SCHOOL children and their parents are being invited to join a credit union.

Volunteers from a village residents’ group are helping pupils and their families at Bearpark Primary School, in Bearpark, near Durham, join the North East First Credit Union.

They will visit the school weekly to allow customers young and old to bank their savings.

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It is hoped the initiative will teach children and parents to save regularly and manage their money effectively.

Headteacher Jill Hodgson said: “It’s a fantastic idea to encourage the pupils to save their pocket money.”

Credit unions are member-owned co-operatives offering low-cost lending and are seen as an alternative to loan sharks and payday lenders.

North East First Credit Union is open to anyone living or working in County Durham or Gateshead. For more information, visit