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Monday, 22 December 2014

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St Mary’s Sunflower Ball at Cartmel Racecourse

A CHARITY has topped a £1m milestone.

St Mary’s Hospice, in Ulverston, is saying a record-breaking ‘thanks a million’ to its supporters as the charity receives its latest payment from the Furness Building Society charity account, which has taken the total past the £1 million mark.

The hospice was one of the first charities to sign up for a special ‘You Save – We Give’ affinity account 11 years ago.

Since then savings deposited by its supporters have generated an annual payment from the building society society’s own funds, which this year amounts to more than £140,000.

The latest cheque was presented at the St Mary’s Sunflower Ball at Cartmel Racecourse on Friday, taking the total amount paid out by the building society over the last 11 years past £1m.

To mark the occasion and to provide a centrepiece for the ball Furness Building Society commissioned Lakes Bakery in Barrow to bake a giant cake which spelt out “£1 million” in letters, which was almost seven feet long.

Zoe Guest, funding and operations manager at St Mary’s, believes the success of the charity account is down to supporters realising that they can save, but also help St Mary’s in its valuable work.

Mrs Guest, said: “We depend on the fantastic support of local people to help us fund our vital, local service.

“We have to raise more than £2m each year from charitable donations, just to maintain our services.

“The annual payment from the Furness makes a significant contribution to those costs.”

Furness Building Society’s partnerships and affinities manager, Ian Quayle, said: “It is a win for the charity, a win for the supporters who can donate without spending a penny of their own, and a win for the Furness which is a mutual and uses the cash coming into the savings accounts to fund mortgages for its members.”

In 2011 the Furness paid out more than £360,000 to charity and affinity account partners, which is equivalent to 15 per cent of the society’s pre-tax profits.

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