Can you guess which of our Paraplanners is crazy about campervans, horse riding and sausage dogs?

With 30+ years experience in financial services, a family of her own and first-hand experience of moving into a new-build, Jo Taws brings a plethora of industry knowledge and wisdom to the table!

Jo joined 2mtrust during the national lockdown in 2020 and supports our Financial Advisers with their Paraplanning needs. She is passionate about helping people – both team members and clients - and she’s excellent at it!

But that’s enough shop talk – read on to find out more about Jo when she’s not in work-mode…

1. What did you do for a job before coming to work with 2mtrust?

I’ve been in Support roles for the last 30+ years – always loved helping people

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

Campervan

Reading

Walking in The Peaks

Horseys

and cooking!

3. What has been your favourite holiday so far?

New Zealand – was there 4 months and met my hubby there!

4. What is your favourite meal of the day?

Breakfast – have you had your Weetabix?!

5. Do you have a favourite food?

Pizza!

6. What is your favourite film, tv show or book and why?

Vicar of Dibley – still makes me laugh every time!

7. What is your favourite season and why?

Spring… Flip flops come out

Along with the daffs, snow drops & baby lambs!

8. Do you speak any other languages?

Does Geordie count?  En peitite per – francais (just from school 😊) and a bit of “holiday lingo”

9. Do you have any pets?

Yep – a Patterdale Terrier called Jasper

10. What is (or what would be) your karaoke song?

John Denver – Take Me Home Country Road… Yeeehaaa!

So, did you learn something new about Jo Taws?

Jo is a caring Paraplanner with a heart to deliver exceptional service for clients. She brings joy and passion to the team - whether it’s a standard work day or social - and can be relied upon to do the job efficiently.

“­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Joanne is organised – efficient – innovative – and very friendly. She takes her time with everyone so that they know they are valued” – Mark Townson, Practice Principal

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Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 28/03/2024

Rebecca Jones may be one of the newest members of the 2mtrust team but she fits right in! She’s hard working, efficient, practical – and is “all-in” when she commits to something.

Rebecca joined the 2mtrust team in 2022 and hit the ground running - supporting advisers with their Paraplanning needs. With great customers service and an eye for detail, she is continuously developing her skills and we’re excited to see her grow in her career!

But that’s enough shop-talk for now…

Read on to find out more about Rebecca when she’s not in work-mode -

1. What did you do for a job before coming to work with 2mtrust?

I graduated from Newcastle University in 2021 with a degree in Modern Languages: French and Spanish. I then worked as a Teaching Assistant in a primary school for just over a year - before coming to work at 2mtrust…

So very varied, I guess!

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

I started running in lockdown as a way to get out and exercise, and that has turned into a real love of mine! It’s a great way to get outside, clear my mind and destress and last year I completed the Great North Run for the first time… I think I’d say I enjoyed it!

I love a walk out in Northumberland and exploring the sights and beaches – it’s nearly as good as a walk up the North Coast of Northern Ireland

2mtrust Paraplanner - Rebecca Jones

3. What has been your favourite holiday so far?

Ooo, I love exploring and seeing new places but I think I’d have to say my favourite was going to New York! That was a lot of fun to see places I’ve seen all over the internet in real life and explore the city

4. Do you speak any other languages?

Yes! I studied French and Spanish at University and part of this was to live in France and Spain for a time. I spent 4 months in France and so I am pretty fluent in French but due to COVID my time in Spain was cut short - I only spent 7 weeks there - but I can get by with my Spanish!

I also started learning Italian at University and I’m trying to learn a bit of Portuguese!

5. What is your favourite meal of the day?

I think I’d have to say breakfast – with a good coffee.

I have porridge almost every day and there are so many different flavour combinations to try, its endless - my favourite is some berries with a bit of Nutella.

I do also love having brunch with friends at the weekends!

6. What is your favourite film, tv show or book and why?

If you ask any of my friends, they would say I’m terrible with films, I much prefer books!

As a child growing up, I loved the Harry Potter books - I only actually watched the films for the first time a few years ago!

I’d have to say my favourite book would either be I am Pilgrim or Where the Crawdads Sing. Very different genres but both had me hooked right until the end!

7. What is your favourite season and why?

I love summer, the long nights and beach trips with friends – maybe even a sea swim

I also do love autumn - nothing better than a beach walk on a crisp, sunny autumn day

8. Do you have a life/family motto?

Not especially, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason

9. What advice would you give your teenage self?

Take advantage of every opportunity you’re given and throw yourself into things

Don’t be afraid to try something - if it doesn’t work out, there will always be another door that opens

10. What is (or what would be) your karaoke song?

My Dad does a great “Islands in the Stream” karaoke but I couldn’t possibly confirm or deny if I’ve ever joined him in doing that… Some sort of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton impression

So, did you learn something new about Rebecca Jones?

Rebecca currently works directly with one of the Chartered Financial Planners within the Practice supporting clients on their financial journey. She’s a rising star and we’re glad to have her on the team!

“­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Rebecca brings her friendly manner and a commitment to client service along with a positive "can do" attitude to problem solving” – Mark Townson, Practice Principal

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Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 28/03/2024

2mtrust has an Adviser who is passionate about football, politics, Lego and pizza in equal measures.

Nath Mallery has been part of the 2mtrust team since 2018 and became a licensed Financial Adviser in 2021. He’s helped many of our clients with their financial planning including mortgage applications and finding appropriate insurance solutions for them - and their families.

But you’re not here to read about mortgages and protection are you?

Whether you know Nath well or not, we’ve asked him some questions about life when he’s not in work-mode. Read on to find out more…

1. What did you do for a job before coming to work with 2mtrust?

I was a careers adviser briefly and before that I worked behind a bar in a local bowling alley.

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy collecting (and building) Lego – maybe to far-too-great an extent!

I also play footy every week as the self-appointed captain of our five-a-side team.

3. Do you speak any other languages?

I speak scouse if that counts?! I’m trying to learn French again with the benefit of duolingo as I’m not sure how much help learning où est la bibliothèque at GCSE is likely to be in a real conversation…

2mtrust Financial Adviser - Nath Mallery

4. Do you have a favourite food?

Chicago Town Pizza, croquettes and beans has a favourite since I was a child
(I’m not sure what that says about the food I was brought up on… sorry Mum & Dad!)

5. Do you have any pets?

I’ve got a Pomeranian/husky cross called Lexi who my fiancée rescued – she’s got the personality of a husky but the size of a Pomeranian! I don’t think the other dogs on the estate fear her as much as she thinks they do!

6. What is your favourite film, tv show or book and why?

The Fast & The Furious – I watched it first when I was younger and it’s always been entertaining. I’ve watched it enough now that I could probably quote the entire script…

7. What is your favourite season and why?

The summer because the weather is nicer - so the beer gardens are open - and it includes the most important day of the year (my birthday!)

Although I’m getting married in July this year so maybe that’s a better reason to enjoy the summer..!

8. Do you have a life/family motto?

I live my life a quarter mile at a time

9. What advice would you give your teenage self?

Ignore Mum & Dad – you could still make it as a professional Call of Duty player

10. What is (or what would be) your karaoke song?

I’ve got two! Either “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus (I think it’s fair to say I nail the high-pitched part every time) or “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield - which comes with it’s own actions too!

So, did you learn something new about Nath Mallery?

Not only is Nath an excellent Financial Adviser but we know we can rely on him to bring the entertainment – especially when he starts wearing Christmas socks all year round..!

“Nath is living proof that financial advice is fun - all Nath’s clients have a smile on their face – because they receive good financial advice - with an amusing story along the way” – Mark Townson, Practice Principal

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YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP WITH REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

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Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 28/03/2024

Craig Douglas has been an integral part of the 2mtrust team since 2016. He started with us during the days when we had a physical office in the heart of Newcastle - can you remember those days? – and now works remotely from his new home up in Scotland.

Craig is one of our super Paraplanners and is known for his love for family, coffee and – of course – his great knowledge on mortgage and protection administration. He has been a vital support to various 2mtrust Financial Advisers across the years and currently works directly with Nath Mallery and Dave Lange servicing our mortgage and protection clients.

Now you know a bit about Craig professionally, read on to find out more about him more personally. We asked him a few questions and this is what he said... (for authenticity, do try read his answers in the best Scottish accent you can)

1. What did you do for a job before coming to work with 2mtrust?

I worked at Tesco as a customer assistant for 10 years. This involved a lot of customer-facing duties – skills which I’ve been able to develop and build upon during my career.

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my wife Arlene and our 2 children, going to the cinema/theatre/concerts or for meals with family and friends, watching TV, helping/going to church events.

The best concert/theatre production I’ve been to - so far – was the “Diversity: Supernova Tour 2023” at SEC Armadillo in Glasgow. I have wanted to see Diversity live since they won Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 so when my wife and I went to see them for my birthday it was special.

3. What has been your favourite holiday so far?

The Caribbean – Barbados. It was a two week transatlantic cruise around Europe and then across to the Caribbean Islands.

This is one of my favourite holiday destinations as it is always sunny and warm and the people are so friendly and hospitable and extremely relaxed about life – the scenery is also stunning!

4. What is your favourite meal of the day?

The evening meal with family around the table.

5. Do you have a favourite food?

Anything Indian, Chinese or Asian – these are my favourite types of food to cook.

6. What is your favourite film, tv show or book and why?

I’m not much of a reader but I love action and adventure movies like Cool Runnings and Fast & Furious.

My favourite TV shows are Top Gear/the Grand Tour, The Great British Bake Off and MasterChef.

I also enjoy US/UK murder mysteries like NCIS and Midsummer Murders.

7. What is your favourite colour?

Blue - although my wife is trying to broaden my horizons with much brighter colours!

8. What is your favourite season and why?

Definitely Summer – outdoor social activities, beaches, swimming pools and hot sunny holidays.

9. What advice would you give your teenage self?

Work harder/smarter - it will be worth it in the end

10. What is (or what would be) your karaoke song?

Bon Jovi – “Livin’ On A Prayer” (although I am a terrible singer and would murder it to death!)

So, did you learn something new about Craig Douglas?

Whether he’s been working in an office or remotely, Craig has been consistent with delivering an excellent service for our clients and supporting Financial Advisers with essential administration support.

“Craig is able to deal with complex mortgage issues and he has gained a lot of experience in our processing team as our longest standing mortgage paraplanner” – Mark Townson, Practice Principal

Liz Harris joined 2mtrust in 2022 as a Paraplanner. Working closely to support our Financial Advisers, Liz is a caring and encouraging member of the team, with a heart to deliver excellent customer service.

If you know Liz, when she’s not in work-mode you know she’s a very adventurous person who loves to explore outdoors and be submerged in nature – the more trees or open water the better!

We asked Liz a few questions so you can get to know here a little better. This is what Liz had to say -

1. What did you do for a job before coming to work with 2mtrust?

I worked for Kirklees council as a call operator with Council tax, Housing repairs, payment line

I always made sure I sorted the problem out on the call. Making 60 calls a day

Previous to this I had my own business providing green screen souvenir photos for National Coal Mining museum

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

How long do you have?! I have two allotments, play tennis, Badminton, love wild water swimming, walking in nature, pastel art (I actually sell some of my art online) and I’m even thinking about getting an ice bath.

Liz Harris - 2mtrust Paraplanner

3. What has been your favourite holiday so far?

Anywhere in the Lakes, where I’m planning the whole day

4. What is your favourite meal of the day?

Breakfast – Yoghurt cinnamon, nuts, rhubarb chutney (From the allotment)

Although Puddings are a massive hit, sadly I can’t consume those daily!

But sticky toffee pudding and date crumb, huge jug of custard is top spot

After dinner – Cheese and crackers

5. What are your favourite colours?

Greens & blues

6. What is your favourite season and why?

Late Autumn – colours of the trees, first frost, misty vistas low sun, cloud inversions, currently love chasing Auroras

7. What is your favourite film, tv show or book and why?

Mclouds Daughters

Hamish Mcbeth

Shetland

Bergerac

I love 80s programmes

8. What advice would you give your teenage self?

Whatever comes in to your head just do it

9. Do you have a life/family motto?

“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing”

“We have sunset resets – to restart your day”

“I love woods & trees – Forests are for rests”

10. What is (or what would be) your karaoke song?

Anything soft Rock from the 80s - Journey “Don’t stop believing”

So, did you learn something new about Liz Harris?

Liz settled into the 2mtrust team and currently works primarily supporting Financial Advisers Colin Blois and Dan Cassidy with their clients’ financial planning.

“Liz has been a client of 2mtrust for over 20 years. When we were looking for a new member in our support team we knew Liz had won awards for delivering outstanding customer service. And we were delighted when she agreed to join us!” – Mark Townson, Practice Principal

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YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP WITH REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

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Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 27/12/2023

Catherine Bockett joined the 2mtrust team in 2022 and is a licensed Financial Adviser. With a passion to be approachable and give easy-to-understand advice, Catherine quickly picked up the heart of 2mtrust and is keen to educate and advise generations of families with their financial planning.

However, there’s much more to Catherine than mortgage rates and protection policies! With a grown family of her own, years of travelling experiences and many adventure stories to tell, we asked her a few questions so you can get to know her a little better.

Here’s what Catherine had to say -

1. What did you do for a job before coming to work with 2mtrust?

I have been self-employed for 20 years, working from home as a proof reader, transcriber and administrator. So at 2mtrust I am comfortable working by video calls – but love to also meet up with clients face to face

2mtrust - Catherine Bockett - Financial Adviser

2. What do you like to do outside of work?

I row on the River Tyne; I like the cinema and theatre; I spend time with my family, enjoying meals or out walking

3. What has been your favourite holiday so far?

I love family holidays of any variety, home or abroad, but I also had a memorable holiday 30 years ago when I returned as an adult to my childhood home in Uganda, and had the chance to relive memories.

4. Do you speak any other languages?

I studied French and Spanish at university, so can just about get by with those!

I love languages, so when working abroad in the past I have taken time to learn local languages including Nepali, Sinhala and Pidgin English.

Catherine Bockett - walking

5. What is your favourite film, tv show or book and why?

I love the book ‘Flowers for Mrs Harris’ by Paul Gallico, which came out as a film last year – Mrs Harris goes to Paris. It’s a gentle story set in London and Paris post-WW2, which restores your faith in human nature.

6. What is your favourite meal of the day?

It would have to be our evening meal. It’s the only one where everyone gets together round the table.

7. Do you have any pets?

We have a miniature Schnauzer called Griffin, who is much loved by the whole family. I’m the dog walker five days out of seven!

8. Do you have a life/family motto?

‘Don’t take any wooden nickels’ - quite appropriate for someone giving financial advice!

9. What advice would you give your teenage self?

Always be curious – there is so much to learn beyond what is immediately around us.

10. What is (or what would be) your karaoke song?

I’ve never participated in Karaoke, but I think it would have to be an Abba song, maybe ‘Waterloo’.

So, did you learn something new about Catherine Bockett?

We think Catherine has fit right in at 2mtrust and we look forward to seeing her grow even more as she continues to care for her clients.

“Catherine brings a wealth of experience to her role and she is committed to helping others and finding the very best solutions for people's financial needs” – Mark Townson, Practice Principal

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YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP WITH REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

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Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 27/12/2023

Being a first-time buyer can be daunting. Not only are you about to make one of the biggest financial decisions in your life, but you’ll probably also have family members and friends offering their ideas on the right house, mortgage, lender conveyancer and even removal company for you.

We’ve put together some ideas to try and take away some of the stress and confusion and give you confidence to move through the home buying process as smoothly as possible.

Get the right advice

Of course, we’re going to say that - it’s what we do! We’ll review your circumstances and look at your income, debt, day-to-day outgoings, employment and the size of your deposit, to assess what you can afford to borrow now and in the future. We’ll talk you through the types of mortgages we think are right for you and the lenders who offer them.

Save as much as possible

Buying a house is going to be expensive so it’s important to save, save, save to get yourself in the best position possible. Some lenders will accept a minimum deposit of 5% of the cost of the house you’re buying but aim higher. The bigger your deposit, the smaller the mortgage (and monthly mortgage payments) making you more attractive to a lender.

Compromise

We can all admit that it is easy to get a little carried away when looking for our ‘dream’ home, but sometimes buying your first house is all about compromise. Deciding what you’re prepared to compromise on is an essential step when considering your first home. Whether it’s the luxury of having extra bedrooms or a bigger garden, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get everything you want at a price you can afford.

Know your budget

Your hard-saved deposit and monthly mortgage repayments aren’t the only expenses you need to be mindful of when buying your first home:

Talk to us and we can help with practical financial advice on your first and future home purchases.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 16/03/2023.

When using key takeaways and social media text posts on their own, you need to ensure you include the mortgage warning, otherwise your post will not be compliant.

Key takeaways:

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2mtrust is part of The Openwork Partnership. This blog was written exclusively for Partner Firms of The Openwork Partnership - sourced via Smart Hub

One wet and windy evening, Alex and Megan decided to take advantage of their newborn, Ellie, falling asleep in her moses basket by getting an early night. Picking up the basket from its regular spot in front of the fireplace, they crept upstairs. No sooner had they settled in bed when they heard a massive crash from the living room. They ran back downstairs to find a pile of rubble in the exact spot Ellie had been sleeping just minutes earlier.

Aware the incident could have been much worse, the couple were still left with an enormous mess to sort out. High winds had caused the inside of the chimney to collapse. However, Alex and Megan’s home insurance provider refused to pay for the structural damage because, according to their terms and conditions, the wind hadn’t been strong enough to constitute a storm. They also refused to replace the living room carpet because the couple’s contents insurance didn’t include accidental damage cover.

So, what can you do to make sure your home insurance provides you with the protection you’d expect when the unexpected happens?

Let’s start at the beginning - what exactly is home insurance?

Home insurance financially protects your home against damage or theft but is typically split into two parts – buildings and contents.

Buildings insurance – this covers the building itself, including walls, floors, doors, windows and the roof. It also covers permanent fixtures such as baths, toilets, fitted kitchens and even wallpaper.

Contents insurance – This typically covers anything that can be taken with you if you move e.g. kitchen appliances, furniture and valuables.

The Openwork Partnership - SmartHub Blog - Home Insurance Explained 2023

Not all home insurance is equal

As Alex and Megan discovered to their cost, not all home insurance is equal. Although tempting to simply go with the cheapest option, it’s always best to check the details of any policy you’re considering seeing exactly what’s included. For example, some buildings insurance covers garages, greenhouses and garden sheds but some policies don’t.

It's also a good idea to check for exclusions. You may find some insurers won’t pay out for anything considered to be the result of general wear and tear or damage that happens over time, such as damp or rot.

Meanwhile, contents insurance generally has a single-item limit, meaning high-value possessions may need to be named separately. You may also have to pay extra to cover belongings when they are taken outside your home.

Add Ons

There are also certain add ons that are worth thinking about to provide a way to get cover without paying for a more expensive policy with features you may not need. These include:

Do you really need home insurance?

Homeowners – although buildings insurance isn’t a legal requirement, most mortgage lenders insist on it. No one is going to force you to buy contents insurance but it can provide valuable peace of mind and combining it with your buildings insurance may save you money.

Renters – you don’t need to worry about buildings insurance – this is your landlord’s responsibility. However, contents insurance may be a sensible idea.

Speak to a professional

Your home is probably your most valuable possession, and you’ll want to make sure it’s protected. Whether you want a combined building and contents insurance policy or separate ones, we’re here to help.

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 16/03/2023.

Key takeaways:

What’s covered by home insurance varies from policy to policy, so you should check what’s included before making a purchase.
Check the terms and conditions for any exclusions to make sure you’re getting the cover you need.
Read reviews before choosing an insurance provider – good customer service can be just as important as cost.

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2mtrust is part of The Openwork Partnership. This blog was written exclusively for Partner Firms of The Openwork Partnership - sourced via Smart Hub