Ward Sparrow (Samaritans) and Robin Litten (Leeds Building Society)

Leeds Building Society raises £100k for Samaritans in just six months

Leeds Building Society (LBS) has already raised over £100,000 for national charity partner Samaritans. LBS aims to raise £250,000 by March 2020.

The money raised by the Society’s members and colleagues will be used to enhance the charity’s technology to help its volunteers move faster between phone, email and chat responses.  

Colleagues and members at all the Society’s 55 branches, as well as people from Leeds Building Society’s four offices in Leeds and the North East have contributed to the fundraising efforts. 

Fundraising activities have included: 

  • 235,962 steps taken by nine people sponsored to run the Great North Run  

  • 825 kilometres run by colleagues as part of the Rough Runner obstacle course 

  • 45 miles cycled between Glasgow and Edinburgh  

  • 39 raffles held 

  • 16 book sales 

  • 10 Lake District peaks covered in 10 hours 

  • 3 sponsored walks 

  • 2 skydives 

  • 1 Channel swim 

The activities will support the purchase and installation of new equipment, including laptops, headsets and phones across all 201 Samaritans branches. 

It will allow volunteers to move more easily between communication channels and respond quicker to the demand for round the clock emotional support for anyone who is going through a tough time. 

Ward Sparrow, Executive Director of Income and Finance at Samaritans said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the support and enthusiasm from everyone at Leeds Building Society to raise money for Samaritans. What they have achieved in just six months through so many fun and creative fundraising activities, is brilliant.  

“The money raised will make huge improvements to branch technology, enabling volunteers to move much quicker between responses and essentially ensure we can support as many people as we can. We are really looking forward to the rest of this outstanding partnership.”  

Robin Litten, Chief Financial Officer at Leeds Building Society, raised over £2,000 by cycling the 2018 Etape Du Tour, which followed the 158km route of the 10th stage of the Tour de France and its four categorised climbs totalling 4,017m. 

He said: “The partnership we have developed with Samaritans has been fantastic. Both organisations have a philosophy of people helping people and we knew our colleagues across the country would welcome this partnership. 

“The breadth of fundraising activities colleagues have taken part in has been incredible. We’ve already reached the key milestone of £100,000 in less than a year and we’re looking forward to what the future holds. 

“We are pleased to be able to support Samaritans in enhancing the technology available to its volunteers as we know this will make a difference to the way they can support people contacting them. 

Above: Ward Sparrow of Samaritans and Robin Litten of Leeds Building Society toast their successful partnership

Ends 

Samaritans

Anyone can contact Samaritans any time for free from any phone on 116 123. This number is free to call and will not show up on your phone bill. Or email jo@samaritans.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your local branch where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face. 

Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Your money or your time could save a life. Find out how you can support us: http://www.samaritans.org/support-us

Leeds Building Society 

Samaritans is at the heart of communities and so are we - Samaritans has hubs in 49 of the areas where we have branches. 

Leeds Building Society has a target to raise £1.2m for charities and good causes by the end of 2020. 

In 2017 it helped over 50,000 more people have the home they want and a record 71,000 more people save for their future.