Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.28.52Children, young people and volunteers involved with North East charity Integrating Children have joined staff from regional property and energy firm the Banks Group for a fundraising family sponsored walk around Hamsterley Forest.

Around 50 people took part in the walk along the Forest’s 1.5 mile Superworm Trail, which was organised as part of the Banks Group’s employees ongoing fundraising work for the Durham-based charity, which works with local children and young people with disabilities.
Free refreshments were provided by the Banks Group team at the halfway point of the walk, with health and safety manager Chris Adkins also helping to entertain the children by taking part in the walk dressed as favourite book and TV character The Gruffalo.
At the end of the day, a further £250 had been raised for Integrating Children, to go with the £6,000 that’s already come in since employees at the Durham-based firm adopted Integrating Children as their charity of the year at the start of 2015.
Based in Chester-le-Street, Integrating Children aims to involve children and young people aged between six and 25 years old with a range of disabilities and learning difficulties in mainstream activities which can help them build key life skills and friendships, improve confidence, and enable them to interact better with others.
The organisation works with up to 100 children and young people a year and offers over ten thousand activity hours per annum during both term time and school holidays.
Activities are organised between Integrating Children’s staff, the young people in question and their families, and include individual and team sports, music, rowing, going to the cinema or theatre, shopping trips, or going as a group to a restaurant.
Lucy Hinds, who is a procurement coordinator with The Banks Group, and whose younger brother Rob benefits from the work Integrating Children does every week, says: “We had a great family day out in Hamsterley Forest, and the money that we raised along the way will add to the fantastic work that Integrating Children does across County Durham.
“Our team has really got behind the drive to raise money for this fantastic local charity, and we’ve got a lot of events coming up in the second half of the year that we hope will add much more to the total we’ve raised so far.”
For more information on supporting Integrating Children, visit  or follow @IntChildYP on Twitter.