In usual ABCUL conference tradition, the end of the day-two featured the annual graduation of the Credit Union Foundation ‘CU Futures’ programme.
CU Futures now in its seventh year of operation has overseen 69 individual graduates from 41 different credit unions across England, Scotland and Wales. Last weekend, in Manchester, an additional eight credit union professionals graduated the 12-month development course bringing the total to 77 graduates since 2016.
Since March 2022, this year’s class of CU Futures have undertaken a range of activities focused on their personal development as well as expanding their exposure to the wider sector and supporting them to think strategically about the future of credit unions in Britain.
“This is a one-of-a-kind development opportunity for young professionals within our sector to further their skills and experience and progress to the next stage of their careers,” says Head of Advocacy at ABCUL, Debbie Smith-Hands.
A key part of the CU Futures programme is for participants to work collaboratively in groups on a 12-month project to address the challenges that face the credit union sector. During the two-day ABCUL Conference, each team presented their proposal to a judging panel. Each group presented to the panel on the morning of day-one and on Saturday evening the panel announced Joel Williams of The Co-op Credit Union and Maya Birr-Pixton of HEY Credit Union.
Joel and Maya have worked extremely hard to put together a high-quality project looking at the case for more collaboration between credit unions to support the sector’s technology needs.
Following the graduation, the Foundation were delighted to announce that Marshall Boutwell from Peach State Credit Union in the USA committed to $25,000 to the CU Futures programme the next four years. To date, Peach State have donated $85,000 since the programme commenced. There was also a record amount of donations from credit unions at the conference with a total of £14,000 committed to the programme.
“I’d thank the enormous support from credit unions, the Credit Union Foundation receives each year for it to happen and we are delighted that the sector continues to support it,” Debbie added.