At Enterprise Credit Union, we think it’s important to show the people behind the scenes, who make us who we are. In this blog we hear from our Community Development Officer, Lewis, who tells us all about his first 6 months in the role!

“I have had a steep learning curve over the past 6 months, coming from a background in debt and money advice, I was accustomed to working with individuals who were struggling with severe debt and a result, had some preconceived ideas of what a credit union was and how it worked.

My experience so far has challenged those assumptions and given me a much deeper understanding of the role credit unions play in supporting communities, and helping individuals achieve financial stability and build financial resilience.

Through my previous roles and studies, I have come to recognise the critical role of financial education, in promoting stability and security. In my experience working with individuals and families, I have observed that many lack access to formal financial education, leaving them unaware of the basics of budgeting, saving, and managing debt. This knowledge gap can lead to risky financial decision-making that can put their stability and wellbeing at risk.

Now as a Community Development Officer for ECU, I have the opportunity to promote financial stability within community groups and to individuals across Merseyside, by providing them with the tools to make informed financial decisions. It’s incredibly rewarding to see how even the smallest of changes in financial behaviour can have such a significant impact.

One of my main focuses is actively reaching out to local community groups, and other organisations to build relationships and identify opportunities for collaboration. Establishing these partnerships has been a top priority, as I believe they are essential to our success in serving our member and promoting their wellbeing, and by collaborating with other organisations, we can leverage our collective expertise and resources to better serve the needs of our community – I look forward to building on these initial connections and deepening our engagement with the local community.

As part of my outreach efforts, I have been providing financial education and support to our members. In these sessions, we explore topics such as budgeting, saving, money management, and providing personalised, one-on-one support. I have been delighted to see that this approach has been successful, with several members reaching out for further assistance in improving their financial resilience.

I have witnessed first-hand the transformative impact the credit union can have on people’s lives. By providing our members with the tools and knowledge the need to manage their finances effectively, we’re helping them build financial resilience and work towards their goals. It’s incredibly gratifying to see how small changes in financial behaviour can have a meaningful impact on people’s wellbeing and sense of security.

Now after 6 months, I am pleased to say that it has been incredibly rewarding, and I am excited to continue this important work. Having the ability to make a meaningful difference to the lives of others is what drew me to this role, and I am happy to say that my experience so far has exceeded my expectations. I will continue to build on the progress we have made, and help even more people achieve financial resilience and stability.”

Lewis Gabrielsen
Community Development Officer