Building society staff ready to saddle up for Tour de Branch

Hardy staff in Alnwick are gearing up to tackle a Tour de France-themed fund-raising challenge.

The team from the town’s Newcastle Building Society branch will be joining colleagues from 19 other branches, as well as two head offices, for the feat.

The aim is to cover the full 3,656 kilometre distance of the Tour de France over the middle five days of the race.

The name of the challenge is fittingly called The Tour de Branch Challenge.

But rather than taking on the gruelling course, the building society fund-raiser will be completing their personal Tours in the rather more familiar surroundings of their own office.

And the Alnwick team will be riding their miles on exercise bikes located in the Bondgate Within branch on Tuesday, to do their respective bits towards the full Tour distance being covered across all the participating branches.

The fund-raiser has been set up as part of the building society’s ongoing Cornerstone of the Community campaign, through which individual branches provide support to organisations and good causes in their local areas.

The Alnwick branch team will be cycling to raise money for the town’s Parkinson’s Disease Support Group.

Helen Merrey, branch manager in Alnwick, said: “We’re aiming to travel around 200km in a single day, and while we have some riders among our team, others are anything but regular cyclists, so it will take a lot of effort and commitment for them to reach their personal finishing lines.

“We’re hoping to get lots of people coming into the branch to cheer us on as the wheels go round and support our fund-raising efforts if they can, and we’ll all be doing our best to emulate Chris Froome and reach the finishing line on schedule.”