As it celebrated its 20th anniversary, the Co-operative Credit Union recognised a credit union pioneer for his contribution to the movement.
The credit union awards the Graham Southall Award every year for passionate support and volunteering for the credit union. In 2018 the accolade went to Charles Sim, who was presented with the award at the organisation’s AGM in Manchester on 21 February.
A retired firefighter and former credit union development worker, Mr Sim has been involved in the credit union sector for over 25 years, being the longest serving board member of Scotwest Credit Union. He is chair of the Supervisory Committee of the Co-operative Credit Union and also volunteers for Churches Mutual, another credit union. In 2009 he received the International Credit Union Development Education Award, which was presented by the National Credit Union Foundation at that year’s World Credit Union conference in Barcelona.
He said: “It does mean a lot to me, to know my volunteering is appreciated. My special interest in credit unions right now is good governance and knowing I am a part of a well-run credit union is great.”
Commenting on the award, chair Chris Smith said: “I am delighted this award has been presented to Charles, who works tirelessly for the Co-operative Credit Union. It also recognises his many years of volunteering for credit unions in general and other organisations.
He added: “The Co-operative Credit Union is in good shape and we have lent over £30m since we started in 1998, and the future looks good.
“As it was 20 years ago when the credit union was established, our aim remains to provide members with a simple mechanism for saving and borrowing.
“I am extremely proud that from a relatively modest beginning the credit union has grown into a thriving operation, serving the needs of more than 8,000 members, and their families, drawn from a range of co-operative and mutual organisations across the UK.”
The Co-operative Credit Union is open to current employees and pensioners of co-operative organisations and their families.