Building society’s community spirit celebrated by national award win

A Leicestershire-based building society has once again won a top prize at an awards ceremony celebrating the biggest innovations and achievements within the mortgage industry.

esbs, also known as Earl Shilton Building Society, was crowned the winner in the ‘Community Services – Lenders’ category at the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards 2020.

The announcement marks the second time that the Society has scooped this title, having first won it in 2016.

Richard Carson of esbs was in attendance at the event, which took place at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in South Kensington, London, and collected the award on the Society’s behalf.

The prize was handed over in recognition of the Society’s commitment to supporting charitable institutions and groups operating near to its Head Office in Earl Shilton via its ‘In the Community’ programme.

This has involved establishing a long-term partnership with Action Homeless, a Leicester-based charity dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by homelessness that helped secure housing for 408 people in 2018.

esbs has already shown its support for Action Homeless in a number of ways, including staff members volunteering to work in the charity’s Food Stop Shop ahead of Christmas 2018, carrying out a toiletries drive at Easter of this year, helping to fund a trip to Twycross Zoo for the women and children of the Bridge House shelter, and pledging donations of £25 for each direct mortgage completed.

Furthermore, the Society has held a token collector scheme each quarter of the financial year, whereby visitors to either its Head Office or Barwell branch are asked to choose which of two locally-based organisations they would most like to see receive funding by placing a token in the corresponding box.

Once the tokens are counted up at the end of the quarter, a total of £500 is split proportionately between the two nominated charities.

In addition to the various donations made by the Society over the past 12 months to sports teams, community groups, and more, it has also carried out a number of fundraising activities for the local Air Ambulance Service – its official Charity of the Year.

Joanne Atkin, Group Editor at Mortgage Finance Gazette, said: “Considering esbs is a small building society, the judges were impressed at how much it contributes to support its local community.

“This is not just in monetary terms but also in staff volunteering and offering up the use of its two branches for the good of others.

“The partnership between esbs and Action Homeless is also commendable.”

Established in 1999, the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards pay homage to the lenders that have made a difference and brought about improvements to their own organisation, as well as to the financial services industry at large, throughout each year.

Paul Tilley, Chief Executive of esbs, said: “It is a huge honour to have been recognised by Mortgage Finance Gazette for the charitable contributions that we have made to the community.

“As a mutual organisation, we understand the importance of community, as well as our responsibility to make meaningful contributions to the lives of people living in the area surrounding our branches, and beyond.

“I would like to congratulate and thank our members, staff and supporters for their amazing efforts.”

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