ABCUL Board Profile - Director for Yorkshire, Humber and the North East

Alan Hignett - Director for Yorkshire, Humber and the North East (Joined ABCUL Board in 2018 - after serving nine years to 2017)

Alan Hignett is the Joint Vice Chair of Hull and East Yorkshire Credit Union (HEYCU).  He has been involved in credit unions since 1986.   He was a children’s social worker for 22 years working within Hull fostering with grandparents/relative/ friends who take over care of the children. He has now retired so can spend more time pursuing interests. 


Why did you first get involved in credit unions?
He first became involved in 1986 when he was a member of the Manchester Unity Friendly Society  - The Odd Fellows. He played a small part in the launch of the credit union for their membership as part of the credit committee.

Why did you choose to stand for election to the ABCUL Board?
Well having attended the then Development Educators Course DEUK 07. On completion you had to undertake a project; my eventual project was to become a Director on the ABCUL Board. I joined as a National Director which at that time was elected by members at the AGM which was exciting!


What have you gained from being a member of the ABCUL Board? 
Where do you start? Well the ability to stand in front of your peers at the AGM and put a motion. To use my brain in a different way; working with a group of diverse people to promote credit unionism; the ability to talk in Board meetings to put a point across; to be equally challenged by others with a different point of view; to learn from that. To have a wide view across credit unions of all types not just your own Credit Union.

What have you been able to contribute to the ABCUL Board?
I think and obviously it is my opinion that I have been able to challenge and give on occasion a different viewpoint. Part of contribution is in itself working closely with others. Bit of humour [again my opinion] as the longest serving Board Member I have a unique view of what we have previously discussed and why we did something. I am always available to work on a committee. But most of all being able to form an opinion born out by considering the various outcomes.

What advice would you give to people considering standing for the ABCUL Board? 
Well this is not an easy question to answer as it is one of those it depends questions? The board are moving toward being inclusive and being representative of its membership which is an ideal we all agreed and working toward. The board is now 9 members each representing a region of GB so being known in your own region would be a start also to ask relevant questions at every opportunity.

However, we do need all types of people to put themselves forward for election to the board. This needs to be via competitive elections.  So for every director who is voted on to the board there needs to be others who, although unsuccessful, will hold them to account. We need people who have the time to give and can spend time ensuring they keep their knowledge of the movement both local and worldwide fresh. Willing to learn but also to say why is that like that? Have a go you are different from me, I am very sure of that.