BUILDING society staff have hit new heights in their support of a North-East charity helping families affected by autism.

Ten members of staff from Darlington Building raised £630 for Daisy Chain by walking for up to eight hours to complete the Cleveland 4 Peaks Challenge.

The annual challenge involves a 13-mile walk, starting at Guisborough Forest, and taking in Roseberry Topping, Captain Cook’s Monument, Codhill Heights, and Highcliffe Nab.

This was the second successive year the Society has taken part, paying for the event so that all the money raised through sponsorship went straight to the charity.

The Society’s Chief Operating Officer, Chris Hunter, who was one of those who completed the challenge, said: “We were delighted to be able to show our support for this special charity by putting on our walking boots and taking part in such an enjoyable and healthy event.

“As well as raising valuable funds, it was also a great way to get out in the countryside and build on the team spirit that’s such a big part of Darlington Building Society.”

Like other charities, Daisy Chain, based at Norton, near Stockton, has suffered a huge loss of income due to covid19 with a predicted £400k drop during the first lockdown.

But Tracey Wright, the charity’s Fundraising and Media Manager, underlined the importance of Darlington Building Society’s support.

As well as the money raised through the Cleveland 4 Peaks Challenge, the Society also recently made a contribution of £14,818 to pay for a new polytunnel used by service-users to grow fruit and vegetables.

Tracey said: “Following lockdown, we thought things would be back to normal by August, and we could start staging events again, but that obviously hasn’t happened.

“We have managed to hold a few COVID-secure events to raise funds, such as virtual quizzes, our golf day, and the Cleveland 4 Peaks Challenge.

“The support we have had from Darlington Building Society has been crucial, and we are so grateful.”

Due to the second national lockdown, the charity has now had to close its Superstore, on Portrack Lane, in Stockton, which is bound to have another significant impact on finances.

Daisy Chain has, therefore, established an online presence, including a new dedicated eStore – daisychainstore.co.uk – along with items being sold on eBay and Depop.

General financial donations can also be made at: www.daisychainproject.co.uk/donate/donate-to-daisy-chain/5/credit-card. As well as one-off donations, regular monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments can be set up.