It may only be July but Acorn Community Bank is urging people to start thinking about Christmas.

The bank, which has almost 8,000 members across Swindon, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, has launched a Christmas Saver promotion where anyone who joins the community bank, opens a savings account and saves a minimum of £25 a month between July and October will get a £25 bonus once the savings are available to withdraw in November.

But savers will have to act quickly, the deadline for accounts to be opened is July 28.

Acorn, which is owned by its members and run on their behalf, provides affordable loans for people unable to get credit elsewhere to prevent them from going to payday loan companies or loan sharks. Members open savings accounts and, provided they meet the loan criteria, can take out loans which are repaid monthly.

Chair Nick Gallop said the Christmas promotion is a way of encouraging members to plan ahead for the traditionally costly time of year. “Particularly this year when so many people are struggling with the cost of living crisis, it’s important to try and put something away,” he said.

“We know that families, and individuals, come under enormous financial pressure during the festive period so having a little nest egg they can withdraw in November may take some of the sting out of it and by adding a bonus we hope we’ll encourage more people to think about doing it. After all, on July 28 there’ll only be 150 days until Christmas.”

The Christmas Saver must be opened by July 28 and deposits of at least £25 must be made each month until October. The funds will be available on November 1.

The community bank, which was voted Community Group of the Year at the Wiltshire Life awards, became Acorn after Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union, Clivey Credit Union and Swan Community Bank merged in April. It lends more than £1 million a year.

For more details about the Christmas Saver email or to find out more about the bank’s services go to