Staff from an office in Morpeth have volunteered their time to support a charity based in the town.
Contact Morpeth Mental Health came to the attention of Newcastle Building Society’s Morpeth branch after a customer spoke of her personal experience with the independent organisation, which works in the voluntary sector.
It provides counselling, complementary therapy, craft and creative writing sessions and drop-in services, among other support services at its headquarters in Oldgate, and a set of computers are available for use.
The charity also organises some social activities.
Newcastle Building Society employees are given two paid days a year to volunteer and they are encouraged to use this time to benefit their local community.
The team at the Morpeth branch decided to support Contact and Catherine Pidgeon, one of its customer advisors, volunteered on numerous occasions – using her two days from the society and her free time.
Her volunteering ranged from talking with service users to making drinks for visitors and participating in fund-raising activities.
Branch manager Katie Wallace 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, such as donating toys and selling home-made jams and chutneys in branch.”
A regular fund-raiser for Contact and former Mayor of Morpeth, Coun 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.”
The society’s Community Fund at the Community Foundation makes grants of up to £3,000 available to community projects. Customers of the building society can nominate groups or charities.
Coun Tebbutt added: “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’m really pleased that we have received such support from the Morpeth branch of Newcastle Building Society.
“Catherine was a welcome addition to our volunteering team and showed empathy and approachability to people using our service.”