All credit to Sunderland bank staff for bike ride

on your bike: Supporting biker Andrew Patton are branch manager Linda Fishburn, Laura Brookes, assistant manager Gary Leng and Brendan McCabe of Virgin Active Wearside.

on your bike: Supporting biker Andrew Patton are branch manager Linda Fishburn, Laura Brookes, assistant manager Gary Leng and Brendan McCabe of Virgin Active Wearside.

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GENEROUS bank workers cycled 75 miles for charity – without leaving the office.

Staff at Barclays Bank in Sunderland city centre tackled the gruelling challenge to raise money for the Grace House Children’s Hospice Appeal.

Throughout the day, 15 workers took turns on an exercise bike supplied by Sunderland Health and Racquet Club and pedalled for 30 minutes in front of customers.

Cashier Hemant Kanpak, 29, started the challenge at 9am with Gary Leng, from Washington, wrapping up the distance, the equivalent of Sunderland to York, at about 4.30pm.

Assistant manager Laura Brookes, who organised the event, said: “Grace House is such a good cause to support.

“They’re building the site at Southwick, so it’s great to be involved with something so close to home.

“We’ve already done some fund-raising and we’ll continue to support them.”

The staff at the Fawcett Street branch held a bake sale in August for the charity which raised £1,100 and hoped to make about £500 from the bike challenge.

“Those taking part have been sponsored by friends and family and we were also taking donations on the day.”

The Grace House Appeal is raising funds to build, equip and run the children’s hospice in Southwick for children across the North East of England.

It was launched by broadcaster Kathy Secker when she heard that the North East of England had the fewest children’s hospice beds in the UK.

Laura, 30, from Washington, did her stint on the exercise bike at about 1pm.

“It’s not what you usually see when you go to pay your bills.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho