Charity thanks Wallsend firm for £1,000 donation

Peter Osborne.
Peter Osborne.
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A fundraising initiative by Wallsend oil and gas rig manufacturer Offshore Group Newcastle (OGN) has been praised for helping improve the lives of blind and partially-sighted North Tynesiders.

OGN’s safety incentive scheme, run in partnership with Norwegian shipbuilding firm Kvaerner, one of its clients, encourages staff to observe safe working practices by raising funds for charity.

Last month, as reported in the News Guardian, it gave four charities, including Guide Dogs, £1,000 each.

The cash for Guide Dogs was handed over to fundraiser Peter Osborne, and he said: “OGN’s donation to Guide Dogs will genuinely help change someone’s life.

“You cannot overestimate how important the support of a guide dog is to a blind or partially-sighted person.

“I recently began training with my new guide dog, and it’s allowed me to be much more independent and helped to build my self-confidence significantly.”

In the four years since it was established, the scheme has raised more than £75,000.

Employees at OGN nominate worthy causes and meet every quarter to present their chosen charities with the funds raised.

Others benefiting from this quarter’s £4,000 pot were Action on Dementia Sunderland; Bright Red, a blood cancer research charity based at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle; and Forward Assist, a support organisation for military veterans facing challenging circumstances.

OGN general manager Bill Laurie said: “The team at Hadrian Yard have made a tremendous effort over the past four years, raising £75,000 for worthy local causes in need of extra support.”