Sandra Watson

Sandra Watson is the longest serving mortgage and protection advisor in the Cumberland team, having been at The Cumberland for 35 years. Based with the direct mortgage team in Kingstown, Carlisle, she’s seen many changes in her time.

What do you love about your job?

Helping people who have given up almost all hope of getting a mortgage. The great thing about The Cumberland is that we are not a “computer says no” organisation so that if we think there’s a good case for lending, we can refer it to the underwriters with a proposal. It’s a very rewarding part of the job.

The Cumberland is a good employer, they’re flexible and I wouldn’t work anywhere else.

What’s changed the most in your job over the years?

Before Fisher Street was a branch, customers had to walk up the stairs at the old head office to speak to one of us. A paper application was completed and had to be posted to the underwriters. All the references we needed were sent to the typing pool and we had to wait for them to be posted back to us before we sent them on to the underwriters. It was a lengthy process.

What are the current housing needs in Carlisle?

I think we need a lot more starter homes and shared ownerships that help people get a foot on the ladder because everyone needs somewhere to start. It’s a shame when people are forced out of the area they have grown up in.