TRAINING providers and a local credit union are joining forces to help the unemployed back into work and avoid toxic debt.

The Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union is holding an open day with MTC Training, which provide free courses in English, ICT and maths, and New College Swindon, next week.

The event will give out advice on free training, helping people to learn skills and avoid falling into a dangerous spiral of debt.

Credit unions are non-profit lenders that pool the savings of members to hand out loans at a low rate of interest, providing an alternative to payday lenders.

Fiona Cox, the development director of the union, told the Adver: "People will very often go to payday loans who charge a fortune, or even loan sharks, and they end up getting in this awful cycle of debt. And it's those vulnerable people in the community that have the least who are very often paying very much more than their credit."

The impact of debt can also have a detrimental affect on the local economy, as Fiona explained.

"Rent doesn't get paid for a start, so that affects local councils who aren't getting the revenue they should be.

"Private landlords, businesses - if people don't have any disposable income then they are not spending locally," she said.

She added: "We are trying to open up our services and reach more people in helping them achieve a better life and a brighter future.

"This open day is one step forward to providing more access to free qualifications which in turn improve financial security.

"Anything we can do to help people to get their finances back under control really helps them feel better about their lives."

The open day, entitled Build Your Future, is on Thursday April 4 at the WASCU offices, George Hall Court, Cavendish Square, from 10.00 am to 14.00 pm.

For more information about training courses, call MTC on 01793 511665 To find out about Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union visit

To find out more about the event go to the facebook page event page at