 with some borrowers.