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Staff from North East property and energy firm the Banks Group have overcome torrential rain and gale-force winds to raise thousands of pounds for a regional cancer charity.

A 14-strong team from the Durham-headquartered, family-owned firm has completed the national Three Peaks Challenge, which involved climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in turn.

The team began the 24 hour challenge by scaling the 1,345m peak of Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands before driving 260 miles down to Scafell Pike in the Lake District.

After completing the second climb, a further 210 miles on the road took the team to its final destination, Mount Snowdon in North Wales.

And at the end of the challenge, the team’s efforts had raised over £5,700 in online sponsorship for Bright Red, which supports people across the north of England who are dealing with a wide range of blood cancers, such as leukaemias, lymphomas and myelomas, as well as other less common conditions.

Several hundred pounds more is expected to follow in offline fundraising by the team members, which will take the total amount raised so far this year for Bright Red by Banks Group employees well into five figures.

The charity was chosen as the staff’s dedicated charity for 2018 after being nominated by David Wilson, a member of Banks’ ICT team who was diagnosed with multiple myelomas in 2014.

He was subsequently treated at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, where Bright Red is headquartered, and after receiving two successful bone marrow transplants in 2015, he is now in clinical remission.

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, who organised the event, says: “The weather wasn’t too bad going up and down Ben Nevis, but the wind had picked up by the time we reached the top of Scafell Pike, and the heavens really opened as we were on the way back down.

“Conditions didn’t improve after we reached Snowdon, with rivers of rainwater cascading down the side of the mountain as we climbed, but we kept going up as far as we could until the Mountain Rescue teams told us that, with 90mph winds being recorded at the summit, that was as high as anyone would be going.

“The best thing about the challenge was that no matter how tough things got, or how much we were hurting, the smiles never left our faces and we laughed the whole way round.

“The team members have come from every part and level of the business, from our sites through to the main board, and we’ve worked together really well and helped each other keep going right to the end.

“We’ve had fantastic support from colleagues right across the business, as well as from customers, suppliers and other contacts, and it’s brilliant to have raised so much in support of Bright Red’s invaluable work.”

Donations can still be made via the team’s www.justgiving.com/fundraising/banks-group-national-3-peaks-challenge fundraising page.

For more information on Bright Red, please visit www.brightred.org.uk or follow @BrightRedOrg on Twitter.

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