22 April 2024

Darlington Building Society has added another string to its bow, being recognised for its positive contribution to the local community. The Society was named Community Champion at the prestigious Tees Business Awards, last Thursday.

The glittering awards ceremony was held at Hardwick Hall and the trophy was collected by Chief Executive, Andrew Craddock who said: “I am thrilled to be accepting this award on behalf of everyone at Darlington Building Society, and all those who we work with to help make a positive difference in our local communities.

“To be recognised by our regional peers – and in such a tough category – means a lot. I am so proud of all our colleagues for putting people at the heart of what they do every single day, and making this win possible.”

Darlington Building Society has been part of the local community for more than 168 years. The Society’s community impact strategy is supported by pillars which aim to reduce poverty, isolation and promote wellbeing amongst other factors.

From grass roots to corporate partnerships

The judges noted the Society’s philanthropic efforts which span from helping people and projects at grass roots level, to wide-ranging change projects delivered through corporate partnerships, such as delivering the arts to young families through Theatre Hullabaloo, being a key sponsor of Hopetown in Darlington and working towards gold standard accreditation with North East Autism Society (NEAS) supporting its neurodiverse colleagues and members.

Local charities and good causes are invited to apply for grants of up to £6,000 through the Society’s 5% Pledge – where at least 5% of the Society’s profit before tax is donated to help create a brighter future for the region. Since the 5% Pledge was established, more than £820,000 has been donated to help those who need it most in the north east.

Supporting the most financially vulnerable in the community, the Society also provided a lifeline to Darlington Credit Union in 2022, so that it can continue to provide crucial services to people who would otherwise likely enlist the services of loan sharks and other disreputable providers – vitally important in the coming months and years against a tough economic landscape.

Instilling important life skills into the younger community, Darlington Building Society partnered with WizeUp to deliver financial education to school children across the region. More than 1,400 students have benefitted to date, with the number continuing to rise.

Whereas other banks and building societies are closing their doors, Darlington Building Society has doubled down on its commitment to refurbish or relocate all of its branches to more prominent sites on local High Streets, acknowledging the key role its branch network plays in the community.

Darlington’s branches are here to stay, to support and to serve members, colleagues and its local communities.

This fantastic award follows Darlington Building Society’s national recognition as Building Society of the Year, at this year’s MoneyAge Mortgage Awards in March.

Learn more about our community impact here.