Darlington Building Society, which normally reviews its pledge to donate 5% of its profits to support the community on a yearly basis, has committed to maintain the donations for the next five years. 

The society has made the pledge since 2017; the extension to 2025 is to tie in with the 200th anniversary of the world’s first public railway between Stockton and Darlington.

The board is also exploring ways to top up the amount given to local communities during the five-year period.

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Darlington Building Society praised for member support during COVID-19 crisis

Staff volunteering is also a big part of Darlington Building Society’s community commitment, which has been reinforced during the COVID-19 crisis.

At the start of the lockdown, the society promised staff they would be kept on full pay even though some have been working part-time due to the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Employees were encouraged to use that spare capacity to help their local communities, and a large number signed up to volunteer for the NHS.

Andrew Craddock (pictured), chief executive of Darlington Building Society, said: “The 5% pledge is close to our hearts, so we want it to continue despite all the challenges.

“Our communities still need our help so that financial support will remain in place, not just annually, but for the next five years.

“We are all going through difficult times, but it is the acts of kindness, and the way people are looking out for each other, that have been so inspiring.

“That is particularly evident in the North-East – and I’m proud that Darlington Building Society is playing its full part and has remained open for business throughout.”