International Day of Happiness
Wednesday 20th Dec, 2023
How do HEYCU contribute?
Sunday 20 March marked the International Day of Happiness!
Happiness is a fundamental human goal. The United Nations General Assembly recognises this and calls for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples” (resolution A/RES/66/281).
So, what’s International Day of Happiness all about?
Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated International Day of Happiness as a way to promote the importance of happiness in the lives of people, and the idea that happiness is a global human right.
One of the biggest benefits of happiness is that people who are happy tend to live longer and have fewer health problems like high blood pressure and heart issues.
In 2015, the United Nations launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet for future generations – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.
These are challenging times and, sadly, we know that not everyone feels happy all the time. But the non-profit campaign organisers Action for Happiness hope that International Day of Happiness can raise even more awareness of the benefits of happiness, and help people all around the world to be happy in 2022 and beyond.
Here at HEY Credit Union we can’t change the world on our own, but by co-operating with others, locally and globally, we can make a contribution that helps people to live happier, richer lives. Here’s some of those goals that we are focusing on:
- Goal 1 'No Poverty' – By providing access to savings, credit and transactional accounts, on a low-cost not-for-profit basis, credit unions support people to afford their lives. We help our members to keep more of their income, break free from unethical lenders, and build financial resilience for a brighter future. A low-cost credit union loan can help people obtain and stay in work, and keep wealth within the local economy, instead of sucking communities dry to pay rich City shareholders and ‘fat cat’ manager bonuses.
- Goal 3 'Good health and wellbeing' – We partner with ever more employers to enable workers to save as they earn, and repay affordable credit effortlessly, direct from their wages. Research shows this much-valued staff well-being benefit reduces money worries, cuts absenteeism and increases productivity, leading to a happy, healthy loyal workforce. Improving financial well-being is our defining passion!
- Goal 5 'Gender Equality' – 61% of HEY Credit Union’s staff team and 33% of our voluntary Board Directors are female, with training and development opportunities available to all our people to help them fulfil their potential and enjoy a rewarding career.
- Goal 8 'Decent work and economic growth' – Our efforts to be an employer of choice include ensuring that no one earns less than the Real Living Wage (the UK’s only independently assessed UK wage rate based on the true cost of living). We also provide a free Health and Well-being benefit, an Employees’ Council to consult and engage with our valued staff family, and Save as you Earn (as you’d expect!).
- Goal 10 'Reduced inequalities' – The inclusive approach of credit unions is shown by how we’ve retained our walk-in branch network to give friendly support in disadvantaged communities (when big banks have pulled out). We’ve developed products to help low-income families to become better off and extended a warm welcome to vulnerable people and those less confident about using digital channels. All our members have an equal say in our governance, regardless of the size of their savings or loans.
- Goal 13 'Climate Action' – We invested in solar panels to power our Head Office, installed low energy LED lighting, and reduced our paper usage by moving to more online processing and paperless back-office systems. Staff travel is kept to a minimum and more waste recycled.
- Goal 15 'Life on land' – Although there’s lots more to do, we’ve introduced a Green Loan to help our members achieve their net zero ambitions, which includes a commitment to plant a tree in new woodlands in our region.
We hope that our contributions will help towards making the world a happier place!
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