A year-long fundraising drive by employees at North East property and energy firm the Banks Group has ended with more than £16,000 being collected for a regional charity which works with children and young people with disabilities.
At the beginning of 2015, staff at the Meadowfield-headquartered firm voted to adopt Integrating Children as their dedicated charity for the year, and have since been undertaking a range of challenge and events to bring the money in.
Activities have included a range of daunting physical challenges, including the Druridge Bay 10K run on the Northumberland coast, the Total Warrior event at Bramham Park in Leeds, the Great North Run and a zip wire ride of almost 1,000 feet across the River Tyne from the top of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art down onto the Newcastle Quayside.
More sedate fundraising activities have included regular dress down Fridays, cake bakes, coffee mornings, tuck shop sales, and a family sponsored walk around Hamsterley Forest.
And after all the money raised was totted up, the overall total had reached £16,500, which is the largest amount ever raised by the Banks Group employees in a single year.
Integrating Children aims to involve children and young people aged between six and 25 years old with a range of disabilities and learning difficulties in mainstream activities which can help them build key life skills and friendships, improve confidence, and enable them to interact better with others.
The Chester-le-Street-based organisation works with up to 100 children and young people a year and offers over ten thousand activity hours per annum during both term time and school holidays.
Activities are organised between Integrating Children’s staff, the young people in question and their families, and include individual and team sports, music, rowing, going to the cinema or theatre, shopping trips, or going as a group to a restaurant.
Lucy Hinds, procurement coordinator at The Banks Group, whose younger brother Rob benefits from the work that Integrating Children does each week, says: “The response we’ve had right across the business to this fundraising drive has been amazing, and it’s fantastic to see everyone’s efforts resulting in such an impressive amount being donated to this great local cause.”
Richard Taylor, chair of Integrating Children, adds: “I am utterly delighted at the final sum raised by the Banks Group employees for Integrating Children. As a small charity, this enormous sum will enable us to sustain and expand activities for disabled children and young people.
For more information on supporting Integrating Children, visit www.integratingchildren.co.uk or follow @IntChildren on Twitter.