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North East families are benefiting from five years of football fund-raising by Newcastle business Concept, which is about to announce the good cause it will be supporting in 2018.

In February the new £1.4m Rob Armstrong Centre for Rebound Therapy opened at Hadrian School in Benwell.

The centre is equipped with six special trampolines – two bought with a donation from Concept – which will help some of the region’s most severely disabled children with both their fitness and communication skills.

Next week the North East Autism Society (NEAS) will open two new respite lodges at its centre near Burnhope in County Durham.  Furniture and appliances have been bought with money donated by Concept.

Local charity Little Steps for Lily and The Calvert Trust have also been supported by the business – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox, based at Newcastle Business Park – since it launched the Concept Cup in 2014.

“It’s extremely rewarding to see the results of our fund-raising,” said sales manager Stewart Hunter.  “We will keep on supporting good causes in the North East with the help of our customers and friends.”

Last year they made up the record number of 20 teams who took part in the five-a-side Concept Cup tournament at Goals in Newcastle’s Gosforth Park.

The winners were Northumbrian Water who beat two-time champions Utilitywise in the final.  Other teams taking part represented Razorblue, Lloyds Bank, Mincoffs, NCFE, Wrights Motors and the Commissioners Quay Inn from Blyth.

This year the Concept Cup will again take place at Goals on Friday 14 September. “It’s got bigger and bigger and although teams are desperate to win, they know the real reason why we’re doing it,” said Stewart who in the next few weeks, along with members of his staff, will chose the 2018 beneficiary.

David Palmer, the business manager at Hadrian School, said: “These are really hard financial times and budget cuts badly affect schools like Hadrian. We therefore rely on organisations like Concept to help us provide the facilities which mean so much to our children. We can’t thank them enough.”

Sophie Clarke, the events fundraiser for NEAS, said the two new respite lodges were desperately needed because of the increasing demand from families to use the two the charity already has.

“We were so grateful to Stewart and his team for choosing us.  Being able to offer respite for as many families as possible is really important.  A break from the often very difficult challenges of everyday life is so valuable,” she said.

For more information about Concept, visit its website www.concept-group.co.uk/

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