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The Filene and Biden Awards and Celebratory Dinner

The sixth and highly successful annual British and Irish Credit Union “Oscars” took place  in London on Saturday 19th November where Awards were given to the credit unions and individuals who had competed for the various categories of the "Edward Filene Credit Union Awards for Performance Excellence – GB & Ireland" and "Joe Biden Awards for Development Educator of the Year from Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Caribbean and Europe".

The Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker, Lord Maurice Glasman of Stoke Newington and of Stamford Hill in the Borough of Hackney, a very well-known academic, community mobiliser and activist stated:-  “Credit unions have a true message for the benefit of all people, not being beholden to (outside) shareholders - the vital co-operative credit union difference, they should remain true to themselves, not rely on anyone else, including politicians; working together in their communities and being self-reliant”.

With Gill Hillier, Geoff Leech and Godfrey Gyasi from “Engage” Prepaid Card, Contis Group Ltd - the main sponsors of the event - the ICULD&E Foundation's Co-Trustees, Barry and Marilynne Epstein.

Caroma Systems Ltd., Lindley Adams - Chartered Accountants and Midland Business Recovery also generously supported the event.

The thought provoking and highly original video'd palindrome ​“When it Comes to Financial Freedom, I'm a Lost Cause",was shown at outset, with the kind consent of the USA’s National Credit Union Foundation, having premiered in 2015 at the USA Herb Wegner Dinner in Washington, DC 

The team from Dragonsavers Credit Union Ltd, (from Treorchy, Wales), who won the “Edward Filene Award for Performance Excellence in Social Entrepreneurship” - the Supreme Award - having achieved the highest score across all the Award categories - with Lord Maurice Glasman, third from the left. 

Prince Bishops Community Bank Ltd (based in Stanley, Co. Durham) came a very close second.

The 2016 "Joe Biden Awards for Development Educator of the Year" went to inspirational Development Educators from Kenya, China and the Philippines.

2015 Awards Dinner - Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, London, hosted by the ICULD&E Foundation

Presenting the Awards:- the Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker, Her Excellency Mrs Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Jamaican High Commissioner in London and non resident Ambassador for six other countries, who previously in her career had been the General Manager of City of Kingston Co-operative Credit Union, Jamaica.  

In her keynote address, Her Excellency talked about her involvement in and attraction to the credit union movement throughout her life, her reliance upon it to fund her education and career progression, lifestyle etc.  In her final remarks, she challenged the UK credit union movement to achieve the same ratio of owner-membership per population as in Jamaica – a third - so that by 2020, owner-membership would be 20 million, not the 2 million (quoted in a recent report by the World Council of Credit Unions). View her full address and highlights of the Dinner here

2014 Awards Dinner- Congress Centre, London, hosted by ICULD&E Foundation 

Guest of Honour and keynote speaker - Bobby Cummines paid tribute to the work undertaken by “diamond” credit union leaders.  Please visit the videos section for a flavour of the Award Celebratory Dinner itself.   The second more lengthy film, introduced by a much appreciated greeting to the event from Brian Branch, President and Chief Executive Officer of WOCCU, is a compilation of film clips shown during the Awards Ceremony, some made by Award Winners in support of their winning entries and others photographic montages prepared for some very special and surprised Winners of Awards! 

While not wishing to confer “star” status, a Welsh Winner gives the Disney Corporation a run for their money and two others demonstrate how a credit union can achieve success by embedding itself in community activity and outreach.  The final clips concern the “Lifetime Achievement Award” made to a person previously holding very high office in the credit union movement, going back to grassroots to tackle real poverty in an unfriendly environment.

2013 Awards Dinner – Marriott Hotel, Liverpool, hosted by Partners Credit Union Ltd., Liverpool  

Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker - Dame Pauline Green President of the International Co-operative Alliance (previously Chief Executive Officer of Co-operatives UK).  

Highlights of Dame Pauline's address included confirmation of the role women pay in particular in developing co-operative enterprises and credit unions in the developing world. She also emphasised the need for better financial services for all. Continuing, Guests were reminded that July 6th is International Cooperative Day, and that while there was little economic growth worldwide in the “for profit sector”, co-operatives everywhere are booming as a result of their ethical conduct and fair trading practices, delivering in excess of a billion participants worldwide.

See the list of all Award Winners from 2011 to 2015  

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