8th October 2015

BUSINESS advisers UNW hit the right note – and raised more than £1,300 for older and disabled people in the East End of Newcastle – after hosting a concert with pie and peas supper (Sept 17).

The Newcastle-based firm of chartered accountants laid on the event earlier this month after it chose small community charity Caring Hands as its annual charity for the second year running.

It hopes events such as the latest evening of music, which featured Newcastle Concert Band, and a sponsored adventure challenge later this year will help it push its 2015/16 fund raising beyond the £7,400 it managed to raise for the Shieldfield-based charity last year when it became its first ever corporate supporter.

UNW usually supports a different small, local charity each year but after seeing the impact last year’s donation had in helping sustain the independence and quality of life of older and disabled people the firm continued their support of Caring Hands for another year.

The charity concert, which included a mixed programme of popular classics, band and show tunes, was suggested by a UNW staff member, who has already taken her a cappella singing group to entertain members of Caring Hands’ weekly lunch club.

Administrator Helen Blades hopes the money raised from this event will continue to make a great difference to the little known charity, which now has bespoke donation envelopes, new telephones and identification badges thanks to funds raised last year by the business advisers.

UNW project manager Julie Paddon said: “We had a great 12 months helping Caring Hands last year and have already handed over £1,765 so far this financial year following a number of fundraising initiatives including an Easter cake sale, selling Wimbledon cream teas and dress down days.

“But we know that events, where we can sell tickets as well as hold a raffle on the night, can give our total a really good boost. The concert was all Helen’s idea. It was a tremendous success and we raised another £1,344 from it.

“Now we’ve had the concert, we will look to hold Food Bank Week and what volunteering work we can undertake. Caring Hands is a collection point for Newcastle East Food Bank so we will be asking our 100 staff to bring in food from home.”

Caring Hands manager Dawn Henderson said: “Raising money is obviously a very important part of what people can do to help but it’s important for us as a small charity, which relies on volunteers, that we receive help in other ways too.

“The support from UNW has been extremely helpful and we’re so grateful for all their efforts.”

The firm has now been raising funds exclusively for Caring Hands, whose services focus on helping those who have problems with mobility and isolation and helps them gain access to services to help reduce poverty and loneliness, since April 2014.

Caring Hands is a small, local charity which was established 22 years ago to help vulnerable older people in the East End and has since developed its services with the help of a team of volunteers and trustees.

Picture caption: UNW administrator and Newcastle Concert Band member Helen Blades outside Jesmond United Reformed Church.

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