ABCUL’s North West Forum launches its Youth Forum
01 Feb 19
Last weekend, credit unions from across the North West met in Blackpool for one the largest Forum events of the calendar.
Over 90 staff members and volunteers from 20 credit unions across the North West came together last weekend in Blackpool for the annual North West Forum event. The event attracted a wide range of speakers from within the sector featuring presentations focussing on some of the key challenges and experiences in the credit union sector.
The event, known as WOW, saw the official launch of the North West Youth Forum. This initiative was established to develop future leaders in the credit union sector and to bring forward new ideas to improve the Forum’s engagement with a wider group of people within credit unions.
The programme of the weekend kicked off with two staff members from Metro Moneywise Credit Union giving an inspiring insight into how they developed their new brand identity.
Raqeeb Aslam from South Manchester Credit Union talked about the credit union’s experience using the innovative instant-messaging app Nivo for communicating with members. Raqeeb’s colleague, Ryan Cusack also presented during the weekend, giving insight into how to develop a strong Facebook presence.
Debbie Smith-Hands from Pennine Community Credit Union and The North West Youth Forum said that: “The Youth Forum has been a great success so far and we are grateful for the continued support of the North West Forum.
“We have gained new members after the WOW and we are looking forward to subsequent meetings later in the year”.
Debbie now looks forward to the ABCUL Annual Conference next month and is excited to see the launch of ABCUL’s Young Professional Network Debbie said: “This is something that the Youth Forum are all very passionate about. The Network will bring training and development opportunities for young people working in the sector and a platform for our future credit union leaders to network with like-minded people.
“These networks are vital in order to retain young talent in our sector and I would urge all credit unions with staff members that fit the criteria, to encourage them to get involved”.
Forums are the place for ABCUL credit unions to meet, learn and share and ABCUL’s Head of Member Services, Rosanna Donovan who attended the event was and was delighted to see such a strong turnout and quality sessions across the weekend.
“The atmosphere at the event was fantastic with members reporting highly of all the sessions that were run across the event including masterclasses on lending and operational resilience, ‘how to’ sessions about blog-writing and advertising on social media as well as Mental Health First Aid training. What makes Forum events like this so special is to see credit unions of all sizes share experiences and ideas to help each other become stronger together. Each volunteer who gives their time to run Forums across the country each year should be proud of what they achieve for the benefits of the whole sector”.
“I am particularly excited to see the positive developments in engaging younger staff through the Forums and am delighted a number of them will be joining us in Manchester in March for the formal launch of the ABCUL Young Professionals Network at our Annual Conference.”
ABCUL’s Forums continue to gather momentum with a string of successful meetings across the country. ABCUL organises 11 Forums across Britain; one for Scotland, one for Wales, and nine regional Forums across England. All credit unions affiliated to ABCUL can attend their local Forum meetings, and some credit unions that serve members in different parts of the country choose to affiliate to more than one.