Lewisham Plus Credit Union has teamed up with Engage, the UK’s largest and most established provider of community banking solutions, to facilitate the rapid distribution of essential COVID Winter Grant payments to vulnerable people in their community.

The Governments COVID Winter Grant Scheme has been designed to support ‘at-risk’ individuals and families across England with the cost of food, energy, heating, water bills and other essentials.

The scheme is a lifeline for most, yet accessing the grant money is proving difficult for many in the community who are currently shielding due to COVID virus and for those with no access to a bank account or payment card.

To address this issue, Lewisham Plus have launched an innovative grant distribution scheme in conjunction with payments partner Engage. This involves the roll out of hundreds of instant debit cards and accounts to anyone who is financially excluded and residents who are currently unable to visit local stores and supermarkets due to restrictions.

The process of issuing the Engage debit card and account is quick and simple. No credit checks or lengthy applications are required, and grant funds are made available instantly to enable the cardholder to pay bills or shop for essential items either online, over the phone or instore.

Importantly, the contactless debit card provided means that all purchases can be made without the need to handle cash, so helping to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Ravi Ravindran, CEO of Lewisham Plus Credit Union, explains: “ We are pleased to be able to deliver the Bromley Covid Winter Grants securely and quickly to vulnerable members of our community. The Engage Instant card and Account is secure and accessible, avoiding the need to carry large amounts of cash but still enabling access to essential goods and services everywhere.”

Geoff Leech, Managing Director of Engage, added: “We are really pleased to be able to support the roll-out of the Lewisham Plus COVID Winter Grant scheme. This initiative forms part of Engage’s UK wide effort to assist all Credit Unions to help the most vulnerable in society during these difficult times”.

(Family Image provided by pvproductions)

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