THE team at Nationwide Building Society Stroud have been celebrating the branch's 50th year in the town.

A special birthday party was held in the King Street store for staff and customers.

Longest serving team member Tina Underwood has been working in the Stroud branch for 39 years.

She said: "I started working for Nationwide Building Society in 1980 and have seen many changes over the last 39 years.

"I am proud to work for Nationwide, proud to be part of the Stroud community and proud to be taking care of our members here in lovely Stroud and couldn’t think of working anywhere else."

The original Stroud branch opened in 1969 at 9 Lansdown. It was then called the Hastings and Thanet Building Society.

As the business grew it was hoped that it would be possible to expand into the property next door, but this didn't work out and a new premises was sought.

By 1972, the branch had moved into 16 King Street. And in 1990 a merger was struck with the Nationwide.

This year the team have started to work with Home Start, a local charity that supports vulnerable families.

Branch manager Clare Jones said: "Nationwide are passionate about being apart of the community and we are really looking forward to helping and working along side this local charity.

"Amy, from the branch, will be helping at the Rodborough fete on the Home Start stall.

"We are also looking at running some fundraising in the Stroud Branch."