Do you know what happens to your money once you’ve deposited it in the bank? For most people, their cash probably seems to disappear into a black hole where it undergoes mysterious transactions until such time as they want to withdraw it and it magically returns. Even if you bank with the ethical Co-operative Bank (and that’s where my current account is, while my savings are with Triodos) you only really know that your money isn’t being used in unethical ways, you probably don’t really have much idea of where it does go.
Which is where Triodos Bank is different. Not only do you know they won’t use your money in morally dubious ways, you know exactly what it is being used for! Their website has this very useful Google map so you can find exactly what they spend your money on, including being able to see what they fund in your local area.
As Charles Middleton, the managing director of Triodos said earlier today in a talk at a customer event at Out the Blue Drill Hall a community based arts centre in Edinburgh, this is a bank that is all about connection.
Today’s event was all about enabling connections between Triodos customers in Edinburgh and a local project that is funded by the bank. I’ve visited Out the Blue several times before and have been fascinated by the building and the creative energies involved in the project. So I was delighted to get this opportunity as a Triodos customer to have a behind the scenes look at the project and to find out how the bank works with Out the Blue to ensure that the project can develop sustainably.
Rob Hoon, the co-ordinator of Out the Blue gave us an inspiring potted history of the project, including insights into the transformation of this purpose built military drill hall into an exciting space for artists and community groups. We had a guided tour of the venue and found out about the environmentally friendly construction, including solar tubes for water heating and the old firing range that is being partly converted into a garden. We also met some of the inspiring organisations and craftspeople who are based here, including: Take One Action Film Festival; Precious Metals Workshop and Dance Movement Psychotherapy Scotland. We also had a wonderful lunch provided by the Out the Blue cafe project, which has a very ethical food policy and offers a training programme for young people. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that my money is helping organisations like this to thrive!
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