BANK employee Denise Lee has been praised for her part in raising more than £50,000 for charity.

Ms Lee, of Stanley, was presented with a charity champions award from the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID), for her fundraising work through Lloyds TSB.

She travelled to London to receive the award at a presentation ceremony held in the House of Lords.

Ms Lee set herself a target of raising £40,000 for the RNID at the bank's office in Haymarket, Newcastle, and her final tally was £53,371.

The cash will be used to fund the RNID's information and tinnitus helplines.

Ms Lee said: "I am obviously delighted to have been recognised as one of the top charity champions for Lloyds TSB.

"But it goes without saying that it would not have been possible to have achieved so much without the hard work, support and enthusiasm of everyone involved, especially those staff in the North-East area who have been fantastic throughout.

"A big thank-you should also go out to our loyal customers who have supported our fundraising efforts wholeheartedly throughout the year."

Ms Lee and her colleagues held a number of fundraising events last year, including a Football World Cup dress down day, when all Lloyds TSB staff in Newcastle wore red, white and blue for the day instead of their uniform.

She also helped organise a raffle of Christmas hampers throughout branches in the region.