Two colleagues from North East property and energy firm The Banks Group are set to take on 74 mountainous Lake District miles this weekend to help raise money for their dedicated charity.

Lewis Stokes and George Oldroyd will be lining up at the start of the Cumbrian Way Ultra in Ulverston at six o’clock on Saturday morning and have 27 hours to reach the finish line at Carlisle Castle.

The race route takes in some of the area’s most iconic locations, including Conniston Water, Borrowdale, Derwent Water, the Dungeon Ghyll waterfall and High Pike, and includes over 10,000 feet of climbing.

Employees at the Durham-headquartered, family-owned firm chose to support The Samaritans right through 2019, and have so far raised around £5,500 by undertaking a range of fundraising activities, including workplace lunches, dress down days, raffles and cake bakes.

The Samaritans provides a safe place for people to talk at any time about whatever’s getting to them and reaches more than 500,000 people every year via its free 116 123 phone number, its free jo@samaritans.org email service and via outreach work in railway stations, schools, hospitals and businesses.

The organisation has over 200 branches across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, including eight across Northern England, recruited and trained 4,000 new branch volunteers during 2017 and has more than 20,000 people volunteers in total.

Lewis Stokes says: “This is the longest event that either George or I have ever taken on and we know it’s going to be a real challenge, but we’re looking forward to running through some amazing landscapes and to sharing a unique experience with our fellow competitors.”

Sara Ellis, a member of The Banks Group’s charity fundraising committee, adds: “The Samaritans’ support often makes a life-saving difference in the very darkest moments of people’s lives and we’re proud to be helping such a highly-regarded and important organisation carry out its invaluable work.”

To support Lewis and George’s fundraising efforts for The Samaritans, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/george-oldroyd1

For more information on the work of and help available from The Samaritans, please visit www.samaritans.org.uk or follow @samaritans on Twitter.