Based in Rossendale, HHH is available to people living in the common bond areas of Haslingden or Hyndburn. It is a credit union, and uses income generated from interest on loans to support the running costs of the business. Any surplus after this is paid back in dividends to its members.
HHH is a community organisation, and is dependent upon volunteer support. Members are encouraged to contribute, whether it is working at a collection point, joining the Board, or preparing or distributing promotional material. Annual membership costs £2. The credit union offers a variety of accounts including Christmas savings, funeral plan and loan accounts.
Co-operative Business Assistance provided help to HHH in June 2010. The organisation needed to provide a business plan as part of a grant application. Dave Hollings and Gareth Nash of Co-operative Mutual Solutions provided two days’ worth of advice and consultancy on behalf of the programme.
Dawn Vear, director of HHH, explains, “We heard about the Co-operative Business Assistance plan through the Co-operatives North West newsletter. I also had previous knowledge through being a board member of the network. We needed to provide a three year business plan in order to be eligible for funding. We are still working on this application following the help from Co-operative Business Assistance.
“If it wasn’t for the Co-operative Business Assistance programme, we wouldn’t have a business plan at all. We don’t have that knowledge, and CMS used their expertise to build the document with us.”