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About Us Meet the team

Meet the Team

Our credit union is run by a core administration team supported by volunteers. The members of the Board of Directors are all volunteers with substantial experience in various relevant areas.

We couldn't offer the outstanding service and deliver market leading savings dividends without our volunteers. They are vital to our existence and true community heroes.

Our Volunteer Board includes

Carol Baker - Company Secretary

Carol has an interest in credit unions dating from 1992 when, with others, she started investigating setting one up for tenants and staff of a housing association. She joined the Weston-super-Mare Credit Union Steering Group (the founding group of today's Somerset Savings and Loans in 1999 as Volunteer Training and Policy Officer. She is currently the Company Secretary. Carol lives in Somerset and until October 2014 worked for Knightstone Housing Association where she was Operations Policy & Practice Manager. She is a Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and was recognised as a UK Credit Union Development Educator in 2009.

Donald Davies - Vice Chair

Don has always been interested in supporting cooperatives and, in addition to the credit union, has been on the Board of, and helped set up, two other community cooperatives. He joined the Board of the credit union initially as Treasurer, and is currently Vice Chair. He is a graduate of Trinity College Cambridge and holds a Masters in Engineering from Birmingham University. His career has been in transport and logistics. He has run his own consultancy for the last fourteen years. Don is also the Independent district councillor for Pill Ward in North Somerset and on the board of the village Children’s Centre and Youth Club. He is a qualified cricket coach and umpire.

Gillian Hull - Chair

Gill was elected as Chair of the Board of Directors in 2015. She has had previous extensive experience working for housing associations in both finance and housing management. From 2006 to 2007 Gill was employed as the Credit Union’s first loans officer. Following her retirement from that post, Gill continued volunteering with credit union, joining the Board in 2008.

Paul Urch - Treasurer

In 2012 Paul joined the Board and took a lead role in product development. He was elected Treasurer in March 2013. Paul has a Diploma in Business Administration. He worked for the New Work Trust and has held teaching positions with three local FE Colleges specialising in courses for the Institutes of Marketing, Export Marketing and Management Accounting. He established Clevedon Training Services offering hands-on computer training to over 2000 students a year. He sold this company to City of Bristol College. Since then he has undertaken consultancy work for a variety of companies, including Apple, Poundstretcher and Epson as well as many small local employers. Paul lives in North Somerset from where he manages his own commercial property company.

Jenie Eastman

Jenie was appointed to the Credit Union’s Board in December 2012. She is currently leading on the HR side and in a review of volunteer involvement in the credit union. Jenie is a senior manager with North Somerset Council. She is experienced in managing teams of staff and has an MBA. Jenie lives in North Somerset.

Richard Thompson

Richard joined the Board in 2014. He is a qualified solicitor with 16 years’ experience and also a Chartered Secretary. His day-to-day job is Head of Legal and Compliance for MAPFRE Assistance, a Spanish insurance company. When not at work he enjoys running, cycling, going to theatre and spending time with his young family.

Phillip Boyd

Philip has recently joined the Board. He has a background in legal software development. After being called to the Bar of England & Wales he had a mixed criminal and common law practice on the Western Circuit. He sat as a judge in the First-tier Tribunal of the Social Entitlement Chamber for about 20 years. He has been enthusiastic about Credit Unions as a concept for many years.

Michael Harriott

Michael Harriott recently joined the Board. He has a background of working with Co-operatives, and is currently a member of the Co-ops National Members Council. He currently works for the Civil Service. Michael's previous jobs include being a senior manager with the NHS and setting up and running a successful family services charity. Michael lives in Clevedon and when not working enjoys cycling and running at the nearest Park Run.


Our core administration team

Jackie Simpson

Jackie is the General Manager and was the credit union's first employee. Prior to joining the credit union in 2004 she worked in Community Development in Oxfordshire and Business Development / Quality Management in London. Jackie was recognised as a UK Credit Union Development Educator in 2008. Jackie holds a Business and French degree and can generally be found outside with her two sons or helping in the local Cub pack.

Julie Broad

Julie started working for the credit union in April 2013 as a Member Services Administrator She lives in Weston-super Mare and is a full time member of staff. She has always worked within the credit and finance industry and has an extensive fraud background from her years working for a telecommunications company as an analyst. Julie is now responsible for the credit union’s lending and recovery operations and also staffs its Information Station office in Weston-super-Mare.

David Hind

David joined the credit union in April 2013 and is responsible for the day-to-day finances of the credit union. He has extensive banking experience from many years with Lloyds Bank.

Supervisory Committee

Michael O'Kane

Mike is Chair of the Supervisory Committee. He had a long career in education, management and the financial services industry (mortgage finance, life insurance and pensions). Immediately prior to his retirement he worked for Bristol City Council and was a member of Bristol City Credit Union (now merged into Bristol Credit Union). Mike has been involved with credit unions for over 50 years. Living in Weston-super-Mare, he helped set up the credit union and was a founding member at its registration in 2004.


Call us:
  • Tel.
  • 01275 390650
Opening Hours
  • Mon - Fri
  • 9.30am - 4.30pm
Visit us:
  • Thu
  • 9.30am - 12.30pm / 1.30pm - 4.30pm
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Somerset Savings & Loans is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority & the Prudential
Regulation Authority. FCA & PRA FRN: 230768