Watton couple win Natwest competition to have their mortgage paid for a year

STAFF Lucy and Richard Jeal have won a competition by Natwest to have their mortgage paid for a year

STAFF Lucy and Richard Jeal have won a competition by Natwest to have their mortgage paid for a year. Pictured (from left): Jonathan Dell, Natwest Thetford branch manager and Lucy Jeal with Natwest staff. - Credit: Archant

A couple are planning their first proper holiday in eight years after winning the opportunity to have their mortgage paid for a year.

Lucy Jeal entered the competition by Natwest several months ago while waiting for a cashier and had put the issue to the back of her mind.

However she and husband Richard received a pleasant surprise last week when the branch manager phoned to say they had been chosen as competition winners – and would be given £7,126.92 to cover their mortgage repayments for the next 12 months.

Mrs Jeal, 33, said child care costs for their children Bethany, eight, and Albie, two, often cost more than the repayments on their house in Watton.

'We both work quite hard but our money gets eaten up by child care. It means we do not often have a lot of spare money left over at the end of the month, so this will help to keep us on an even keel.

'I was really shocked and overwhelmed that we had actually won – I had forgotten I had entered!'

Mr Jeal, 37, added: 'This means so much to us.'

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NHS employee Mrs Jeal, who works at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, had to change her job after having children to regulate her working hours.

Despite this the couple can still spend £700 a month on child care – covering up to 10 hours of nursery care for three days a week.

As well as having more cash to cover these costs, the couple plan to save some money for a 'decent holiday'.

Mrs Jeal said: 'We have not been abroad since before the children were born, and we have not had a proper holiday for ourselves for a while.'

They visited the Natwest branch in Thetford on Thursday, where Mrs Jeal had applied for the competition, and were presented with a cheque by branch manager Johnathan Dell.

Mr Dell said the competition was 'designed to attract mortgage business' but also to help the bank improve its customer service.

'We know some customers do not pay as much attention to their mortgage as they should do, so they could be paying more than they need to.

'We want to understand what people need from their mortgage, as we did with Lucy and Richard.'

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