Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 19.51.44A two year fundraising drive by staff at Newcastle Building Society’s Darlington branch has raised a four-figure sum for a local hospice.
The team at the Skinnergate branch adopted St Teresa’s Hospice as their dedicated charity at the start of 2014, and has been carrying out a range of events and activities ever since which have brought in a total of £1,014.
Highlights of the fundraising campaign included a 205km ride on exercise bikes in the branch on the day that the Tour de France came through the North East, and team member Clare Park successfully completing both the Darlington 10k and Stockton Duathlon events.
A range of cake sales, raffles, book sales and tombolas were held in the branch over the two years to help keep the money coming, while further help in kind worth several hundred pounds was also provided by the Society through printing work that it undertook on behalf of the Hospice.
Based on Woodland Road in Darlington and celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, St Teresa’s Hospice offers its services free of charge, and aims to help people across South Durham and North Yorkshire with life-limiting illnesses to live with their conditions and provide support to their carers.
The Hospice offers a holistic range of patient services, including Day Hospice and specialist clinics, Hospice at Home, In Patient Care, Complementary Therapies and Family Support.
The In Patient unit currently offers six specialist palliative care beds, but this is set to change in the coming months when the unit moves into a newly built, custom-designed wing at the charity’s Woodland Road base.
This will increase the number of beds to ten, enabling help for more people with more complex problems, and improving facilities for both patients and their visitors.
Counselling, social work and bereavement support services are also provided by the multi-disciplinary team, and it runs a comprehensive training programme to help staff, volunteers and other healthcare professionals stay up to date with the latest developments in palliative care.
The Hospice needs to raise around £2m every year to meet its operating costs, with around 70% of this brought in through charitable donations, fundraising events, support from community organisations and businesses, legacies and the Hospice’s own shops.
The Darlington branch team’s fundraising for St Teresa’s Hospice is part of the Newcastle’s ongoing ‘Cornerstone of the Community’ campaign, through which individual branches provide support to organisations and good causes in their local areas, which include a range of community charities, hospices, schools and voluntary organisations.

Gemma Leighton, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Darlington branch, says: “As a mutual organisation, we always try to give something back to the communities in which we operate, and supporting such a well-known and much-loved charity that has helped so many families across our area at very difficult times is a great way for us to do this.

“Our customers have been very generous in getting behind all the fundraising activities that we undertaken over the last two years, and it’s fantastic to be able to hand over such a brilliant sum to St Teresa’s.”

Jane Bradshaw, chief executive at St Teresa’s Hospice, adds: “This significant support from Newcastle Building Society shows their true community spirit. It is hugely appreciated and very timely as, in our 30th anniversary year, we have our most ambitious project to date in our new in patient facility, and we must also work hard to sustain all of the Hospice’s other services.”

For more information on St Teresa’s Hospice, visit www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk