Newcastle Building Society Support For Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Passes £2.5m mark Release Date: 27th February The longstanding support from the North East’s largest building society for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has now seen donations from the society pass the £2.5m mark. Newcastle Building Society introduced its Sir Bobby Robson Foundation savings accounts in 2012, with a commitment to donate an amount each year equivalent to 0.1% of the total value held in the accounts to the much-loved charity. The Society’s donations have since helped it become the Foundation's largest corporate donor, in turn boosting support for projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which benefit cancer patients from across the Society’s heartland area, as well as its contributions towards the global fight against the disease. A further £100,000 is scheduled to be presented to the charity by the Society at the start of next year, and there is a commitment that further donations totalling £250,000 will follow over the next five years, as part of a new arrangement which will see grants to support the ongoing work of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation continue through the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation. The society’s Sir Bobby Robson Foundation accounts closed to new customers in 2016, but the idea of linking the Society’s donations in support of charities and community projects across the region has been adopted for the Newcastle Building Society Community Saver accounts. The donations connected with the Community Saver accounts are made to the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation to form a lasting fund from which grants are made. Andrew Haigh, chief executive at Newcastle Building Society, says: "The donations that we have made in connection with The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation accounts have far exceeded what we originally thought would be raised, and we're thrilled to be continuing to contribute to the invaluable work of one of the North East's favourite charities. “Knowing that the money being donated is directly benefiting people living in our heartland area while also contributing to the wider fight against cancer is especially important, and forms part of the many ways in which we support our communities. "Passing the £2.5m fundraising landmark, and being on the verge of presenting a further £100,000 to the Foundation while committing to this successful partnership for a further five years is a wonderful way for us to end the year." The Foundation was set up in 2008 by Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie Robson to support the search for more effective ways to detect and treat cancer, and 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. Over £10m has been raised for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation since its inception, with the majority being raised by individuals and small groups carrying out a huge range of fundraising activities in honour of loved ones that they've lost or who are undergoing treatment for cancer. Lady Elsie Robson adds: “We were touched when the Newcastle first approached us and offered to help our Foundation. I don’t think anyone had any idea of just how successful that help would be though. “We’re extremely grateful to the Newcastle and its members for absolutely magnificent support. The money raised has far surpassed our expectations and is enabling us to invest in truly ground-breaking cancer treatment. It’s making a difference to people facing cancer now and it will in the future.” Working within the NHS, and in collaboration with Newcastle University and other cancer charities, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’s main aim is to help fund world-class cancer treatments that directly benefit patients. It also helps fund projects that enhance cancer patient care. Inspired by the success of its savers’ support for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the Society introduced the Newcastle Building Society Community Saver accounts last year. These accounts work in a similar way to the Foundation accounts but generate funds which help grow the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, from which grants are made. The Fund continues to grow and the popularity of the Community Saver accounts has made it possible for grants of over £140,000 to be made so far, in support of good causes and community projects across the North East, in addition to the donations the Society has made to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Applications from members of the Society for the next round of awards will be sought from Friday 1 March. The Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Grant applications for a maximum of £3,000 can be made in any Society branch or via the newcastle.co.uk website by customers who wish to support a local community group or charity.