Congratulations Louise!

Congratulations to Penny Post’s CFO, Louise Ingleby, on her 20th Anniversary with Penny Post. What an achievement!

“I can honestly say I don’t know where the time has gone”, says Louise. “We had around 1000 members when I joined, and I remember the first person I helped complete a membership application.”

On the 1st May, 2000, Louise joined the credit union and was officially the first employee! As retired General Manager, Roy Cole explained “Royal Mail had agreed to pay me for a while so Louise became the first payroll clerk and the only recipient on our payroll!”

The then named Royal Mail Wolverhampton & District Employees Credit Union was registered on 31/1/96. For the first 4 years, Roy ran the credit union on his own, on a part time basis, from his desk in the Royal Mail HR office.

Louise had a part time job at the University library at the time. Her husband Stephen worked in the Royal Mail HR office, and ‘volunteered’ Louise for some ad hoc filing. Roy remembers “I had only recently been given full time release from HR. I knew I was in need of a part time assistant and Louise seemed the ideal organising type (as she has proved to be), so after checking with Stephen, I approached Louise with my offer!”

“We had a desk each, one PC in the middle, a four draw cabinet and two phones on the same line! Although it was a long time before the credit union had a room to ourselves, oddly enough, it’s now situated back in part of the old huge HR room” says Roy. “I do remember we were the first to have a PC with sound and a flat screen”…. surely not Louise’s influence!?!

Initially Louise worked 15 hours a week, working around looking after her young daughters. “We were closed on Mondays, and had an hour for lunch! Roy and I would simply turn off the computer and go down to the canteen!” Louise remembers.

Just after Louise joined, the credit union was renamed the Royal Mail (West) Credit Union and served Royal Mail employees in the WV, WS, ST, DY & B postcodes. With Louise’s help, the credit union grew quickly, and when Tracey Moore joined in October 2000 to cover Fridays, there were around 1400 members.

“In those days we had to apply to serve a bigger area” remembers Tracey. “When we applied to cover Wales, Roy decided we needed to learn Welsh! He bought a Welsh language tape, and Louise & I played it in the car on our way home from work (we shared a lift). I shall always remember listening to the tape for the first time. Louise was driving, and we are bemused by the Welsh language until suddenly we hears the words ‘Tom Jones’ in a very Welsh accent! We laughed and laughed and to this day, I don’t know how Louise didn’t crash the car! We never did learn Welsh!”

By now renamed to Penny Post Credit Union, membership continued to grow. When the Royal Mail HR department was relocated, Roy applied for 4 desks, and Lynda joined the trio in 2002. The team stayed at 4 for some years before Eileen joined in 2008, followed by Vera, Jayne, Chris and Helen over the next few years. By 2015, Penny Post had around 9000 members.

Always cheerful, always smiling, always friendly, calm, dedicated, professional, member focused and always prepared to go the extra mile to help others, there is no doubt Louise has been instrumental in the success of Penny Post over the years. Penny Post President, Dave Jones said “Congratulations Louise on 20 years of loyal service to the Penny Post. Penny Post is where it is because obviously a lot of people have put a lot of hard work in, and I put you right at the top of that list, Louise”.

With lockdown and the team working remotely, we aren’t able to share Louise’s 20th anniversary as we had wished, but everyone was very keen to do something to celebrate this special day. Yesterday we hosted a surprise virtual team meeting and enjoyed reminiscing and sharing memories!

On behalf of all our members, the Board, and all the team, thank you Louise, and here’s to the next 20 years service!