Natalie has more than 20 years’ experience in the mortgage industry, starting in administration with Northern Rock and working her way up to manager of a team of senior underwriters by the time Virgin took over.

In 2018, she was approached by a recruitment company about the position of Head of Underwriting with Darlington Building Society, heading up a team of just two underwriters.

Although she wasn’t looking to leave her current job, Natalie thought it would be a good idea to test the water, and came for an interview with the Society.

“Although it was scary, because I hadn’t been to an external interview for such a long time, I got such a warm, family feeling in my interview with Darlington Building Society,” she says. “It was a feeling of being part of something; I felt that these people cared about what they were doing and I wanted to be part of that journey.”

Part of Natalie’s journey has been to grow her department from the initial two underwriters, to a team of 12, including case officers, a Team Leader, senior underwriters, underwriters, and trainee underwriters.

Natalie says that joining the Society has offered her the chance to grow and develop her own knowledge as well.

She says: “The Society really looks to invest in their people, as well as providing the best customer service that we can.

“It’s lovely to be part of that, and I know I made the right decision when I took the job. Not only does the Society offer me something, I feel that I am able to offer something in return.”