22 Nov 2018
Glasgow’s Trades Hall welcomed guests from America, Ireland and all over the UK as one of the city’s rapidly-growing financial organisations celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Since opening its doors in November 1998, the NHS Credit Union has grown to become one of Scotland’s biggest credit unions with around 17,500 members.
To mark its 20th birthday, the organisation invited a variety of guests to Tuesday’s ceremony. Key speakers included Aileen Campbell MSP; UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis; credit union partners, charity partners – as well as past and present members of the NHS Credit Union.
As part of the celebration, credit union founder member, Robert Rae, helped launch a new educational scholarship for members of the organisation.
And a competition was also launched to allow every member the chance to win holiday vouchers as a special “birthday present”.
Dave Prentis was the first guest speaker, and he talked about the values of democracy, equality, equity and caring for others which were shared by credit unions and the trade union movement.
Unveiling the scholarship fund, Robert Rae said he felt embarrassed, humbled and proud to have the scholarship established in his name. He said it was a great opportunity for the credit union to put something back into community and help members further their education.
Over the last 20 years, the organisation has developed close links with fellow credit unions – both at home and abroad.
Sean Hosford, CEO of the NHS Credit Union’s Irish twin, Health Services Staff CU, travelled from Dublin to add his congratulations to staff, directors, volunteers and members on their 20 years.
And Marshall Boutwell, CEO of American partner Peach State CU, came over from Atlanta, Georgia, to add his congratulations – and pledge $10,000 from that organisation to the NHSCU’s new scholarship fund.
Throughout the afternoon, a key focus was on providing services to the NHS staff it serves, and one member from Forth Valley – Alison Pithie - took to the stage to explain how the credit union had helped her improve her finances over the years.
As a measure of the importance the Scottish Government places in credit unions, Communities and Local Government Minister Aileen Campbell came along to pass on her birthday wishes.
She congratulated the credit union on 20 years of putting its members first and a core purpose of equity, solidarity and fairness. She added that it was great to celebrate with the team and to spread the word about fantastic CUs through the Scottish Government’s People not Profit campaign.
Rounding off proceedings, NHS Credit Union Chair Elaine Rae spoke of her personal pride to reflect that an organisation which began round her kitchen table all those years ago had grown into one of the largest credit unions in Britain – without ever losing sight of its key objective of helping members to improve their financial wellbeing
The NHS Credit Union first opened its doors in November 1998, in the Nursing Quarters of the former Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. It now employs 17 staff from its base in Govan’s Dava Street.
It offers ethical financial services to around 17,500 NHS staff and their families from Shetland to Sheffield.
At the end of the last financial year, the total value of all assets held by the organisation exceeded £23million, with the total value of loans issued to members in that time approaching £87m.