Norwich bank launches charity partnership with Mencap

Staff at a bank in Norwich dressed up as sport enthusiasts and lined up outside to 'get set' on the starting line for a year of fundraising.

The event at The Co-operative Bank, in London Street, officially launched its charity partnership with Mencap, which will see the company raising money in 2011 for people with learning disabilities in the UK and their families and carers.

Branch manager Richard Sunderland, said: 'It is great for us to get involved with the local community and it is good that we can raise awareness as well as funds. We don't just raise money, we raise hope.'

Staff from their sister branch Britannia also attended and they will be working together on future plans put in place to continue raising funds, such as dress-down days, coffee mornings and cycling challenges.

Mr Sunderland said: 'It is great as a group to help these people. It is really such a fantastic charity as so many people are affected and there are people we can help get out in their community and lead a normal life.'

The team shook their pom-poms ready to greet customers while wearing cheerleader outfits, gym clothes and even a jockey's silks, with the aim to raise even more than last year.

The company raised �3.7m for their 2010 chosen charity, The Royal National Institute for Deaf People.

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James Starling, customer relationship advisor, said: 'Everyone here is very excited. It is all about raising money for a good cause and raising awareness.' Staff across The Co-operative's businesses, including food retail, travel, funerals, pharmacy, banking, insurance and farming, will be fundraising in aid of Mencap.

The money raised will allow Mencap to launch the programme, 'Inspire Me', which will help 20,000 young people, aged 16 to 25, their parents, carers, and local communities, to overcome any exclusion or prejudice they may face by providing them with activities and training, together with volunteering and employment opportunities.

For more information about the charity, visit

Are you holding a fundraising event? Contact reporter Donna-Louise Bishop on 01603 772438 or email