A TOWN centre bank has helped boost the coffers of a fundraising drive by bereaved families aiming to raise £30,000.
Santander, in King Street, South Shields, has handed over £700 to the Cruse Crew to help it as it strives to reach its target by August.
The group – made up of bereaved families from South Tyneside and their friends – is raising cash to enable Cruse Bereavement Care Tyneside to bring its children’s and young people’s bereavement support service to the borough.
Currently families needing to access the service have to travel to its base in High Heaton, Newcastle.
Already the group has raised more than £17,000 since it launched in August. The money will fund the service for at least three years.
Branch manager Tracy Harris said: “The Cruse Crew are just a lovely bunch of people and it was our pleasure to be able to present the cheque for £702 to help them with their fundraising.
“I am so proud to be the manager of the Santander branch in South Shields. Everyone is so helpful, it is such a lovely community to work in.
“Since we opened last August, we have been working hard to become involved in as many community and charitable projects as possible as we want to not only be the best bank on the high street, but also the best community bank.”
The group was also presented with a cheque for £500 from members of the Friends of Patrick Cain House which has since been doubled to £1,000.
Anne Nightingale said: “As soon as we mentioned what the Cruse Crew were doing, everyone just wanted to do their bit to help.
“It’s fantastic what the families are doing.”
Cruse Crew member Mrs Robertson said: “You just can’t describe how we are all feeling about the support we have received since we launched. It has really been amazing. Just so overwhelming. I would just like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone as it does mean such a lot to us all.”
The Cruse Crew was launched after parents Davy Carr and Emma Robertson both struggled to find support for their young children following the death of their respective partners.
The group also includes parents Jean Costello, Alfie Leggett and Susan Clarkson, Laura Nisbet and Graham Muirhead who know first hand the devastating impact the death of a loved one can have on their children.
They are being supported by friends Joyce Auty, Rachel Little, Mandy and Paul Kirton, Lisa Nightingale, Alana Vickers and former Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside Coun Ernest Gibson and Patricia Ridley.