Colleagues at North East law firm Hay & Kilner have conquered the night to raise hundreds of pounds for a vital regional charity.

A ten-strong team completed a 20-mile night walk from Newcastle to Wylam in Northumberland and back to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

The team left the firm’s headquarters on St James’ Boulevard and headed along the south bank of the River Tyne through Blaydon and Ryton as darkness fell before reaching the welcoming halfway point of the Boat House pub in Wylam around 8pm.

The return journey took the team back into the city along the north side of the river, and after around seven and a half hours on the road, they got back to their starting point just before 1am.

Around £1,000 in sponsorship from friends, colleagues and business contacts has now been added to the total that’s been raised so far this year, which currently stands at more than £3,200.

Members of the firm voted to adopt GNAAS as their dedicated charity for 2024 and are organising a series of individual and team-based activities to raise as much money as they can for their chosen cause.

The Service, which provides a full helicopter emergency medical service which covers around 8,000 square miles across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, recently issued an urgent plea for more funding from the region after revealing that rising costs had put it at risk of running at a deficit, which could potentially mean it might not be able to afford to answer emergency calls.

The organisation is looking to raise around £8.5m to cover its expected 2024 running costs, and receives no statutory funding, meaning it relies entirely on donations, fundraising and grants.

Further big events are being planned by the Hay & Kilner team for later in the year, to complement regular fundraising activities in their Newcastle office, which include dress down days, raffles and bake sales.

Bethany Herbertson, solicitor at Hay & Kilner and head of the firm’s CSR committee, says: “We were lucky to be out walking on one of the few dry days this year, and while we all had many aches, pains and strains by the end of our walk, it felt brilliant to cross the finishing line together.

“The encouragement we had along the way, whether through donations or positive messages from our supporters, made a huge difference to everyone, especially as we entered the wee small hours – it really helped to keep us all going.

“The firm has a range of different events and activities planned for the rest of the year and we’ll be doing all we can to raise as much money as possible for this crucial North East charity.”

Around £40,000 has been raised by Hay & Kilner colleagues for their recent dedicated charities, which have included Tiny Lives, The People’s Kitchen, If U Care Share, the Newcastle West End Foodbank and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund.