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Employees of Learning Curve Group have raised a remarkable £14,200 for its chosen charity of the year, the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

A variety of imaginative fundraising ideas were suggested and organised by staff at the Bishop Auckland-based company, which is one of the UK’s leading education and training providers.

Brenda McLeish, CEO of Learning Curve Group (LCG), said: “Our staff were truly inspired by the life-saving work GNAAS carries out on a daily basis and they responded by raising this incredible amount.

“It’s gratifying to know that the money raised will help the service continue to make a vital difference to so many.”

In recognition of their hard work, GNAAS invited a number of LCG staff to view an air ambulance and meet the crew at its Durham Tees Valley Airport base.

Staff raised more than £9,500 by holding a themed Vegas Nights charity ball at Hardwick Hall, near Sedgefield, County Durham, while a charity cycle ride between LCG’s Yorkshire Skill Centres in Leeds, Wakefield and Sheffield netted a further £600.

Other events included a series of dress-down days, quiz and curry nights plus sponsorship from a number of staff competing in the Great North Run.

Further cash was raised by Greg Chapman, head of quality enhancement, who ran a half marathon while Nicole Bewley, director of business support and Lisa Beattie, the procurement and contracting coordinator, handed over £690 by cycling 66 miles in London’s Ride the Night event.

Once out of the saddle, Lisa also produced one of the favourite money spinners – a company tuck-shop known fondly as ‘Beattie’s Sweeties’, where staff would offer a donation for a sweet treat!

Each year the staff nominate several worthwhile causes before voting for their charity of the year. The company has previously supported Butterwick Hospice and Zoe’s Place baby hospice.

Grahame Pickering MBE, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “We invited Learning Curve Group down to our base in recognition of the team raising this remarkable sum.

“It was clear from the outset that they were dedicated to the cause but none of us expected to see such an incredible amount raised. For all the energy put into this fundraising, not to mention all the donations, we’d just like to say a big thank you to all involved. As a charity, we simply couldn’t do without you.”

GNAAS operates three helicopters crewed by specialist trauma doctors and paramedics across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria and responds to more than 1,000 call outs a year.

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