Support and friendship

Bob is a patron of the North East Autism Society (NEAS), which has cared for his son, Liam, for several years.

Kate said: “When Bob stepped down from the Darlington Building Society board, I wanted to say thank you for all his support and friendship, so I started thinking about what I could give him as a leaving present.

“I know how much NEAS means to him, because of the amazing care Liam has been given, so raising funds for such a special charity seemed to fit the bill.”

Liam, now 30, is in residential care with NEAS, and Bob has spoken publicly about how the charity has enriched his son’s life.

“Raising money for NEAS is the best leaving gift I can think of, so I’m extremely touched by Kate’s kindness. It’s very typical of her to be so thoughtful,” said Bob, who served as managing director for Trinity Mirror’s North-East region and was awarded the MBE in 2018 for services to business and economic development on Teesside.


Making a difference

Darlington Building Society annually donates five per cent of its profits to good causes, and NEAS is one of its chosen charities. Last year, a £15,000 grant from the Society was used to build an accessible play area at The Mackenzie Thorpe Centre, a school for autistic and neurodiverse children, at South Bank, Middlesbrough.

Kate, an accountant who has spent nearly 40 years in the financial sector, has been a non-executive director of the Society for four years.

She is now running five times a week in preparation for the Great North Run on September 10, and aims to raise more than £1,000. To make a donation, please go to: