ABCUL Board Profile - Debbie Smith-Hands

Debbie Smith-Hands - Director for the North West and ABCUL Treasurer (joined ABCUL Board in 2020)

Why did you first get involved in credit unions?

I applied for a part time admin role, I had never heard of a Credit Union! Now they have taken over my life…..

Why did you choose to stand for election to the ABCUL Board?
This was something I had considered for some time but was unsure what skills I could bring to the table. The ABCUL staff and Directors at the time encouraged me to step forward and I am so thankful that they did. 

What have you gained from being a member of the ABCUL Board?

Confidence, most definitely! I think being on the Board is helping me believe more in my own abilities, whilst being fortunate enough to be surrounded by fellow Directors that have a wealth of knowledge in the sector, helping me develop on a professional level.

What have you been able to contribute to the ABCUL Board?
I’d like to think I bring an element of diversity, being on the older end of ‘Young’ and having co-founded the Young Professionals Network, I believe I have a voice for the younger CU workers and volunteers and hope to contribute different views.

What advice would you give to people considering standing for the ABCUL Board?
I would say speak to the Directors, I had a view that the Director roles were better suited to ‘time served’ Credit Union workers/volunteers. This absolutely wasn’t the case. The Directors are very welcoming and encourage applications from anyone who feels they have something to contribute.