Bank hands over £6,000 to charity

Generous Donation: Matlock NatWest branch Customer Services Officer Alison Parks and Manager Steven Smith prsent a cheque for �6000 as part of their community scheme to Pauline Jenkinson, Co-Ordinator for Fire and Emergency Servies for Derbyshire Red Cross.

Generous Donation: Matlock NatWest branch Customer Services Officer Alison Parks and Manager Steven Smith prsent a cheque for �6000 as part of their community scheme to Pauline Jenkinson, Co-Ordinator for Fire and Emergency Servies for Derbyshire Red Cross.

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The Matlock Branch of the British Red Cross has been handed a £6,000 award thanks to an enthusiastic voting campaign by supporters.

The voluntary group landed the cash through the NatWest CommunityForce initiative, which helps support local charities, organisations and groups to raise publicity for their work and attract volunteers.

Launched in July last year, they urged charities to apply for the windfall, and an on-line public vote to decide which organisations deserve it the most.

The Red Cross provides part of the fire and emergency support service and visit scenes of incidents to provide emergency care and help victims get back on their feet after incidents such as fires and floods, as well as accidents.

The money will be used to help pay for a new vehicle .

British Red Cross community fundraiser for Derbyshire, Alex Gadsby, said: “When a fire or flood destroys your home – particularly in the middle of the night – it’s completely devastating for any family.

“That’s when our fire and emergency support vehicle comes in, and our volunteers and their vehicle have helped hundreds of vulnerable people across Derbyshire recover from these terrible incidents.

“We were honoured to get so many votes from the local community and absolutely thrilled to win the award, which will go towards the cost of a new vehicle to help us help many hundreds more families in years to come.”

Jane Solomon was recently appointed local CEO for NatWest in the Peak District added: “We’ve had a fantastic response to CommunityForce and it’s clear that people in the Derbyshire Dales are passionate about the British Red Cross. Local residents voted for the British Red Cross in great numbers and this certainly demonstrates how important this project is to the community.”

Around 7000 eligible charities and community projects in the UK applied to take part in NatWest CommunityForce award, and over 450,000 votes were cast.

By applying for the awards, local charities and projects became part of a local on-line network giving them greater visibility and the opportunity to attract volunteers from the local area.