02 Dec Big Help – Knowsley

Well, walking with Bert, one dark and frosty morning, a few days ago, I started thinking about this blog and then the internet itself. Like a lot of people, I’ve got access to the whole diversity of the web. However, my “e-life” (like my “off-line” life) seems to have become mirrored. I have in one way or another gathered together my (admittedly limited) inquisitiveness into “virtual bubbles”; I generally only ever read articles and news that fits with my opinions and interests and only ever connect with people who I know have similar fixations.

What’s more, while walking and thinking, the next thought I had was, what if everyone else is doing the same thing! Perhaps the web could be emphasising our differences, a place where; old and young, rich and poor, men and women… placed themselves in their own bubbles, somehow bumping against each other but never combining. Maybe we only ever connect with those in our own approved bubbles. Since that walk, with Bert, I have given my head a wobble and started purposefully being more quizzical and burst a couple of bubbles!

Big Help – Knowsley

So, here’s a start. Looking for ways to deliver added benefits and cost saving opportunities for members to consider, we have contacted a group based in Knowsley, called Big Help.  it is a particularly good example of practical local action.

The Big Help group have entered a partnership with Cooperative Electrical to enhance the work they do combating predatory lending. Big Help also do sterling work around debt advice, job creation and even organise several food banks. They have realised many of the people they are working with, have been targeted by high interest loan companies, who are leasing electrical white goods on weekly repayment plans. Such is the sophistication of the advertising and marketing of these companies, many people don’t realise they could get brand new household electric equipment (washing machines, dryer’s, TVs etc.) for a fraction of the cost they are currently being charged.

As an alternative to these high interest rental agreements, Big Help are about to open a couple shops locally. Apart from the debt advice and the food banks they coordinate, they are encouraging people to price-match electrical goods in their new stores. If you find the item cheaper elsewhere e.g. Argos, Dixons, and Curry’s, Big Help will beat that price or match it! Additionally, they will remove your old model for a fee of approx £19 when you buy any major kitchen appliance or TV.

Big Help works in partnership with Cooperative Electrical and you can view the goods in the new shops or on line at Cooperative Electrical. So if you use hire purchase or rental companies, or need a major item for your kitchen, or a new TV, it might be worth considering using your Credit Union Savings or Loan to get your goods from the Big Help as an alternative to high interest rental agreements.

If you choose to use Big Help and your loan or share withdrawal has been approved, they will then place the order for you. Cooperative Electrical, in turn will e-mail or text you on the evening before the delivery of any larger items to confirm a two-hour delivery slot so you don’t have to wait in all day. 99.8% of all deliveries arrive on time!

Even if you do not wish to use your savings or apply for a loan, providing you are a Member you can still talk to Big Help about ways you might be able to take advantage of other offers or advice.

Find out more about the Big Help in our recent Radio Merseyside interview (starts: 01:24:15 ends: 01:32:25)

p.s. Thanks if you submitted your Christmas loan application before our deadline of 28th October.  We are processing them as quickly as possible and you will receive a text message when it is ready for collection.

If I don’t happen to bump into or see you here or there as I pop my “virtual bubbles” I hope you and yours have the Happiest of Christmas.