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Local mum scores charity grant for community football club


A football mad mum from Sunderland is supporting a team that is close to her heart by making a generous donation as part of Yorkshire Bank’s Staff Volunteer Grant Programme.

Lesley Grainger, 49, from Ashbrooke in Sunderland applied for a staff volunteer grant from Yorkshire Bank earlier this year to provide much needed funds for her local football club.

Lesley, who works at Yorkshire Bank’s Financial Solutions Centre in Newcastle, has been cheering for her son Paul on the sidelines for over six years. Paul plays football as part of an Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence with Darlington FC which runs The Football in the Community scheme and Lesley felt the project was deserving of a Yorkshire Bank grant of £500.

The Football in the Community scheme encourages young people in Darlington to get involved in sporting activities and Lesley's donation will go towards essential team running costs including coach hire for the team to travel to away games as well as new strips for the young players.

Lesley's donation to the club is part of Yorkshire Bank's Staff Volunteer Grant Programme, which helps fund charitable initiatives that its employees are passionate about. Employees can apply for a grant of up to £500 if they are involved with local community groups in their own time. This includes local charities or not-for-profit organisations such as schools, brownies, scouts or sports groups. The money helps the groups continue their work in the local community.

Lesley said: "Darlington FC's Football in the Community scheme has been part of my life for a number of years. I have been supporting the team since my son was 11 years old, serving tea, coffee and Bovril to fans on the sidelines and organising fundraising events to raise money and encourage the local community to support the team."

"Since Darlington FC fell out of the football league, funding has become virtually non-existent, so donations are really important to enable the team to continue. I jumped at the chance when I heard that I could apply for a grant from Yorkshire Bank as every penny counts for the club. It's a brilliant scheme which has really benefitted my son's team and many other great projects up and down the country."

Jacqui Atkinson, community affairs manager at Yorkshire Bank said: "Yorkshire Bank’s staff volunteer Programme recognises the great community work our employees are involved in outside of the bank's own extensive volunteering programme. Any employee that is involved in a charity or not-for-profit organisation in their own time is eligible to apply for a grant."

"We actively encourage our employees to become involved in voluntary work within their own community and our grants programme is just one way we can support the valuable contribution they make in helping others."

The staff grants are provided through the Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank Foundation, a registered charity established by the Banks in 2008.

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