Fifteen charities helping thousands of people across the region will receive a funding boost after Newcastle Building Society announced £61,000 of new grants to support communities in the North East most impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Nine hospices and six cancer support charities across the North East and Cumbria are set to benefit from grants of either £3,000 or £5,000.

The grant donations are part of the Society’s recent £1.5m commitment to support local communities in the region manage and recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recipients of the grant funding include: Tynedale Hospice at Home based in Hexham, Gateshead-based Fighting All Cancers Together, and Butterwick Hospice based in Bishop Auckland.

“The pandemic has hit cancer support services and hospices particularly hard, and many simply haven’t been able to raise funds in the normal way. I’m proud we’re able to support these services and help people across the region when they need it most.”

Other charities to receive support include: North Tyneside-based Living Well with Cancer, St. Cuthbert’s Hospice in Durham, and Newcastle-based Daft as a Brush who provide transport for cancer patients across the North East and Cumbria.

The donations have been made by the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which provides grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society’s branch network.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, in March the Society also made a £100,000 contribution to the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund set up by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

The Society worked with the Community Foundation to identify charities most in need of funding to support their local communities.

Su Legg, senior philanthropy advisor at the Community Foundation says: “The pandemic has affected our local charities and community groups on many levels. Some have had to cancel their activities and many have seen a huge decline in their fundraising and trading income. Cancer support services and hospices have been particularly badly hit so  we believe that funding toward organisational running costs is the most effective way to support these vital services; helping them to maintain and adapt their activities to ensure continuity for all services users, now and in the future.”

Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has contributed over £2.1m in grants and partnerships to a wide variety of charities and projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Prince’s Trust. The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.

The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.