Newcastle Building Society supports local mental health charity

Release Date: 22nd January

Colleagues from the North East’s largest building society have supported a local mental health charity based in Morpeth by volunteering their time to help local people improve their mental wellbeing, self-development and recovery.

Contact, an independent mental health charity working in the voluntary sector came to the attention of Newcastle Building Society’s Morpeth branch after a customer spoke of her personal experience with them.

Newcastle Building Society colleagues are given two paid days a year to volunteer and are encouraged to use this time to benefit their local community.

After hearing about their customer’s experience with Contact, the branch staff decided they wanted to get more involved in any way they could, from volunteering to fundraising.

Catherine Pidgeon, a customer advisor at Newcastle Building Society’s Morpeth branch volunteered on numerous occasions, using her two days from the Society and her free time. Her volunteering tasks would vary from talking with service users, to making drinks for visitors and participating in fundraising activities.

Katie Wallace, branch manager at the Morpeth branch, said: “Catherine has been fantastic, she has been volunteering at Contact whenever she can and it really makes a difference.

“We’ve been using a variety of methods to raise money for Contact, including donating toys for Contact to host a toy stall at Morpeth fair and selling home-made jams and chutneys in branch.”

A regular fundraiser for Contact and former Mayor of Morpeth, Andrew Tebbutt, said: “I’m thrilled to have worked closely with Newcastle Building Society to raise money for Contact. They’re a really friendly team of people who were keen to get involved.”

Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund at the Community Foundation makes grants available to local community projects. Grants of up to £3,000 are available and local groups or charities can be nominated by customers of the building society.

Andrew continued: “I’m planning on applying for a community grant for Contact when the next phase of funding opens so in the meantime, I’ve opened a Community Saver account to give back to the wider community.”

Audrey Anderson, Contact’s centre manager, said: “I was really pleased that the Morpeth branch of the Newcastle Building Society decided to give their support to Contact Mental health Group in the various ways that they have done. Their staff member Catherine was a welcome addition to our volunteering team and showed empathy and approachability to people using our service.

“It is invaluable to a charity such as ours when businesses in the local community show support, particularly with fundraising events and everyone involved with Contact is thrilled when support is given as there is so much pride and commitment in the service we provide.”