A North East company’s 12-month fundraising campaign has raised £30,048 for four charities in the region. 

Seaham-based Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) staff have raised the incredible total through corporate events, payroll donations and individual fundraising initiatives over the course of the last financial year, since July 2017.

The beneficiaries are Sunderland animal shelter Animal Krackers; County Durham’s Heel and Toe Children’s Charity; County Durham Foodbank; and North East friendship dog charity Wag & Company.

In addition to the cash value, GAS donated a full paid day of staff time for every employee, which they could use to volunteer at two of the four supported charities.  Over the last 12 months, this equalled 2,000 hours of paid staff time.

There were also regular collections held throughout the year, including at Easter and Christmas time, where staff donated food items to be delivered to the local Foodbanks.

Brad Groves, Chief Executive of GAS, said: “We set out last July to have a clear, measurable and tangible impact on our community and we feel the size of this total shows we’re achieving that.

“We’ve already committed to continuing to support Durham Foodbank, Animal Krackers and Heel and Toe for our 2018/19 financial year, until July 2019.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has taken part over the last year and the charities themselves, who are an inspiration to us at GAS.”

The Group chose International Charity Day to hand-deliver the cheques on Wednesday 5 September, represented by Group HR Director Judith Bennison and selected staff who had made considerable contributions to each charity.

Judith Bennison, Group HR Director, said: “We now have 100 per cent of staff donating money directly from their salary every month and everyone has taken part in a plethora of different fundraisers, including sky dives, mud runs, baking contests, dress down days, food collections and the Great North Run.

“The key to the total has been our generous staff buying into the causes we are supporting.  They were chosen based on the brilliant work they do and have clearly struck a chord.”

Doug Long, Chief Executive of Heel and Toe Children’s Charity, said: “This is an unbelievable donation.  It’s actually the largest staff-funded contribution the charity has ever received.

“I’m astounded at the GAS staff’s generosity, which will be a great help towards our capital appeal for our new hydrotherapy centre.”

Susan Hardy, Director at Animal Krackers, said: “We have been promised a great deal from lots of organisations over my time at the charity.  GAS is the first of any of them to have actually exceeded what we expected from them.

“We’ve loved working with the staff and we’re thrilled to be associated with such a supportive company.”

Peter MacLellan, Chief Executive of County Durham Foodbank, said: “We’re immensely grateful to all the staff at Great Annual Savings.

“This donation will keep the foodbank running and allow us to continue helping the people of County Durham, who are in crisis and in need.  Thank you.”