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Rhondda Credit Union Wins International Awards

Picture Award winners: Christine Bates (front row, first right) and Christina Stoneman (front row, second right) joined Ian Gylee (back row, first left) and the other award winners on the evening.

Staff at a Rhondda credit union have been named as the very best in the business at a UK-wide award ceremony in London.

Dragonsavers in Treorchy scooped two prestigious titles in both the Edward Filene Credit Union and the Joe Biden Development Educator Awards.

The not-for-profit, community-based cooperative which offers savings, low-cost loans and a range of affordable financial products services also operates offices in Pontyclun and Tonyrefail.

The news comes only a matter of months since they won the International Credit Union Leadership Development and Education Foundation’s Beacon Award.

Head Office Supervisor Christine Bates received the Edward Filene Award for Performance excellence in Customer Service an award which recognised the attitude and knowledge that she brings to her role and how she inspires others to be the best they can.

From being a volunteer in the original Cwm Taf credit union set up in Rhydfelin more than 20 years ago, Christine has since operated outreach offices in Pontypridd before moving to Treorchy as Head Office Supervisor.

Following the glittering ceremony at Radisson Blu in Bloomsbury, she said:

“I was absolutely overjoyed and utterly shocked to see my name on the screen and cannot thank everyone enough for nominated me and their kind testimonials.

“At Dragonsavers we continually strive to deliver the best possible service as an organisation and make a genuine change to the financial security of our members which ultimately has a positive impact on their lives.”

Dragonsavers President Ian Gylee received the Edward Filene Awards for Performance Excellence ‘Single Benefactor’ award which recognised his work in demonstrating how credit unions can be a viable alternative to high street banks in Great Britain and Ireland.

Dragonsavers President Ian Gylee receiving the Edward Filene Awards for Performance Excellence ‘Single Benefactor’ award

After joining the credit union movement in 1996 he later joined the board of directors for Dragonsavers before accepting the position of president.

He said:

“Credit unions play an incredibly important role in people’s lives and we want to spread the message far wider to encourage more members to sign up and benefit from the range of financial products we have to offer.

“These include junior savings accounts, Christmas savings accounts, prepaid debit cards, insurance products and many more.”

The diversity of the services available from Dragonsavers Credit Union means they attract customers from all walks of life with a wide variety of financial needs.

General Manager Christina Stoneman was named the winner of Joe Biden Awards for Development Educators from around the world which acknowledge the contribution she has made.

Owned and democratically controlled by its members whose assets are pooled to help provide its many services, Dragonsavers puts the emphasis on providing the best service to members – putting them ahead of profits that would otherwise go to shareholders or investors.

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