A BIG-HEARTED building society is bringing festive cheer to a host of community organisations by announcing that they will share donations totalling nearly £30,000.

Darlington Building Society has given away five per cent of its profits to support communities since 2017, investing more than a quarter of a million pounds in a wide range of groups and initiatives.

This summer, the Society’s chief executive, Andrew Craddock, declared that the five per cent pledge would be guaranteed up to 2025 to tie in with the 200th anniversary of the world’s first public railway between Stockton and Darlington.

And, despite the global economic challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the Society has now revealed that nine community organisations will receive a share of £27,470 in the latest phase of the profits pledge.

The beneficiaries will be: Teesside Hospice; TCR Hub, in Teesdale; Little Sprouts Health and Wellbeing, in Yarm; King’s Church, in Darlington; Food For Thought, Darlington; Senses Wellbeing Centre, Skelton; Cash For Kids Mission Christmas Appeal, Stockton; Theatre Hullabaloo, Darlington; and St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington.

Mr Craddock said: “The world is going through uncertain times but the five per cent pledge goes to the very heart of Darlington Building Society’s ethos as an organisation embedded in local communities.

“We are lucky to have a wealth of organisations carrying out invaluable work in our area, so it is never an easy task to decide where the money should go. However, we have a group of passionate members of staff who meet to consider how best to distribute the funds.

“These latest grants are the result of their careful deliberations, and we are delighted at the range of organisations that will benefit. They all make a difference in very special ways, and it is an honour to support the work that they carry out in the communities we serve.”

Darlington Building Society’s community grants are managed by County Durham Community Foundation.

Michelle Cooper, the Foundation’s chief executive, said: “It has been terrific to support Darlington Building Society in their commitment to giving back to the communities where their staff and clients live. They are a great example to the business community that success is even better when shared, and that by working together, great things can be accomplished.”