20 Oct Unsung Hero Awards 2022

The Unsung Hero Awards 2022 celebrates individuals who work tirelessly to help their Credit Unions and their wider communities.

It has been a fantastic few weeks, we have had some great nominations come through and some amazing stories. We would like to thank everyone who has participated in the awards.  It really highlights all of the individual efforts which go into the day-to-day actions of a Credit Union or Community Bank, and the lengths these individuals go to. Every single person nominated are more-than worthy of an award, however judging was determined by the extent of these stories, and we are delighted to be able to share some of these with you.

So without further ado we are proud to present the Unsung Heroes of 2022.

England and IOM

Colin Strickland – Riverside Credit Union

“In 1989 Colin was one of a small group of voluntary directors at Speke Community Credit Union. The narrow aim of the forerunners was to combat the activities of loan sharks in the Speke area. Today, known as Riverside Credit Union that concept has expanded and seen the organisation develop into one of the areas key community owned assets, held and controlled by its members. Nowadays, Colin, as finance manager plus his committed team, deliver a self-sustained, regulated financial institution providing a safe savings facility plus administering millions of pounds in low interest loans. Each of those years Colin and the team have increased the membership support they give to thousands of members, helping enhance members personal financial resilience in today’s economically uncertain times.” – Mike Knight

David Talbot – Manx Credit Union

David was the founder of the only credit union on the island. He successfully changed Manx legislation, organized an office, and set up operations to make it a success.  In August, Manx moved to larger premises and over the last 5 years have increased membership and products. David has introduced a family loan which works in collaboration with the IOM government and also the Engage card which enables members without bank accounts to feel inclusive. During the pandemic, the office was closed but online activities continued and in the current climate of rising costs, David has introduced an energy account for all members. Underpinning all this activity he has been solely responsible for fundraising – its time someone recognised his achievements.” – Ravina Talbot


Northern Ireland

Jackie Purvis – Coagh and District Credit Union

Jackie is a very valuable member of our Credit Union. She is our Assistant Treasurer and takes this role very seriously, by sharing the role with the Treasurer. She is often seen talking with our customers, helping them with problems such as helping fill out forms that are appropriate to them. She is first on hand each night when balancing our books in case someone needs help.  She is a very reliable, positive person who always has a smile on her face and our Credit Union would be lost without her.” – Betty Biggar

Nigel McGonigle – Harp and Crown Credit Union

Nigel is our Senior Loans & Member Services Officer and without any instruction from management, took it upon himself to digitize all of our hard copy member records, of which there were in excess of 12,000.  He worked with his three direct report and the Admin Officer and set everyone the task of several records each to work on scanning and uploading and/ or shredding as appropriate in allocated down time periods. There were 19 large filing cabinets in all. I have no doubt that Nigel has made a massive difference to the ability of all staff to be provide an even better quality of service to our members through this initiative.” – Siobhan Barclay



Julie Reddin – Mosshill Credit Union

“Julie has been an integral part of the success of the CU. Beginning as a volunteer her ability and love of CU ethos  “people helping people ” became apparent from an early stage. Pat Lewis the manager at the time recommended to the board employing Julie, one of the easiest and wisest decisions any board has made. Pat taught Julie really well and when she passed away Julie was more than qualified to take over. Her enthusiasm and willingness to do ABCUL course has seen her knowledge benefit not only Mosshill but other CU,s in the area .Our board  all volunteers have grown over the years with her guidance. Julia has been through a rough time the passed couple of years…while in hospital she had her laptop doing her Credit Union work. – John McGarrell

Joe Ochei – Grampian Credit Union

“As a Director of the Grampian Credit Union, he made great efforts in marketing the Grampian Credit Union’s services and products to newly arrived international students and African families to create awareness and reduce incidents of exploitation by loan sharks and pay day lenders. Some of his achievements as Director/Chair of the Grampian Credit Union includes instilling sound money management knowledge and skills in the newly arrived international students and ensuring the building of credit worthiness and financial discipline.” – Chinyere Adeniyi-Alade



Colette Morgan – Save Easy Credit Union

She handles members and situations in the office and motivates the rest of us. We appreciate that she is such a team player. Always being open to sharing your ideas. I think it is fantastic when someone can handle a challenging situation without taking it personally. Her work ethic is impeccable. She goes above and beyond! Your positivity is contagious! Thank you for brightening our day.” – Aneta Williams

Mandy Evans – Llynfi Valley Credit Union

She goes above and beyond to help all the members often staying after work or coming in on her days off unpaid.  We have had a very difficult few months with our local bank closing and Mandy having to work hard around the clock to source other banking facilities to make sure there was money available for our customers. If it wasn’t for Mandy LLynfi Valley Credit Union would not have survived and that would have left our small ex mining community which has a huge amount of deprived families, without access to money.” – Sara Thomas


Congratulations to the winners, as well as to those who were nominated. We cant wait to hear more amazing stories of ongoing commitment and hard-work to help better your local community, in next years Unsung Hero Awards 2023.