About Us

Basildon Credit Union Ltd (BCUL) opened for business in 1988. It began as a workplace Credit Union for Basildon Borough Council (Basildon Council or the Council) employees and later widened its Common Bond to include former employees of the Council, to enable continuous use of our services after ceasing employment.

Our current Common Bond covers all those who ‘live and/or work’ in the County of Essex. Membership is also extended to former Basildon Council employees, who reside and/or work outside Essex.

We are primarily a savings and loans service with a membership of over 425, as at the end of November 2022. We also operate a Christmas Savings Club, with members saving regularly throughout the year; the Christmas Savings Club is paid out to members annually, in November. We offer several competitive loan products to suit our member’s needs.

The BCUL office is currently located within Basildon Council’s main offices, although we remain a separate organisation to the Council. This Town Centre location is ideally placed for external customers, having excellent public transport links.

Skills and Experience

BCUL is supported by six volunteer Directors, who give their time to support and guide the work of the Basildon Credit Union, and two part-time, paid Finance Officers.

Our Board of Directors has been actively recruited because of their skills and expertise used within their ‘day jobs’ or where they have extensive experience of specialist key skills/knowledge.

However, we are always looking for talented people to join our team. If you feel you would be an asset to our team and would be interested in becoming a Director of the Credit Union, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch via the ‘Contact’ tab.

Meet The Team

Leah Douglas

Role: President

Leah has spent the majority of her working life in local government in both Essex and Suffolk, has worked for the voluntary sector on a Big Lottery Programme and currently works for a local housing provider. Leah’s background is in community development (including supporting groups and organisations to set up, develop and access grant funding). All of Leah’s work has a common theme; supporting people to improve their quality of life. This passion is reflected in the work she does for the Credit Union (CU), where she has had two stints, totalling over 15 years at being a Director and is currently the CU President, having held the position for the last 3 years. Leah says ‘So many people are hard pressed and find it difficult to save and sometimes get credit, particularly in these difficult times. The CU provides a safe place for people to keep their money and enables them to borrow at reasonable rates, avoiding the need to use unscrupulous lenders, so it’s a win/win’. I have no doubt that the CU makes life easier for all our members.’

Penny Collinson

Role: Treasurer

Penny is a married mother of 2 adult children with a full time job and 2 volunteering roles.

She has worked in the finance sector for local government for over 25 years, and currently works as a Principal Accountant for a local authority. Penny has a wealth of financial and accounting experience, both in the public as well as the private sector.

Penny has been volunteering as the Treasurer for Basildon Credit Union since August 2017. About this role, she believes it has been both fulfilling and a learning curve and has enabled her to realise her aims to give back to the community and seek ways to help those that find themselves financially excluded.

Katrina Leighton-Hearn

Role: Company Secretary

As a CIPFA qualified senior finance leader, Katrina’s experience over the past 30+ years centres around supporting local government and the NHS to develop robust financial infrastructure alongside developing individual expertise. Since 2021, Katrina has worked in the not-for-profit sector and is the Finance Director for a national charity. As well as volunteering as a director and Company Secretary for the Credit Union, she is also a trustee for an Essex Hospice.

Katrina brings to the Credit Union her vast experience in managing relationships with varied external stakeholders and her enthusiasm and passion. Having been a member of the BCUL for over 15 years she has seen the impact of our organisation, and is keen to ensure its sustainability; to support future generations in need of financial services.

Mary Anum

Role: Director / Money-Laundering Officer

Mary joined BCU in July 2021 as a volunteer Non-Executive Director. She has over 15 years’ experience in Finance and Accountancy and holds ACCA and AAT qualifications. Mary has worked with organisations across various business sectors, one of which is a large Credit Union. And she owns a Finance & Accountancy practice for supporting business owners.

Mary’s major roles at BCU are for supporting the Treasurer and leading on Anti-Money laundering compliance.

Joanne Fennell

Role: Communications Officer

Joanne has worked in Local Government for over 20 years, the last 11 years in her role as a Safeguarding Officer. Before this she worked for the London Stock Exchange for 12 years within a news service, and later in an enforcement and regulation function. She has been a member of the Basildon Credit Union Ltd (BCUL) for the last 17 years, and a volunteer Director for over 12 years.

Joanne’s strengths and experience lie in policy/procedure writing, supporting colleagues with welfare concerns and in communication to varied and wide ranging audiences. Joanne is passionate about the Credit Union and her role in ensuring the expansion and success of the business, to enable more people to benefit from BCUL’s services.

Sue Marriott

Role: GDPR Officer

Sue is a volunteer Director of the Credit Union. Her day job involves working for Basildon Council as the Data Protection Officer. Sue lives in Thurrock but has worked in Basildon since 1985 where she started working for the Unemployment Benefit Office for ten years, then joined the Council in 1995. Sue is happily married, no children but has two small rescue dogs who keep her on her toes. Sue and her husband have supported West Ham for many years and are both Season Ticket holders.

Sue joined the Credit Union as a Director a few years ago because she believes it is a great organisation that can really help people, and she enjoys being part of something so worthwhile. Sue believes being a Director can be hard work (most of the time!) but that all Directors bring something different to the table in regard to skills and abilities – all getting on very well and supporting each other, which in turn makes the team versatile and resilient. Sue is proud of the work she and her fellow Directors do for the Credit Union and would encourage everyone to join and make the most of the benefits of membership.