Two special charity-linked accounts proved to be the Newcastle Building Society`s most popular of the year raising an incredible £70,000 to fight cancer through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
The Newcastle pledged its support to the Foundation in late spring and originally hoped to raise around £50,000 in the first 12 months. However, the product is proving so popular, attracting millions of pounds worth of investments from its members that the Society is now hoping it will be able to donate more than £120,000 after a full year.
To celebrate the achievement, former Newcastle United player and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation fund-raiser Robbie Elliott visited the Society`s Gosforth branch to thank staff for their efforts.
Robbie, who cycled 3,500 miles to raise money to fight cancer through Bike For Bobby this year, says: “I was really pleased to represent the Foundation and celebrate reaching the £70,000 milestone with branch staff.
“To have raised this much, and so quickly, is just incredible and something for staff and members to be very proud of.
“Sir Bobby is someone I owe a lot to professionally and his Foundation has come to mean just as much to me. I`ve seen at first hand the pioneering cancer facilities it is helping to fund and sadly, like most people, I`ve lost loved ones to the disease.
“Sir Bobby always said when not if we beat cancer and we have to keep that positive mindset. We`ve just got to keep pushing to find better ways to detect and treat it.”
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is intrinsically linked to the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Charity and the substantial support it receives from this local NHS Charity means it can significantly limit administrative costs.
It does not employ professional fund-raisers to pro-actively raise money and co-ordinate volunteers and relies completely on third party and volunteer fund-raisers.
The Newcastle Building Society is giving a cash donation to the Foundation for every pound invested by customers in its Sir Bobby Robson Foundation ISA and Savings accounts and is the charity`s first financial partnership.
Lesley Bonham, Gosforth branch manager, said: “It was fantastic having Robbie visit our branch as he`s so closely linked with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation given his great fund-raising efforts for it recently.
“Our charity-linked products have been very successful and as a branch manager I`m really proud to see them being received so well by our members. We are thrilled to have reached our target ahead of schedule and are keen to continue to raise funds for this cause, which is close to so many hearts in the region.”
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria, and which contribute significantly to research into the disease.
Last year, Lady Elsie officially opened the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation PET Tracer Production Unit, which was jointly funded by the charity and Newcastle University. The charity also announced it was contributing £850,000 towards life-saving new cyber surgery equipment at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
Both of these major advances in treatment and tumour detection for cancer patients will work in tandem with the clinical trials of new drugs within the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.
Anyone that would like open up a Sir Bobby Robson Foundation account with the building society can still do so in any of the Society`s 30 branches in the North East and Cumbria, online and by its contact centre. Please visit www.newcastle.co.uk for more information.