YPN Committee Chair - Paul Norgrove

Paul Norgrove- Chair of the YPN Committee

Why and when did you first get involved in credit unions? 

I joined the movement in July 2012 having worked in the ‘not for profit’ sector for 4 years. To be completely honest, a friend of mine sent me across the job advert and after my initial thought of “what is a credit union?” - I did a little research and not only was I interested in how credit unions serve their members and not make profit from customers, I realised the office was only a mile away from where I was living at the time! I applied immediately and as they say, the rest is history.

Why did you choose to be part of the YPN Steering Committee? 

I was fortunate enough to attend the World Council of Credit Unions Conference in 2014 and be part World Young Credit Union Professions (WYCUP) program. I was blown away how a group of young credit union professionals came together from across the globe and yet some of the challenges facing young professionals were the same. I was inspired by the groups focus on “what are we as young professionals for other young professionals” and that as young people need to step up and help one another. I have carried that experience with me for my credit union career and I feel extremely fortunate to have been part of the YPN Committee and help create something for Young Professionals in the UK.  

Why is the YPN important to you? 

Although 2012 is only 8 years ago, the credit union sector in the UK has evolved significantly during that time. I can assure you, there were not many Young Professionals around back then! There is still however, a real need to create an environment for young people to develop, thrive and stay within the movement. We have a unique opportunity to come together and help achieve that. I am extremely passionate and a believer that the YPN isn’t just for the leaders of tomorrow but the leaders of today!

What have you gained from being a member of the YPN Steering Committee? 

Three words stand out for me:

Pride - I am incredibly proud of what the YPN has achieved in such a short space of time. To have 50 young professionals attend our event in 2020 and to hear the feedback from those who may never have connected with other YPs or being to a credit union event before is something means so much to the committee.

Faith - The amount of support we have received from both ABCUL and key credit union CEOs, board members and colleagues who have volunteered their time and support to speak at events, webinars and invest in YOU as a young professionals has given me faith that the future is bright and we are only just getting started.

Friendship – It feels like just yesterday a small group of young credit union professionals sat in a café in Manchester talking about how we could form a youth forum, that day the ABCUL Young Professionals Committee was born and we’ve gone from near strangers, to a group of volunteers, to friends.

What advice would you give to people considering wanting to get involved in the YPN?

I would urge anyone who is young or even young at heart to get involved. There was a time when we were all the ‘new’ person in the room or didn’t know anyone outside of our credit union in the sector. But I promise you, time flies and you will learn, you will laugh, you will have fun and you never know, you could meet one other person that might change your life.