DARLINGTON, Eng. (7/31/13)--First it was the Duchess of Cornwall touting credit unions as payday lending alternatives. Then it was the Archbishop of Canterbury, who formed a credit union last month to fight payday lenders. Now it's the queen giving the royal seal of approval to a credit union.
Britain-based Darlington CU was presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Susan Snowdon, at a ceremony Monday. The award is in recognition of members' work offering financial advice and support to people across Darlington, said the Northern Echo (July 29).
The award is the highest that can be given volunteer groups in the United Kingdom. "This award is not lightly given or easily gained," said Snowdon, who added it "recognizes hard work, vision and commitment to community services."
Credit unions are enjoying a spike in popularity with royalty and other well-known persons in England this summer.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles, joined the London Mutual CU in Peckham, England, in May (News Now May 17). The Archbishop of Canterbury announced early this month the formation of a credit union for the clergy and members of the Church of England and Church of Scotland (News Now July 8). And Marlene Shiels, chief executive of Capital CU Ltd. in Edinburgh, Scotland, received a Royal Warrant from England's Queen Elizabeth in June, appointing Shiels as credit union consultant to the Duchess of Cornwall (News Now June 13).