Please Credit Picture:Keith Taylor

A member of the team at Darlington Building Society’s Guisborough branch has raised £550 for Teesside Hospice after completing a 70km static bicycle ride.

Customer service consultant, Ben Harland, cycled the distance between all of Darlington Building Society’s district branches in Redcar, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Yarm and Guisborough to raise much-needed funds for the charity.

Ben, who nominated himself for the challenge, completed the feat on a static exercise bike within the Westgate-based Guisborough branch – much to the amusement and admiration of customers.

Teesside Hospice provides care to those suffering from advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses and also provides support for their families. The money raised by Ben will go some of the way towards ensuring the charity can continue to provide its crucial services to those who need them.

The cost of running the hospice is in excess of £2.5 million annually, of which only one third comes from the local NHS fund, meaning that the Hospice must raise £5200 each and every day.

Talking about his fundraising, Ben said: “We chose to donate to Teesside Hospice because it is a local charity with a strong presence in the area. It does fantastic work to help those with life-limiting illnesses.

“We’ve had over £480 kindly donated by customers and we made a further contribution from our Community Support fund to take the total to £550.”

Nicki Armstrong, manager at Darlington Building Society’s Guisborough branch, added: “We had customers who had donated stopping by to give Ben some encouragement, which was absolutely fantastic.”

Josephine Galloway, community fundraiser at Teesside Hospice, said: “To cycle 70km in one day will have certainly put Ben’s fitness level to the test. We are thrilled he has decided to undertake such a tough endurance challenge in support of Teesside Hospice and we are very grateful for all the money he raised.”

Colin Fyfe, chief executive officer at Darlington Building Society, said: “We’re really proud of Ben’s undertaking. We encourage our team members to do as much as possible for local charities and community schemes.

“Teesside Hospice does excellent work with a wide range of people and we’re pleased to be able to provide assistance from our community fund.

“Supporting local community initiatives is very important to Darlington Building Society as is using our branches as a focal point for the local area.”

Contributing to the community has been very important to Darlington Building Society, which recently underwent a rebrand, including the launch of new services that include an enhanced community fund and a new children’s savings product.

A community-facing organisation, Darlington Building Society offers its employees at least one paid day a year to do work in the community and is happy to pay the registration fee for any fundraising activities that its employees take part in.