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Mary has hailed the work being carried out in her constituency by a housing association.

Mary Glindon visited employees and clients of Tyneside-based national housing provider Home Group and was given a guided tour of the company's Customer Service Centre (CSC) at the Quorum Business Park, in North Tyneside.

Despite only being open for five months the CSC was awarded a runner up position at the North East Contact Centre awards last week.

Ms Glindon was shown around the facility where a group of 60 workers provide telephone support and advice to callers from all over the UK.

Ms Glindon said: "The staff at the centre provide a very high level of service to people who call. I was told that as soon as the centre opened customer satisfaction increased by 20%."

Donna Middleton, head of the Customer Contact Centre, said: "We only opened the CSC on May 31 this year so we are delighted to have been named runner up in the Best Training Programme category.

"Submissions had to be made by the beginning of September so we really only had a few months to pull everything together."