Welcome to HSSCU’s Staff Focus!
We are delighted to introduce you to our Galway Branch Manager – Ann! Ann is something of a Galway socialite with everyone in Galway knowing her wherever she goes. She is one of our most bubbly characters in HSSCU and is always up for a laugh. More importantly, she really is the mother hen of our Galway crew and always make sure everyone is taken care of. MOST importantly – when any staff visit Galway she would never leave them hanging for a good cup of tea and a biscuit.
Hi Ann, firstly tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am from Galway and live in the Claddagh area of the city. I have 2 adult children Anthony and Barbara-Ann and 5 grandchildren Jack, Ronan, Abi-Ann, Ellen and Sadie.
What led you to working in the Credit Union Movement?
November 1981 – it was exactly a year after I had left my position as a Shorthand Typist (what is that) in the CIE Personnel Office (now called HR). I was in the CIE Credit Union office and the teller in the course of conversation said that she was leaving and I said mention my name to the “powers that be”. The rest is history as they say – so it was “being in the right place at the right time”.
You work in our Galway office. How are things in The Tribesmen’s county at present?
No different to other areas at the moment with the COVID restrictions. The summer months and indeed the whole year through would normally be hectic in Galway especially with Galway been the Capital of Culture – Galway 2020, but this was not to be. We had a great news story with the miracle rescue of the 2 girls off Galway Bay last week and that was absolutely fantastic.
We know you’re essentially the Queen of Galway, what do you love about where you’re from?
It is funny that you should mention Queen of Galway because I was born in Queen Street. I just love Galway – it is a very friendly city and if I am walking home from work with the girls, they get a great “kick” out of the amount of people I actually know to say hello to. It has been said jokingly to me “I could run for the City Council” and you never know!!
Our Galway branch was originally a CIE credit union and you were here for both! How was the transition from a CIE specific CU to joining HSSCU?
It went very well and we transitioned from a small Credit Union to a much larger one embracing all the benefits that a large credit union such as HSSCU has to offer. For me personally, it was a great move and indeed for the membership of CIE CU.
You have a great team in the Galway branch. In Emma’s words – you’re like a family! As mother-hen, do you have any troublemakers, or are they all angels?
What can I say to that? Definitely “all angels”. Don’t forget, they will be reading this! Jokes aside, we are a great little family and the family chain is broken at the moment with Rachel working from home. We look forward to our reunion on her return.
How have things changed in the Galway branch since COVID-19?
To ensure the safety of staff and members we have introduced social distancing in the banking hall and all our members are compliant. We have changed our desks to ensure that we are all physically distanced and all is working extremely well. We would have seen a great increase in the amount of online and phone queries, which highlight the adaptability of the service we offer.
How do you keep sane at this time?
I actually have a good sense of humour and this keeps me sane. I have a love of sewing and I have started making face masks/coverings and this keeps me busy.
What are your guilty pleasures to help you through the pandemic?
Treats! Which are definitely not good for the figure!
What is your favourite thing about working in HSSCU?
HSSCU is an excellent company to work for and I have great colleagues.
Do you have any shows or movies you’d recommend we watch to brighten up our days?
I love detective shows and when the grandchildren stay over the comment is often “Granny was watching her weird detectives”. At the moment I am watching ”The Coroner”. It is a Canadian drama series based in Toronto. As I said, I have a sense of humour and I also really enjoy the reruns of Killinascully on Sunday evenings.
Lastly, what, in your opinion, makes credit unions different to other places you’ve worked?
I have worked in the Credit Union sector for most of my working life and in CIE (G) CU it was the staff and the great membership and this is still very true today. It is a very personal type of work.