First Class way to help charities

BUS drivers are being given a £50,000 chequebook by First South Yorkshire and asked to decide which local charities should benefit.

The company wants charities or individuals in the county looking for sponsorship to apply for a slice of the funding, on offer over the next 12 months.

Staff, including bus drivers, have been selected to be on the new charity and sponsorship panel and decide where the cash will be spent.

First has run a similar scheme nationally over the past two years and some South Yorkshire fundraisers have already benefited.

Tony Goldsworthy, aged 64, and Steve Radford, 59, walked the 270- mile Pennine Way. The intrepid duo, both workers at First's Doncaster depot, had already raised a significant sum of money for their chosen charities - Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice and The National Autistic Society - and First donated 500 more to each of them.

Derek Russell, a bus driver in Sheffield, and part of the new charity and sponsorship panel, said: "I am looking forward to being given the chance to decide which local charities and individuals get a donation. Both myself and many of my colleagues regularly raise money for local charities and this is a great chance for First to work as a team to help those who are in need of financial assistance."

Dave Alexander, regional managing d irector for First in the North of England, said: "Our staff, most notably our bus drivers, are right at the heart of local communities and it seemed the obvious decision to ask them who they think should get a share of our charity money. I would urge charities to come forward to apply."

Visit www.firstgroup.com/ukbus and click on the South Yorkshire link for more information.

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