Credit union stalwart becomes MBE

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Joy Park has been recognised for her work to set up the Waltham Forest Credit Union Joy Park has been recognised for her work to set up the Waltham Forest Credit Union

A volunteer who helped establish a community lending scheme has been made an MBE in the New Year Honour's list.

Joy Park, 60, of Maple Road in Leytonstone, has been recognised for her services to Waltham Forest Community Credit Union (WFCCU).

The union helps people access fair credit at a reasonable cost and provides an alternative to high-cost short-term lenders.

Ms Park was nominated for the MBE by Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy, West Ham MP Lyn Brown, head of child survival at Save the Children, Simon Wright, credit union chairwoman Dawn Faniku and Alison Mackay, minister at the Leytonstone United Free Church.

Ms Park played a pivotal role in launching the credit union in 2003, but by 2005 it was struggling for funding and the majority of paid staff lost their jobs.

Ms Park then voluntarily took on the role of manager, a position she held for a year.

Ms Park dedicated the MBE to her colleagues.

"It's a great honour. I will be accepting this on behalf of all the other staff and volunteers who have worked so hard for the credit union to get to where it is today," she said. 

Ms Park is a critic of payday lenders, who she believes do not act in the best interests of their customers.

She said: "The problem with payday lenders is they do not check if people are in a position to pay back the money they borrow.

"Borrowing money should never be instant and these lenders is not doing anyone a favour but making their living situation worse. 

Speaking about her personal motivation for helping to start the credit union, she said: "I got involved because it helps to support society, to allow people to live with dignity and for them to afford things that other people take for granted."

Stella Creasy, who campaigns for restrictions on high cost lenders and supports credit unions, said: ""I've known of Joy and the work she does in Walthamstow for many years alongside all the other fantastic volunteers at the Credit Union.

"The Credit Union is a vital service in Walthamstow to thousands and so I was honoured to be asked to support her nomination by her colleagues. I'm delighted she has been given this award and I know many others in our community will be equally pleased to hear of her award- it is well deserved."

After dedicating more than a decade to the union, Ms Park retired in October 2013, the same month the union celebrated its tenth birthday.

Comments (21)

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9:43am Tue 31 Dec 13

Jenny Fidler says...

Very proud of my mum for this. Very well deserved. Especially as she worked for 10 years unpaid, not one!
Very proud of my mum for this. Very well deserved. Especially as she worked for 10 years unpaid, not one! Jenny Fidler

9:55am Tue 31 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

It is so successful the Credit Union she set up that there have been more and more High Street Loan Shops than ever before which must be more successful than this Credit Union as they would not be profitable. Just shows how useless the Credit Union is. They lend only to people ' who can pay back', so where does this leave the desperate? It leads them to the high interest loan companies. They charge high rates as they are lending ti the highly insolvent!

Then again the Honours System is a flawed Institution like the Credit Union and has lost it's meaning these days.
It is so successful the Credit Union she set up that there have been more and more High Street Loan Shops than ever before which must be more successful than this Credit Union as they would not be profitable. Just shows how useless the Credit Union is. They lend only to people ' who can pay back', so where does this leave the desperate? It leads them to the high interest loan companies. They charge high rates as they are lending ti the highly insolvent! Then again the Honours System is a flawed Institution like the Credit Union and has lost it's meaning these days. Billy Yerache

11:36am Tue 31 Dec 13

Techno3 says...

I feel it is a pity that the honours system has been so debased by the ease with which vapid showbiz celebrities, dodgy local politicians and civil servant jobsworths receive these gongs.

It is good that people who put in their own time over a sustained period for no financial gain, motivated only by a desire to help their communitiies are recognized. Well done Ms Park. You are a credit to us all.
I feel it is a pity that the honours system has been so debased by the ease with which vapid showbiz celebrities, dodgy local politicians and civil servant jobsworths receive these gongs. It is good that people who put in their own time over a sustained period for no financial gain, motivated only by a desire to help their communitiies are recognized. Well done Ms Park. You are a credit to us all. Techno3

12:58pm Tue 31 Dec 13

mdj says...

For once it's good to see an honour going to someone who has worked steadily, without attention-seeking, to make their neighbours' lives a little better.
It's fair to say that Stella Creasy, while being right to highlight the evils of payday-lending and other high-interest horrors, is rather coy about the reason these sharks are in business - the withdrawal of the high street banks from lending to the poorer members of society. One of these is the Coop, which sponsors the Labour Party, and has at times kept it from insolvency.
The worst thing about this situation is that the money that firms such as Wonga and Oakam lend out is no doubt borrowed from the same banks that we paid to bail out.
If Billy Yerache thinks that it helps to kick an institution that does its best within a limited legal regime to help who it can, could he favour us with his preferred solution?

If some readers wonder why honours go to people whose merit seems rather unclear, a look at the website of 'Awards Intelligence' may help explain the situation. Since the last Labour government repealed the laws banning the solicitation of honours, brought in after the Lloyd George scandals of the 20s, a whole sleazy business sector has sprung up to provide services that a few years ago would have seen the providers in jail.
For once it's good to see an honour going to someone who has worked steadily, without attention-seeking, to make their neighbours' lives a little better. It's fair to say that Stella Creasy, while being right to highlight the evils of payday-lending and other high-interest horrors, is rather coy about the reason these sharks are in business - the withdrawal of the high street banks from lending to the poorer members of society. One of these is the Coop, which sponsors the Labour Party, and has at times kept it from insolvency. The worst thing about this situation is that the money that firms such as Wonga and Oakam lend out is no doubt borrowed from the same banks that we paid to bail out. If Billy Yerache thinks that it helps to kick an institution that does its best within a limited legal regime to help who it can, could he favour us with his preferred solution? If some readers wonder why honours go to people whose merit seems rather unclear, a look at the website of 'Awards Intelligence' may help explain the situation. Since the last Labour government repealed the laws banning the solicitation of honours, brought in after the Lloyd George scandals of the 20s, a whole sleazy business sector has sprung up to provide services that a few years ago would have seen the providers in jail. mdj

1:23pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Walthamster says...

Congratulations to Joy Park. It's good to see someone get an honour they deserve. It helps heal the sickness I feel when a lazy political crony gets an MBE for 'services' to himself and his friends.

mdj, I've just looked at that site advertising 'help' with getting awards - unbelievable.

Ms Park's MBE should also to raise the profile of the credit union which (as a non-profit-making body) doesn't have the huge budget required for wall-to-wall advertising.

Well done, Ms Park and all who put in time genuinely serving the community.
Congratulations to Joy Park. It's good to see someone get an honour they deserve. It helps heal the sickness I feel when a lazy political crony gets an MBE for 'services' to himself and his friends. mdj, I've just looked at that site advertising 'help' with getting awards - unbelievable. Ms Park's MBE should also to raise the profile of the credit union which (as a non-profit-making body) doesn't have the huge budget required for wall-to-wall advertising. Well done, Ms Park and all who put in time genuinely serving the community. Walthamster

2:14pm Tue 31 Dec 13

mdj says...

' these high street firms charge extortionate rates as the risks are perilous,..'

Very true - I've seen it calculated that they have to charge a minimum 100% simply to survive - but why are they thriving at this particular moment? What changes have occurred that maybe we could reverse? And what is your solution?

Surely a 'Christmas Club' that encourages thrift, foresight and mutual aid should be part of a solution you would approve?
' these high street firms charge extortionate rates as the risks are perilous,..' Very true - I've seen it calculated that they have to charge a minimum 100% simply to survive - but why are they thriving at this particular moment? What changes have occurred that maybe we could reverse? And what is your solution? Surely a 'Christmas Club' that encourages thrift, foresight and mutual aid should be part of a solution you would approve? mdj

2:29pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

mdj wrote:
' these high street firms charge extortionate rates as the risks are perilous,..'

Very true - I've seen it calculated that they have to charge a minimum 100% simply to survive - but why are they thriving at this particular moment? What changes have occurred that maybe we could reverse? And what is your solution?

Surely a 'Christmas Club' that encourages thrift, foresight and mutual aid should be part of a solution you would approve?
Lending to anyone has to be a calculated risk.

You could not lend to people like the woman quoted even at a high rate as she confessed that she could not pay it back. credit Unions could be good but they require easy access like at PM on a Friday night for instance when people may have an emergency crop up and need access to cash. In the real world, people have a crisis out of ordinary hours and this is why they turn to any facility available.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: ' these high street firms charge extortionate rates as the risks are perilous,..' Very true - I've seen it calculated that they have to charge a minimum 100% simply to survive - but why are they thriving at this particular moment? What changes have occurred that maybe we could reverse? And what is your solution? Surely a 'Christmas Club' that encourages thrift, foresight and mutual aid should be part of a solution you would approve?[/p][/quote]Lending to anyone has to be a calculated risk. You could not lend to people like the woman quoted even at a high rate as she confessed that she could not pay it back. credit Unions could be good but they require easy access like at PM on a Friday night for instance when people may have an emergency crop up and need access to cash. In the real world, people have a crisis out of ordinary hours and this is why they turn to any facility available. Billy Yerache

5:10pm Tue 31 Dec 13

fabster says...

Congratulations and very well deserved.

Unlike Liaquat Ali's MBE which was an early April's Fool, right?
Congratulations and very well deserved. Unlike Liaquat Ali's MBE which was an early April's Fool, right? fabster

5:42pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Thunderbird4 says...

I worked - unpaid - for a charity for a number of years. I believed I was doing a useful job, helping to make money for a good cause. One day, "targets" were given to the staff, more money was needed next year. Being a stupid person, I did not realise the charity was organised by people who took wages, before the remaining cash was used for its original purpose.

People who work for no wages, for charities, are all decent, caring human beings. The same goes for those who donate. The CEO of a certain charity, is paid a salary of over £100,000. Over ten years, Joy Parks was paid nothing: This woman knew the true meaning of charity. She has been awarded an MBE for her humanitarian work. I expect the CEO will later be awarded a knighthood. There is something wrong with our society when this polarisation takes place.
I worked - unpaid - for a charity for a number of years. I believed I was doing a useful job, helping to make money for a good cause. One day, "targets" were given to the staff, more money was needed next year. Being a stupid person, I did not realise the charity was organised by people who took wages, before the remaining cash was used for its original purpose. People who work for no wages, for charities, are all decent, caring human beings. The same goes for those who donate. The CEO of a certain charity, is paid a salary of over £100,000. Over ten years, Joy Parks was paid nothing: This woman knew the true meaning of charity. She has been awarded an MBE for her humanitarian work. I expect the CEO will later be awarded a knighthood. There is something wrong with our society when this polarisation takes place. Thunderbird4

5:56pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Allan Park says...

Well done Mum. Very proud.

And like Jenny says, the article is incorrect, not a penny was ever paid.
Well done Mum. Very proud. And like Jenny says, the article is incorrect, not a penny was ever paid. Allan Park

6:55pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

Allan Park wrote:
Well done Mum. Very proud.

And like Jenny says, the article is incorrect, not a penny was ever paid.
Expenses?
[quote][p][bold]Allan Park[/bold] wrote: Well done Mum. Very proud. And like Jenny says, the article is incorrect, not a penny was ever paid.[/p][/quote]Expenses? Billy Yerache

6:55pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

Allan Park wrote:
Well done Mum. Very proud.

And like Jenny says, the article is incorrect, not a penny was ever paid.
Expenses?
[quote][p][bold]Allan Park[/bold] wrote: Well done Mum. Very proud. And like Jenny says, the article is incorrect, not a penny was ever paid.[/p][/quote]Expenses? Billy Yerache

8:41pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Allan Park says...

Billy Yerache wrote:
Allan Park wrote:
Well done Mum. Very proud.

And like Jenny says, the article is incorrect, not a penny was ever paid.
Expenses?
Nope, not a single penny. Probably quite the opposite.
[quote][p][bold]Billy Yerache[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Allan Park[/bold] wrote: Well done Mum. Very proud. And like Jenny says, the article is incorrect, not a penny was ever paid.[/p][/quote]Expenses?[/p][/quote]Nope, not a single penny. Probably quite the opposite. Allan Park

1:16pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Billy Yerache says...

According to the Accounts expenses are paid.
According to the Accounts expenses are paid. Billy Yerache

7:58pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Allan Park says...

Billy Yerache wrote:
According to the Accounts expenses are paid.
That is correct. Expenses are available. Not everyone claims them though. I think I know a bit more than you about this. You actually went to the accounts to argue your point?
[quote][p][bold]Billy Yerache[/bold] wrote: According to the Accounts expenses are paid.[/p][/quote]That is correct. Expenses are available. Not everyone claims them though. I think I know a bit more than you about this. You actually went to the accounts to argue your point? Allan Park

8:52pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Billy Yerache says...

Allan Park wrote:
Billy Yerache wrote:
According to the Accounts expenses are paid.
That is correct. Expenses are available. Not everyone claims them though. I think I know a bit more than you about this. You actually went to the accounts to argue your point?
You change your tune to suit. There are vast expenses and benefits for so called 'volunteers' and you know it.
[quote][p][bold]Allan Park[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Billy Yerache[/bold] wrote: According to the Accounts expenses are paid.[/p][/quote]That is correct. Expenses are available. Not everyone claims them though. I think I know a bit more than you about this. You actually went to the accounts to argue your point?[/p][/quote]You change your tune to suit. There are vast expenses and benefits for so called 'volunteers' and you know it. Billy Yerache

9:37pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Allan Park says...

I haven't changed my suit at all! I know I vast amount more than you do. I know for fact that she claimed not a single penny of expenses. I can only speak for my Mum, because I know the facts, but people like her do these things out of pure goodness, and a passion for what they believe in.

You can have your agenda, that's fine. But do not try and lessen the positivity these 'volunteers' bring to the community.
I haven't changed my suit at all! I know I vast amount more than you do. I know for fact that she claimed not a single penny of expenses. I can only speak for my Mum, because I know the facts, but people like her do these things out of pure goodness, and a passion for what they believe in. You can have your agenda, that's fine. But do not try and lessen the positivity these 'volunteers' bring to the community. Allan Park

12:39am Thu 2 Jan 14

mdj says...

Humph! As a reward for mentioning the sleazy Awards Intelligence who, for a fee, will prep up your application for an honour, I'm now getting their adverts popping up on my page!
So, if anyone feels they deserve an MBE, or would like to nominate me for one, or better still has a favourite pet they feel is underappreciated, let's get together....
Humph! As a reward for mentioning the sleazy Awards Intelligence who, for a fee, will prep up your application for an honour, I'm now getting their adverts popping up on my page! So, if anyone feels they deserve an MBE, or would like to nominate me for one, or better still has a favourite pet they feel is underappreciated, let's get together.... mdj

2:27pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Billy Yerache says...

Allan Park wrote:
I haven't changed my suit at all! I know I vast amount more than you do. I know for fact that she claimed not a single penny of expenses. I can only speak for my Mum, because I know the facts, but people like her do these things out of pure goodness, and a passion for what they believe in.

You can have your agenda, that's fine. But do not try and lessen the positivity these 'volunteers' bring to the community.
Maybe you can get a miniature and wear it out at functions like Mutley on Whacky Races. They are not worth a carrot these days as they give them out like confetti which is why numerous are declined every year.
[quote][p][bold]Allan Park[/bold] wrote: I haven't changed my suit at all! I know I vast amount more than you do. I know for fact that she claimed not a single penny of expenses. I can only speak for my Mum, because I know the facts, but people like her do these things out of pure goodness, and a passion for what they believe in. You can have your agenda, that's fine. But do not try and lessen the positivity these 'volunteers' bring to the community.[/p][/quote]Maybe you can get a miniature and wear it out at functions like Mutley on Whacky Races. They are not worth a carrot these days as they give them out like confetti which is why numerous are declined every year. Billy Yerache

4:09pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Walthamster says...

Allan Park wrote:
I haven't changed my suit at all! I know I vast amount more than you do. I know for fact that she claimed not a single penny of expenses. I can only speak for my Mum, because I know the facts, but people like her do these things out of pure goodness, and a passion for what they believe in.

You can have your agenda, that's fine. But do not try and lessen the positivity these 'volunteers' bring to the community.
Allan, please don't get tricked into reply to Billy Yerache, which is one of many names used by a prolific local troll. Anything you say, he will always respond with another nasty comment. It's just a game he plays to keep baiting people.
Big congratulations to your Mum. You must be proud of her.
[quote][p][bold]Allan Park[/bold] wrote: I haven't changed my suit at all! I know I vast amount more than you do. I know for fact that she claimed not a single penny of expenses. I can only speak for my Mum, because I know the facts, but people like her do these things out of pure goodness, and a passion for what they believe in. You can have your agenda, that's fine. But do not try and lessen the positivity these 'volunteers' bring to the community.[/p][/quote]Allan, please don't get tricked into reply to Billy Yerache, which is one of many names used by a prolific local troll. Anything you say, he will always respond with another nasty comment. It's just a game he plays to keep baiting people. Big congratulations to your Mum. You must be proud of her. Walthamster

4:30pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Billy Yerache says...

Walthamster wrote:
Allan Park wrote:
I haven't changed my suit at all! I know I vast amount more than you do. I know for fact that she claimed not a single penny of expenses. I can only speak for my Mum, because I know the facts, but people like her do these things out of pure goodness, and a passion for what they believe in.

You can have your agenda, that's fine. But do not try and lessen the positivity these 'volunteers' bring to the community.
Allan, please don't get tricked into reply to Billy Yerache, which is one of many names used by a prolific local troll. Anything you say, he will always respond with another nasty comment. It's just a game he plays to keep baiting people.
Big congratulations to your Mum. You must be proud of her.
I only use my own name, unlike you. Do you have anything constructive to say about the merits and flaws of the honours system or are you just currying favour with people? I note you were keen to spew hatred recently about a Tory who received an award.
[quote][p][bold]Walthamster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Allan Park[/bold] wrote: I haven't changed my suit at all! I know I vast amount more than you do. I know for fact that she claimed not a single penny of expenses. I can only speak for my Mum, because I know the facts, but people like her do these things out of pure goodness, and a passion for what they believe in. You can have your agenda, that's fine. But do not try and lessen the positivity these 'volunteers' bring to the community.[/p][/quote]Allan, please don't get tricked into reply to Billy Yerache, which is one of many names used by a prolific local troll. Anything you say, he will always respond with another nasty comment. It's just a game he plays to keep baiting people. Big congratulations to your Mum. You must be proud of her.[/p][/quote]I only use my own name, unlike you. Do you have anything constructive to say about the merits and flaws of the honours system or are you just currying favour with people? I note you were keen to spew hatred recently about a Tory who received an award. Billy Yerache

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