PROUD mum Lynn Hayes has never regretted the decision she made in her early twenties to choose Darlington Building Society as the place to start building a secure financial future.

And, a generation on, the Society is now helping her son, Matthew, as he begins his adult life in his own home.

Lynne first opened a savings account when she was taking the early steps in her own career, and she has remained a loyal member ever since.

After gaining a wealth of experience in the legal profession, she and her husband Chris launched their own business 29 years ago, providing a range of services for solicitors.

“In the early days of my working life, I chose Darlington Building Society because of the convenience of having the Middlesbrough branch in the town centre,” she recalls.

“But over time, while I was working I started to have more and more dealings with Darlington Building Society. I wasn’t just a personal customer – we developed a good professional relationship too.

“What I loved was their friendliness. They always had time for you and were willing to put themselves out. They even offered you cups of tea.

“With some of the big financial institutions, you feel like you’re just a statistic, but with Darlington Building Society, you feel important.”

And that’s why Lynne also wanted her son to become a Darlington Building Society member from an early age. She opened a junior account for Matthew as a teenager, and that was followed by a ‘Help To Buy ISA’.

Then, when Matthew’s dream of buying his own house looked to have been thwarted by other financial institutions declining his mortgage application, his mum knew what to do.

From all of her previous dealings with Darlington Building Society, Lynne was well aware of its reputation for being more flexible than other providers – and so it proved.

While others were unwilling to take a risk on 25-year-old first-time buyer Matthew, Darlington Building Society said ‘yes’ and enabled him to take the keys to a three-bedroom semi-detached house at Wynyard.

“I asked Matthew if he really wanted the house and, when he told me he did, I just said ‘Right leave it with me’ – and went straight to the Middlesbrough branch of Darlington Building Society,” said Lynne.

“They were immediately prepared to look more flexibly at Matthew’s circumstances and managed to find a way to make it happen.”

After taking Matthew’s bright career prospects as a promising engineer into account, the Society gave him a Professionals Mortgage – and his home-buying dream came true.

“Darlington Building Society has always done my family proud,” says Lynne. “They look outside of the box and make a difference when it matters.”

Middlesbrough branch manager, Nicola Donaghue, said: “It’s really rewarding when we see this kind of loyalty to Darlington Building Society being carried on through the generations because it shows that our services have stood the test of time.

“It’s been a pleasure to have looked after Lynne’s savings throughout her adult life, and we are delighted to have been able to make Matthew’s dream to buy his own home a reality when others left him disappointed.”