Credit Union volunteer wins lifetime achievement award

A Rhondda credit union volunteer has won a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the Credit Union of Wales.

Ian Gylee, president of the Treorchy-based Dragonsavers Credit Union received the title from the Patron of Credit Unions of Wales Jane Hutt AM and BBC broadcaster Jennifer Jones at the special event held in Cardiff Bay.

Ian of Brynna has been involved in the credit union movement for more than 20 years when he was part of the small steering group that later became Border Vale Credit Union.

Following the merger of the five credit unions in Rhondda Cynon Taf in 2003, Ian has continued to serve on the Board of Directors and accepted the position of President of Dragonsavers.

Mr Gylee, aged said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed to receive this award which I accept on behalf of all of the staff, members and volunteers at Dragonsavers Credit Union.

“They work incredibly hard to ensure the ongoing success of the credit union movement and the many financial services we have available to the public.”

Christina Stoneman, General Manager of Dragonsavers Credit Union added: “Ian continues to volunteer in his local office each week and effortlessly “changes hats” when working as the counter teller. 

“He has an excellent rapport with members, staff and fellow directors and his unassuming manner coupled with his ability to discern when to lead and when to let others take on the responsibly to manage development has seen Dragonsavers thrive.”

Ian was one of eight award winners at The Pierhead which also welcomed Jane Hutt AM, Patron of the Credit Unions of Wales who is spearheading a campaign for Welsh people to take a stand against high cost credit providers

It comes following an announcement that people in Wales are more susceptible to over-indebtedness than any other country in the UK, with 440,000 at risk of being unable to keep up with credit repayments.

According to the study by the Money Advice Service, more than one in six people in Wales are at risk of being unable to keep up with credit repayments.

Michael Sheen, actor and founder of the End High Cost Credit Alliance said: “As a Patron of Credit Unions of Wales it’s an honour to support the awards in raising the profile of the great achievements made this year.

“Fair and responsible finance that can respond to the real needs of people in communities across Wales and the rest of the UK is core to my mission with the End High Cost Credit Alliance, of which I’m proud to say Credit Unions of Wales is an important member.

“For the movement to win the battle against high cost credit, we need effective providers and that includes credit unions. So today is a great opportunity to showcase what works and to raise the profile so that more people join their local credit union. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”

The Credit Unions of Wales Awards were sponsored by ABCUL, Change Account, Engage and supported by the Welsh Government.

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