Staff at society step up in aid of cancer charity

From left, Newcastle Building Society staff Lynn Richardson, Matthew Wilkinson, Edith Sutherland and Rachel Gibson during the step machine charity challenge.

From left, Newcastle Building Society staff Lynn Richardson, Matthew Wilkinson, Edith Sutherland and Rachel Gibson during the step machine charity challenge.

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A team of office workers reached new heights during a big challenge.

Seven staff at the Morpeth branch of Newcastle Building Society joined colleagues from 11 other branches across the region and the mutual organisation’s two head offices in an attempt to climb 8,848m – the height of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain – on step machines.

But they managed a much bigger total. The group from the Market Place office achieved 20,000 steps, which took them almost halfway up Everest on their own.

The challenge was set up as part of the building society’s on-going Cornerstone of the Community campaign, through which individual branches provide support to good causes.

Each office chooses a charity or organisation to support every year and the total raised by those taking part in the step machine activity was in the region of £1,500.

The Morpeth branch’s 2014 selection is Henry Dancer Days – a charity set up by Jane Nattrass, who grew up in Morpeth, in memory of her son to help the families of children with bone cancer. About £100 was collected for it in this challenge.

Senior customer advisor Matthew Wilkinson said: “We took turns on the machine throughout a working day and we each did just over an hour in total.

“It was quite hard work, but we enjoyed doing the challenge and we were delighted to achieve 20,000 steps.

“As well as the main society fund-raisers, we run our own activities such as raffles, tombolas and sponsored walks and we’re grateful to lead organiser Edith Sutherland for her efforts.”