CONTACT centre staff put down their phones to take part in an Apprentice-style challenge for charity.
Workers from EDF Energy, at Doxford International Business Park, took part in the Marie Curie Cancer Care Charity Shop Challenge, as they took over the Sunderland and Houghton branches for the day.
As part of the event, they donated bags of clothes, jewellery, toys and other items to be used as stock at both shops throughout the day.
On the challenge day, two teams ran the shops and competed to raising as much money as possible through fun events, special attractions and activities for customers.
Sharron Lindsay, EDF customer service records manager, and one of the team captains, said: “The Marie Curie Shop Challenge is a different and fun way to raise money for such a worthy cause.
“It has really brought out our competitive nature and we are all committed to raising as much as possible for our charity partner.”
Marie Curie provides nursing care and support to people suffering from terminal illnesses, helping them during their final days in their own home or at one of the charity’s nine hospices. In County Durham, the organisation’s nurses provided more than 14,000 hours of care and supported more than 400 terminally-ill patients in 2011/12.
EDF Energy announced a three-year charity partnership with Marie Curie earlier this year.
As well as supporting the charity through volunteering, the energy company aims to raise £600,000 and includes the company match-funding its employees’ fund-raising by up to £100,000 each year.
The Houghton team won, more than doubling a normal day’s takings.