ABCUL Conference 2023 – fulfilling our ambitions to lead

The Co-op Credit Union’s Joel Williams and HEY Credit Union’s Maya Birr-Pixton (front centre) alongside fellow 2023 CU Futures Graduates, and journalist & broadcaster, Liz Barclay (right) a former Founding Trustee of The Credit Union Foundation.

Here at The Co-op Credit Union we have a clear ambition to secure our place as a leader within the UK’s credit union movement.  And this year’s ABCUL Conference was a big step towards that goal.  

Our Finance, Banking & Credit Manager, Joel Williams, graduated from the CU Futures young leadership development programme and, along with his project partner from HEY Credit Union, Maya Birr-Pixton, won the overall prize for the best group project from this year’s cohort.  Joel and Maya have worked extremely hard to put together a really high-quality project looking at the case for more collaboration between credit unions to support the sector’s technology needs and they have earned many admirers for the quality of their work. 

Andrew Davey, our Operations Manager, took part in the conference as a workshop speaker sharing our experiences of the Cost of Living crisis and how it has affected both the credit union and, more importantly, our members.  The workshop was an interactive opportunity for credit unions to learn and share experiences with one another in a supportive environment focussed on finding sustainable solutions for credit unions and their members alike.  

Finally, following our work as a credit union to become more inclusive in the broadest sense with the Purpose Project of 2021 in particular, our Chief Executive, Matt Bland, who is also the ABCUL Director for North West England has since last year been a member of the ABCUL Inclusivity Group.  He took part in a panel session to explore how ABCUL and its membership can better live our values by becoming more inclusive and diverse and responding to the needs of all members, whatever their background.  He was also delighted to be elected by his ABCUL board peers to the role of Vice-President.  

Several of the staff and board team attended the two day conference and we were delighted to catch up with friends old and new across the credit union world.  We are proud to be leading the agenda to ensure that credit unions are ready and able to support as many people as possible across the UK at a time of massive pressure on our members’ finances.  

Co-op Credit Team members, Veronica Aninda and Joan Pollitt (2nd and 3rd on back left) pictured at the relaunch of Global Women’s Leadership Network at the conference