Building a Community

The Oxford English Dictionary defines community as ‘a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common’.

While this is correct on the surface, Darlington Building Society knows that it is about so much more than proximity, which is why it has committed to build the communities it serves by sharing 5% of its net profits with them.

Big on sharing, the Society not only shares its profits and fundraising but also its time and facilities with community groups and organisations such as TFM Cash for Kids, Darlington Cares and the People’s Parliament.

“Each member of the team has two full days available to volunteer with an organisation of their choice and with the variety of organisations we’re involved with, they’re spoiled for choice,” explains Jack Cullen, chairman of Darlington Building Society.

“Working with local organisations, we can really help to build the communities we serve by making small differences, whether it is building flowerbeds at a local school, picking litter with Darlington Cares or collecting and organising TFM Cash for Kids’ ‘Mission Christmas’ donations.”

The building society also opens its doors to organisations that need somewhere to call home, such as the People’s Parliament, run by Darlington Association on Disability for those with learning difficulties.

“The People’s Parliament meets once a month to discuss important issues such as anti-social behaviour, jobs and health and social care,” explains Jack, “but it is also a chance to give a voice to those who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity.

“The meetings are lively, with enthusiastic and passionate members. We’re honoured to open the doors of our head office to the group once a month as a way of helping to build this community, giving them freedom, the opportunity to make friends and really make a difference.”

By sharing its profits, the Society also supports the work of charities that also build society, such as Street League in Middlesbrough. The charity supports unemployed young people, enabling them to learn the key skills, gain the necessary qualifications and work experience to move into a sustainable job or further training.

With the support of Darlington Building Society, 20 young people have started on their career path in Teesside.

Working to build the community at every level, Darlington Building Society has announced it is once again the headline sponsor of the Darlington Festival of Ingenuity, a community event taking place in the town’s centre on July 14th.

As Chairman, Jack is looking forward to the event, which will give the people of the Tees Valley an opportunity to get to know the Society more. He said: “The event is a true celebration of imagination and creativity – which the Tees Valley has in spades!

“There will be performances from the dance groups we support, teams from the charities we work with, and of course the team from the Society, who want to get to know our community better.”

For more information on Darlington Building Society, please visit www.darlington.co.uk

Twitter: @DarlingtonBS

Hashtag: #BigOnSharing

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