A round up of our community work in 2015

Our community diary has been a very full one this year as supporting the areas in which we operate is very important to us as a mutual. And, it’s something our staff enjoy taking part in.

We entered the fourth year of our financial education programme – through this we have, to date, engaged with more than 1400 nine-10 year olds to help them be more financially independent later in life.

We also held our biggest ever Cornerstone of the Community local hero awards event. We awarded some incredibly inspirational people and over the past four years we have celebrated more than 80 winners. The full story about this ceremony can be viewed here.

We also held an enormously successful Tour de Branch cycle challenge that happened during the real Tour de France. Staff from 19 branches and two head offices took on the full 3,656 kilometre distance while raising £4,000 for local charities.

We also adopted our new corporate charity – the Percy Hedley Foundation – which our staff and customers have already raised thousands of pounds for.

Last but not least, we reached an incredible milestone in our relationship with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. This year, we hit the £1,000,000 mark in donations to the foundation, which we are over the moon with. The short film we made in partnership with them around a week ago can be viewed here (you need sound to take full advantage of this video).

Now, onto this Christmas card. We didn’t just want to send any old card out. So, we launched a competition for talented artists to come forward and design it. We chose a very jolly looking Santa as our main design, which was created by nine-year old Lewis Baird.

The winning designs were made into cards, which are on sale in our head offices at Cobalt Business Park or Portland House opposite the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle city centre and in our branches. Every single penny goes to our Corporate Charity.

Finally, it’s for me to say a big thanks to you all for your support this year. We’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.