Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 15.16.44A cheque for £672 has been presented to a much-loved Alnwick school at the end of a 12-month fundraising drive by staff at the town’s branch of Newcastle Building Society.
The team at the Society’s Bondgate Within office have been raising money for Barndale House School during 2015 after customers voted for it to be adopted as the branch’s dedicated charity.
The funds have been raised through a variety of activities, including two sponsored cycling events that saw team members first ride the 210 mile distance between the Newcastle’s Berwick and Stokesley branches on an exercise bike stationed in the office window, and then a further 100 miles on the same bike on the day that the Tour de France came through Alnwick.
Nail bar events, an in-branch book sale and the serving of refreshments during Alnwick’s Christmas lights switch on event also all added to the total raised.
Barndale House School is an all age special school for pupils between two and 19 years old who attend on a day or weekly residential basis.  Its pupils have severe and complex learning difficulties, including communication difficulties and autistic spectrum disorders.
The school offers a broad curriculum which aims to help pupils become both successful, confident learners and responsible citizens, and it also provides a range of sporting and other activities alongside classroom-based work.
The branch team’s fundraising for Barndale House School has been part of the Newcastle’s ongoing ‘Cornerstone of the Community’ campaign, through which individual branches provide support to organisations and good causes in their local areas, which include a range of community charities, hospices, schools and voluntary organisations.
Branch manager Stephen Burt says: “As a mutual organisation, it’s important for us to do as much as we can to support the communities in which we operate, and Barndale House School is an institution to which many of our customers have close ties through family and friends.
“The staff at Barndale House do such wonderful work for young people and their families from across our community, and having such a great local cause to work for provided us with real inspiration right through the year.
“Our customers have been very generous in supporting our fundraising work during 2015, and we’re really pleased to be able to hand over such a terrific amount.”