Back to March 2019

LBS raises over £150,000 in first year of Samaritans partnership

Leeds Building Society has celebrated the first 12 months of its two-year partnership with Samaritans after raising more than £150,000 of its £250,000 target.

Samaritans is the Society’s first national charity partner and money is being used to enhance the charity’s technology to help its volunteers move more easily between phone, email and listening responses.

Funds have been raised by members, colleagues and the Society through a wide range of events, including:

  • 100 colleagues took on the Rough Runner obstacle course
  • Donating 100% of the proceeds from Christmas cards designed by young people
  • Chief Financial Officer Robin Litten cycled the Queen stage of the Tour de France
  • Members took part in fundraising events at every Leeds Building Society branch

Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer of Samaritans, said: “The first year of our partnership with Leeds Building Society has worked fantastically well and it’s been great to see members and colleagues coming up with new and fun ways of raising money.

“So far seven Samaritans branches have piloted the new technology and are reporting real improvements, with many volunteers able to support people more efficiently, moving between different types of technology quickly and easily. The updates have also provided a better experience for service users and the committed volunteers that ensure Samaritans is available 24/7.

“We’re looking forward to rolling out our new technology across other branches and thank Leeds Building Society for its work to make to raise funds that will make this a real possibility.”

Currently, colleagues across the Society’s offices in Leeds, Newcastle and its branches across the UK are taking part in a ‘Your 24’ campaign. Taking inspiration from Samaritans volunteers, who are available 24 hours a day, colleagues are taking on a variety of personal challenges.

Richard Fearon, Leeds Building Society’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We strongly believe Leeds Building Society’s philosophy of people helping people links very closely with the work of Samaritans, which made this partnership perfect for us. It has really struck a chord with members and colleagues alike and we’re delighted with the progress we’ve made in the first 12 months.

“It is great to hear that our funds are already being put to good use to enhance the technology available at the pilot branches, which ultimately will benefit more people in need of support.

“We thought long and hard before entering our first national charity partnership, consulting our colleagues and members before choosing Samaritans. Focusing our support on one charity provides clear benefits in terms of creating a strong relationship, ensuring everyone understands the aim, working together across our entire business and sharing experience and skills between the two organisations. The success of the partnership in the first year has been down to these factors.

“We also know from our members that localised charities are vitally important. Through the work of Leeds Building Society Foundation we’ve been able to continue supporting local projects alongside our national Samaritans partnership.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

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 is Leeds Building Society - Samaritans have hubs in 49 of the areas where the Society has branches.

Leeds Building Society has a target to raise £250,000 for Samaritans by March 2020 to enhance the charity’s technology to help its volunteers move faster between phone, email and chat responses.