Thursday, 7 April 2011


Sunderland AFC chairman Niall Quinn is supporting Barclays’ staff in Sunderland as they raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

On a visit to the bank’s personal customer contact centre in Doxford Park he also announced that the cancer charity has smashed through the £3million fund-raising mark just three years after its launch in March 2008.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which helps find more effective treatments for cancer, directly benefits patients from across the north east and Cumbria.

Niall, a Patron of the charity, says: “It’s a great pleasure to meet with the Barclays’ team here at Doxford Park. And I think being surrounded by all these enthusiastic Sir Bobby Robson Foundation fund-raisers is a very appropriate place to announce we’ve broken through the £3million mark.

“I’m very proud to represent the charity as a Patron and I know Sir Bobby would also be very proud today knowing how much money has been raised. He was incredibly passionate about his charity and the benefits it brings for local people fighting cancer.

“Sir Bobby used to say when, and not if, when he talked about the experts finding a cure for this terrible disease. It’s that kind of positive thinking which really makes a difference.

“£3.3 million is a huge amount of money and thanks to the support of committed fund-raisers like the Barclays’ staff I’ve met today we can go on and do much more.”

In addition to chatting with Barclays’ fund-raisers, Niall also took time out to pick winning entries from the charity raffle and took a guided tour of the Tyne House contact centre which employs 500 staff.

Christine Allenson, head of Customer Service at Barclays Sunderland Contact Centre, says:
“Barclays encourages all its staff to give their time, skills and talent to the local communities where we live and work. This is a fantastic opportunity to make a real and lasting difference and all the staff are delighted to adopt Sir Bobby’s Foundation for the coming year.”

Fund raising activities across the Contact Centre include raffles, quizzes, casual dress down days, bike rides, egg painting competitions and some staff are even entering the Great North Run.

Since its launch in March 2008, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has raised £3.3 million to help find more effective treatments for cancer. The charity funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust, which directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria.

In addition to equipping the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle, the charity has funded a specialist research nurse and doctor and contributed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary’s teenage cancer unit.

It has also enhanced a children’s waiting area at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care and funded leukaemia laboratory research equipment.

It most recently announced that it is working with Newcastle University and has purchased an ultra-compact cyclotron which will help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The cyclotron costs in excess of £500,000 and is only the second of its type in the world and the first in Europe.

Sir Bobby’s family are committed to continuing the work of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation with the help of fund-raisers, donors and Patrons including Niall Quinn, Alan Shearer, Mick Mills and Steve Gibson.