Staff of the Bishop Auckland branch of Newcastle Building Society were commended for their support for the Durham Branch of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity as the building society re-opened after refurbishment.
Vita Staples, the manager of the Newcastle Building Society branch, had previously secured a community grant of £2,000 towards SSAFA Durham’s Social Isolation Fund, specifically its South West Durham Division.
Mike Donne, SSAFA Durham Branch President, presented a certificate of thanks to Vita and staff explaining that she had taken an interest in veterans’ affairs locally, and had – pre-lockdown – attended meetings with SSAFA. Mike was also the official ribbon-cutter to reopen the branch.
“We in the Durham Branch of SSAFA have come to know Vita and her colleagues well, and she the knows the real value of what we do for our Forces’ community.
“It was an unexpected pleasure to have received the £2,000 grant from Newcastle Building Society, and privilege not only to be invited to re-open the branch, but also to present Vita and colleagues with a SSAFA certificate of thanks for their thoughtfulness, which will go a long way to support our Social Isolation Fund.”
Vita thanked Mike, saying:
“We will proudly display the certificate in our branch so that all of our customers can see the way in which our community grant scheme can help our local charities, and I look forward to coming back to your brunch club at some time in the future now that restrictions have been lifted.”
Others at the opening included volunteers at and beneficiaries of SSAFA Durham, as well as Andrew Haigh, CEO of Newcastle Building Society, who quipped that he had never before been to a branch reopening “… where there are people with medals and a dog in attendance”.
SSAFA’s work carries on, and if you would like to support the Durham branch with a donation or by volunteering, then visit ssafa.org.uk/durham to find out more.