CUW Awards 2020: Workplace Champion

Credit Unions of Wales Awards: Workplace Champion.

The third Credit Unions of Wales Awards will take place on Friday 2 October 2020.

The awards celebrate the payroll partners, volunteers, members and schools whose exceptional work within the credit union movement has a positive impact on communities across Wales.

The Workplace Champion category recognises a Payroll Partner member of staff that goes ‘above and beyond’ to promote their local credit union within their workplace.

They may undertake activities or work closely with their Credit Union to promote the benefits of membership.

The nominations for this award are:

Jane Westwood (Newport City Council)
ominated by Newport Credit Union 
Since the start of 2020 the credit union’s newsletter has appeared on the Council intranet to allow their workforce easier access to information.

Jane’s position in HR makes her a great contact for all social service departments including access to foster carers for junior savings accounts for looked after children.

As a long-term enthusiastic credit union member, she supplies members with hard-copy administration forms as well as sign-posting staff directly to Newport City Council, and staff benefits days. 

She has also linked the credit union to the new community hubs within Newport and access.

Jane has been very much involved in the staff benefit days and in the promotion of the credit union.


Sara Edwards (Linc-Cymru Housing Association)
Nominated by Cardiff & Vale Credit Union
Since becoming Wellbeing Officer at Linc, Sara has been invaluable in reinvigorating the payroll scheme partnership.

Sara initially become a member herself, and was so impressed with the benefits and ease of the scheme, she had an enthusiasm to share this with everyone in the company.

With multiple locations across Wales, a touring roadshow was started. It was tailored to each location, accounting for  staff availability, workload and demand.

The project included coffee mornings, team meetings and lunchtime surgeries. It visited 18 locations and membership increased by an amazing 471%.

Sara has been integral to this success, by being present at each venue and sharing her passion and personal experience of the payroll scheme. 


Samantha Birrell (JNP Legal Ltd)
Nominated by Merthyr Tydfil Borough Credit Union
When JNP first became a payroll partner, Sam was quick to be nominated by fellow employees as their ‘payroll patron’.

Sam is exceptional and ensures that all staff are aware of the credit union with information days and through regular emails and meetings.

Sam is always quick to help new staff members, and ensures that every person has information about the credit union when they join the organisation.

Lots of activities have been organised from information days to welcome packs.

Sam genuinely cares about her fellow employees and has tried various methods to build up memberships in the workplace.


Gemma Newman (Williams Medical Supplies Ltd
Nominated by
Smart Money Cymru 
Gemma Newman is a key figure in the relationship between Smart Money and Williams Medical Supplies.

Gemma joined the credit union in June 2006 and was impressed with how it helped her to become financially organised after being in debt herself. 

She was instrumental in getting her workplace to offer the saving scheme as she believed other members of staff would benefit. 

She has also got HR involved in ensuring that all employees are informed about this staff benefit during induction.

Gemma is instrumental in onsite coordination of promotions, advice and guidance on financial products and services. 

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