A fundraising drive to help a primary school devastated by a fire has smashed its target thanks to a thriving Hartlepool business.
Julie Bell started the fund on crowdfunding website GoFundMe with the aim of raising £1,000 for Rift House Primary School which suffered serious damage in the blaze.
She started the fund in return for the support the school gave her family when daughter Becky, who went to Rift House, was ill.
But the fund has more than doubled that thanks to people’s generous support including a donation of £1,250 from growing Hartlepool business Utility Alliance.
The company, based on Hartlepool Marina, gave the fund cash from prize money it won at last week’s Hartlepool Business Awards.
Utility Alliance also gave a further £1,250 to Keep Smiling For Becky, a charity started by the Bell family in memory of daughter Becky who lost a fight against cancer five years ago aged just seven.
The company, which helps firms to save money on their annual energy bills, was named Business of the Year and also won the Most Promising New Business and Service Sector categories.
Julie said: “I’m over the moon with the donation’s not only did they give to the school, but also to Becky’s website we can’t thank Utility Alliance enough it’s been a massive help to the school and the website.”
Ian Willis, PR and marketing manager at Utility Alliance, said: “As a Hartlepool business we try to do anything we can to help out in the community, and as soon as we heard about Julie’s campaign to raise funds for Rift House we decided to help.
“We were delighted to win two categories at the Hartlepool Business Awards, each of which came with a £500 prize plus an additional £500 from service sector award sponsors Tilly Bailey and Irvine.
“We also won an additional £1,000 for the overall Business of the Year honour.
“We decided to spit the money and give £1,250 to Julie for the Rift House appeal and we have asked Julie to put the other half towards Becky’s fund.
“I know how much hard work Julie and her husband Mark have put into Becky’s charity over the last few years, and this money will help them help others.”