Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 09.59.38LEADING accountancy practice Tait Walker donated thousands of pounds to North East charities throughout last year, with the firm since being named as one of Just Giving’s top fundraisers – and 2016 is already proving to be just as proactive.

The accountancy practice, which is based in Newcastle with offices in Northumberland and Tees Valley, donated over £20,000 to charities, community groups and special projects last year and appeared in the top one percent of fundraisers on JustGiving, which has 22 million registered members in 160 countries.

The firm’s chart topping position was achieved thanks to a small group of enthusiastic employees, who formed a charity committee in March 2014 and have since organised fundraising activities involving all of the Tait Walker team.

Events have included dress down days, an ice bucket challenge, two coast-to-coast bike rides, a pedometer challenge and a weekly ‘Football Predictor’, where staff forecast the outcome of six league football matches chosen at random. The partners at Tait Walker contributed an extra £1000 per quarter to the charity pot too, which helped boost funds significantly at the end of last year.

Eighteen North East charities and community projects have benefited from the committee’s efforts so far, all chosen by staff who had a personal involvement or connection to the cause.

Claire Blake, marketing executive at Tait Walker who heads up the charity committee said: “As a company we have always been very engaged with local businesses and community projects.  We have a company culture which encourages networking, collaboration and support.”

As well as the monies raised, Tait Walker staff also volunteered their time – being given additional holiday by the firm for charity projects.  On three Friday afternoons last summer, groups of volunteers went to Willow Burn Hospice in County Durham, where they helped to paint the building and garden furniture, cut the grass and sort donated clothing for the charity’s shops.

Following the devastating floods across the North at the end of last year, Tait Walker also donated £500 to the Cumbria Flood Appeal from its ‘general pot’.

Claire added: “A number of the Tait Walker team had family and friends who were affected by the floods so it was great to do something to help.”

Throughout 2016, the committee are continuing their focus on local charities, with three monthly dress-down days, an Easter raffle and a fancy dress day having already taken place, raising a combined total of £1,500.

In June, 16 members of the Tait Walker team will be taking on another coast-to-coast bike ride from Walney to Wear over two days.