Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 13.05.50Savers and investors with the North East’s biggest building society have helped it hit a new fundraising milestone in support of one of the region’s best-loved charities.
Newcastle Building Society set up a unique partnership with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in spring 2012 by launching Foundation-branded ISA and Saver accounts, with an additional 0.1% of the balances held in all such accounts being paid by the Newcastle to the Foundation.
The thousands of NBS members that have since opened one or both of the Foundation accounts have now helped to raise over £1.5 million in support of its work, with more than half a million pounds being donated in the last 12 months alone.
Newcastle Building Society is the largest corporate donor to the Foundation, which was set up by Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie Robson in 2008, and which has since raised more than £9 million to support the search for more effective ways to detect and treat cancer.
 
Andrew Haigh, chief executive at Newcastle Building Society, says: “The esteem in which Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie are held within our heartland area, the positive impact that the Foundation has in the North East and the attractiveness of the products we created have all combined to help us raise far more than anyone expected when we first set up our partnership.
“As a mutual organisation, one of our core values is to provide practical support to the communities in which we work, and working with the Foundation really brings this to life in a way that will benefit people across the region over the long-term.
“The money our members have helped to raise complements the many hundreds of individuals and groups across the region who also contribute to the Foundation’s work, and we’re proud to be supporting their drive to find new ways forward in the fight against cancer.”
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and as well as benefiting cancer patients across the Society’s heartland area, it also contributes significantly to the global fight against the disease.
Its work includes the clinical trials of drugs at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle , which it has equipped and within which it has funded a specialist clinical research nurse and research doctor.
Around 650 new patients receive treatment at the Centre every year, while more than 1,600 participants have been enrolled in other research studies since April 2010 (around 260 people each year), studying the biology and genetics of cancer to help develop and improve treatments.
Lady Elsie Robson adds: “We work closely with Newcastle Building Society and it’s marvellous to see how that partnership is thriving.
“We’re very grateful to the Newcastle for thinking of us and, of course, to everyone who has helped our work by choosing one of these accounts.
“The money raised is simply amazing.  We had no idea the accounts would be so successful and we hope they continue to be so.”
For more information on the work of The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, please visitwww.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk