Meet The Board
I am now retired after working for over 40 years in the NHS as a Clinical Scientist. I have held senior positions in Manchester hospitals, within my professional bodies and with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the professional regulator. I was born in Leeds but have lived in South Manchester since 1973 and been an active member of the community. I was a School Governor at St Catherine's Primary School and joined St Catherine's Credit Union in 1981. I was involved as a leader with the Woodcraft Folk for a number of years. I became more actively involved with South Manchester Credit Union in 2006, was elected as a director in 2009 and President in 2010. I am married to Teresa and we both enjoy hill walking and the outdoors. I enjoy real ale and was a founder of the Didsbury Beer Festival in 2008.
I was born in Dublin in 1952. I joined Sundrive Credit Union in 1974. I came to Manchester in 1975 with the help of a credit union loan. I tried unsuccessfully to set up a credit union in Rusholme in 1976. I joined the buses in 1977 and in 1992 I founded GM Buses Employees Credit Union at Princess Road Bus Depot in Moss Side. Today that credit union is called Voyager Alliance and I am still a director, in the post of secretary of VACU. After 37 years driving buses around Manchester I retired in March 2014.
I am actively involved in helping and promoting credit unions at local, national and international level. I am currently writing the History of the British Credit Union Movement and I am founder of the British Credit Union Historical Society, whose aim is to preserve credit union history for archive and research purposes.
My hobbies are researching family history with my wife, Winifride. We love attending food, drink and garden festivals through out the North West as well visiting wildlife and bird sanctuaries. I am on the committee of the Didsbury Beer Festival and I am currently researching the names on the Manchester Corporation Tramways Memorial Plaque for the Centenary of WW1.
I retired from paid work after 35 years in the charity sector, most recently as Finance Manager for Manchester Mind. I also worked in the Micro Business sector at Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Further Education as a Maths Lecturer and in marketing for Engineering firms.
I am currently on the SMCU Finance Committee and Treasurer of Manchester Citizens Advice. The UK has a very dysfunctional financial industry and I am active in pressure groups such as Positive Money, which argues for the democratisation of our money supply
My wife has helped to keep me out of serious trouble for 46 years. An attribute I try to pass on to our 15 year old Grandson. I love motorbikes, Classic Cars and Early English history.
Mike Connolly has been a director of SMCU since 2013. This is his first directorship in the financial sector. Previously he was a director of the National Council for Hospices and Specialist Palliative Care Services (7 years). Mike is employed as a consultant nurse based at Wythenshawe Hospital from where he leads the palliative care services in South Manchester. He was twice elected and served as a staff governor of University Hospital of South Manchester Hospital Trust (7 years). Mike was elected and served as Vice Chair (2 years) and Chair (2 years) of Withington Constituency Labour Party. He is currently Chair of Didsbury Beer Festival (in its 8th year) which is run for the benefit of the local community and local good causes.
I grew up in Widnes when it was dominated by the chemical industry, near a polluted river Mersey. Now salmon swim up river and there is more awareness of green issues. I have solar panels which charge my electric car, as I am concerned about air pollution and worry about climate changes. I worked as an occupational therapist in Durham, London and Stockport specialising in stroke rehabilitation. I help run a stroke club in Stockport to provide support after discharge home. I joined a community group in Barlow Moor that planned to set up a credit union and we launched South Manchester Credit Union in 2000. Our role as volunteers changed as it grew and staff were employed. I enjoy being part of a co-operative group when a lot gets done as everyone contributes.
I was, along with Jean Johnston, a founding director of the credit union in 2000. I chaired the group that set up the credit union. As a group we met every week for two years to agree our policies and procedures, which culminated in all 16 of us getting interviewed by the Registry of Friendly Societies in the Library on Merseybank, now replaced by the new community centre. Launching on 1st October 2000 was a massive achievement and our progress since then has been amazing.
I have a background in Co-operation – I was on the Central Regional Council of United Co-operatives before it merged with The Co-operative Group and I was active in the Co-operative Party.
When I am not running Mersey Bank Collection point on Saturday Mornings, which I enjoy immensely, I am training to be a Debt Counsellor at Citizens Advice, following a career in Social and Market Research with AECOM.
I was proud to be able to use my research skills for the benefit of the Credit Union in 2018 when as part of the Liverpool John Moores University course on Financial Inclusion I wrote my project ‘Predicting Credit Union Loan Delinquency- A case Study’ based on credit union data.
The credit union is one of the best organisations I have been involved with and I am very proud to have played my role in its development and success.
I have lived in South Manchester for over ten years. I used to work at the University of Manchester and am now an academic at King’s College London. I teach Criminology and Law undergraduate students and most of my research is about criminal justice. I have been a Director of SMCU since 2014 and enjoy being part of such an important community-focused organisation. I also try to do a Parkrun on Saturday mornings.
Roland Fox is a Senior Lecturer in Finance at Salford University. He graduated from Manchester University and subsequently took a Masters in Accounting and Finance and is also a Chartered Management Accountant. Before lecturing, Roland worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers, London and Manchester Assurance and BTR (now Invensys). He has published and given papers in the areas of education and finance and is the author of two textbooks on Financial Management and International Financial Management.
I’m Manchester-born and have lived in South Manchester for 30+ years. I’m a bit of a jack of all trades having worked in housing, employment, training, business and enterprise and also community finance. I have a particular passion for social enterprise and am currently an Executive Director of Care & Share Associates, the UK’s largest worker-owned adult social care company. I got to know SMCU in 2012 while running a business start-up service in Manchester and soon afterwards joined the board. It’s a privilege to be involved with this extraordinary organisation that’s making such an important difference for our local community.