Santander bank gives birthday gift to charities

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A bank is celebrating two years of trading in South Tyneside with two charitable donations.

Santander opened its doors to customers in September after taking over the former Birthday’s card shop in King Street.

Since then the branch, managed by Tracy Harris, has been going from strength to strength.

It was officially opened by the former Mayor Coun Ernest Gibson and, at an anniversary event last week, the current Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Richard Porthouse and his wife Pat, were on hand to mark the occasion.

Mrs Harris said: “These past two years have been fantastic. The branch itself has been going from strength to strength since we opened – and holding events like this is our way of showing our customers our appreciation for all their support.

During the event, Sonia Graham from St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow received a cheque for £270 following an in-branch fundraiser for the charity – which provides end of life care for people diagnosed with life-limiting illness.

A cheque for £1,400 was handed to the Mayor’s Charity Appeal after a charity football game was match-funded by Santander.

The Mayor’s charity this year is raising cash for Cancer Connections, Great North Air Ambulance and Alzheimer’s Society’s South Tyneside Branch.

The night was attended by last year’s Mayor Coun Fay Cunningham and Santander regional manager Steve Irish.

Mrs Harris added: “When we first opened our branch we promised to support local charities and good causes where we could and I am so pleased we have been able to keep our promise.

“We have also been able to grow relationships with our customers and offer support, where possible, to local businesses – long may it continue.”

Since the branch opened, the bank has supported a number of charities and good causes throughout South Tyneside including New Hope Church, The Cruse Crew and South Tyneside Churches Together.

Santander runs a Community Plus scheme, which supports local charities and projects.