30th January 2024
As part of our commitment to giving back to local, great causes, in our centenary year, we're excited to announce the launch of the Vernon Charitable Foundation.
The Vernon was founded on March 27, 1924. At the time there were 12 building societies in Stockport, but as of 1983, the Vernon is the only one to have withstood the challenges of the last century.
What’s incredible is that 100 years on, our core values remain the same. The Vernon continues to put its Members first with a personal service that ensures customers are understood, even if their circumstances are unusual, and that, where possible, solutions are provided instead of a computer saying ‘no’.
Something that's really important to us as a Society is our commitment to supporting our community. So, to mark our exciting centenary milestone, we're pleased to announce the creation of the Vernon Charitable Foundation, which has more than £100,000 in the fund to support local charities doing great work in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
We have a long history of supporting local organisations and causes through programmes like Community Stars, and the Foundation represents the next step in the Vernon’s charitable giving. New Trustees have been appointed and applications for grants are open from January 30th at thevernon.co.uk/charitable-foundation/.
The Foundation will be represented by three Vernon Trustees, Ian Wilson, Tracey Wright and Andy Smith, and joined by four external Trustees who bring a wealth of charity sector experience: Mark Lee, Sue O'Brien, Lord Goddard and Paul Brearley.
Our Chief Executive, Steve Fletcher says: “Stockport was a very different place in 1924, but a century later the Vernon is still thriving as a mutual building society. Over the past 100 years, we’ve helped our Members buy houses, save for their futures, and financially survive recessions, wars and a pandemic. We’ve also played a pivotal role in making Stockport the great place that it is today, and I couldn’t be prouder to be leading the Society into a new future. Looking ahead we will still be driven by the values created 100 years ago and continue to care about what really matters.”
We were founded by T.A.V Sutton in March 1924 with the ambition for it to be big enough to matter but small enough to care. Today we serve 24,580 Members, helping them to build better futures through homeownership and savings. As a mutually owned business, we're not answerable to shareholders. All profits are used for the benefit of Members, the communities we serve, and to support the Society’s future growth.
Our rich heritage will become a focus of the Society’s centenary celebrations. Colleagues at the Vernon have been looking at historical documents and working with a respected historian to uncover more about the Society’s founder, the pivotal role it had in supporting returning WWII soldiers to buy their own home in 1945 and helping Members survive the 2008 economic downturn.
2024 will also see us complete our £1.1 million investment into our high street branches, with Hazel Grove and Reddish branch's refurbishment complete, and our Head Office at St Petersgate in Stockport finishing in February. This comes at a time when many banks are shutting their high street branches, and instead investing in AI and overseas call centres.
Steve Fletcher says: “The Vernon takes a proud stance that real people answer our phones instead of automated answering systems. We listen to our Members and know they value quickly speaking to our friendly team.”