BANK staff rolled up their sleeves to give a Morpeth-based charity a DIY bonus.
Branch Managers from Lloyds TSB’s North East Verde outlets and their director worked up a sweat to refurbish part of the MS Research and Relief Fund building in Stobhill under the company’s Making a Difference programme.
The organisation, which provides a range of services and information to help people whose lives have been affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), is currently raising funds for a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool to help sufferers relieve their symptoms and exercise gently and safely.
This facility will go downstairs so it needs to run some of its sessions and activities upstairs and a lift will be installed in the near future.
But once the works have finished, there will be an increase in the number of facilities available for service users.
The 14 men and women from the bank did some undercoating and painting, ripped up carpets, moved furniture around and installed some fixtures in three of the rooms.
MS Research and Relief Fund Networking and Marketing Officer Sue Dowson said: “We can’t thank these people enough for the work they have done and the rooms look amazing.
“They completely submerged themselves into it and grafted pretty much non-stop throughout the day. Staff and service users were thrilled when they chose us, particularly as the scheme operates for one day a year, and we greatly appreciate their efforts.
“They left each room as clean and tidy as when they arrived and we will be sending a letter of thanks to the bank’s Chief Executive.
“We needed to run services and activities upstairs so we can install the hydrotherapy pool, but we decided to refurbish all of the rooms in order to expand the space available to users because there are times when we’ve had to turn people away as we don’t have the room for them.”
There will be a new physiotherapy room, at least one gym, space for therapies and exercises and a meeting and conference room.
Lloyds TSB’s North East Verde Local Director Bev Gibson lives in Morpeth and has a family member who suffers from MS.
“We were all happy to help such an important charity to progress its plans and it was nice to go on a team building exercise that wasn’t work related,” she said.
“Many hands make light work and we were pleasantly surprised with how quickly we did the tasks.
“We were also proud of how the rooms looked when we had finished.
“We thoroughly enjoyed the day and we hope that the charity will be successful with its pool project.
“It’s great that Lloyds TSB allows us to do something positive in the community.”
MS Research and Relief Fund had already received support from the banking sector earlier in the year.
To mark the acquisition of Northern Rock, Virgin Money gave some good causes a cash boost of £2,500 each and the charity was one of the organisations it chose.
The hydrotherapy pool will cost about £330,000 in total and it is hoped that the facility will be opened during its 50th anniversary in 2014.