Caroline Bailey receiving her 40 year service award

A DEDICATED member of staff at Darlington Building Society has been recognised for four decades of “outstanding” service.

Caroline Bailey had her first taste of the Society in 1981 through a work experience programme when she was 15 and is now celebrating her 40th year with the organisation.

Looking back, she said: “Before I started with the building society, I was working in my mum’s hairdressing business on Saturday mornings. I’d make the tea and wash old ladies’ hair. I absolutely dreaded getting out of bed on those days, and I knew then that I never wanted to be a hairdresser!”

Instead, when her work experience placement with the Society came to an end, she asked if she could stay on through the school holidays and, to her surprise, she was employed as an Office Junior.

Despite still being expected to make the tea, she was delighted to accept. “I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time,” she said. “Little did I know that job would be the beginning of a long and successful career.”

Caroline rose through the ranks of the Society’s secretarial team, and today she is the executive assistant to the chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

In honour of her 40th anniversary with the Society, chief executive Andrew Craddock presented Caroline with an award, a solid gold key, Jimmy Choo perfume, a bottle of champagne, and shopping vouchers to spend on a holiday.

Caroline added: “I’ve worked with some amazing people in my career – we really are one big family. We always look out for each other on both a personal and business level.
“I’ve always enjoyed my work. My 40th year is turning out to be one of the best of my career, and I feel very proud to have achieved 40 years with Darlington Building Society.”

Chris Hunter, Chief Operating Officer said about Caroline: “Over Caroline’s 40 years there has been a number of changes to the Society. It’s striking how despite these changes Caroline has continued to adapt, always looking to support the business and remains a valued member of the team – hopefully for some time to come!”