Building Society dives in to help spinal charity

Building Society dives in to help spinal charity

A customer service consultant at the Yarm branch of Darlington Building Society has raised £300 for spinal injury charity, Aspire.

The funds came after Pam Jones swam the equivalent of the length of the English Channel to raise £175 thanks to the kind donations from sponsors, which was then matched by a £125 donation from the Society’s community fund.

Pam’s fundraising effort was part of a wider national initiative by the charity that saw people up and down the UK taking to the water at their local swimming pool to swim 22 miles over 12 weeks. To complete the challenge Pam swam 50 lengths three times a week for 10 weeks.

As part of its 160th anniversary pledge to make a positive impact within the communities in which it operates, Darlington Building Society is supporting 160 good causes and aiming to raise £160,000 for charities.

Pam said: “I was looking for a way to challenge myself and at the same time do something positive for other people, so I was really pleased to complete the challenge two weeks early and raise money for Aspire.

“I’m really grateful to Darlington Building Society for matching the money I raised. Aspire do fantastic work providing support to people who have sustained spinal cord damage; providing them with accessible homes and grants for essential equipment.

“I thoroughly enjoyed raising the money. Knowing that with each lap I finished I was closer to completing the challenge kept me motivated and gave me a great sense of accomplishment – plus it helped me lose a bit of weight. Swimming has become part of my weekly ritual now and I go at least two times a week.”

Brian Carlin, Aspire’s CEO, added: “Every eight hours in the UK someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury.  Most people’s homes aren’t suitable for a wheelchair, so for those newly injured where they are going to live when they are discharged from hospital is a major worry.  

“The Aspire Housing Programme has 48 accessible houses around the country, including one in Middlesbrough, for spinal injured people to live in whilst a permanent solution is found.  

“Pam’s fundraising efforts will help us to continue to provide practical help to spinal injured people throughout the UK, supporting them from injury to independence.”

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