Staff at Gateshead-based Spark Response and Spark Etail have been helping out at the grounds of one of their 2012 official charities.

The company’s employees have been raising money throughout the year for Marie Curie Cancer Care North East and Houghton Le Spring bereavement support charity, 4Louis.

This week, Newcastle’s Marie Curie Hospice has been supported by around 20 members of staff from the fulfilment and contact specialist, Spark Response, and its sister company, eCommerce retailer Spark Etail.

Employees left their offices, warehouses and contact centres behind and swapped them for spades, shovels, forks and shears as they got to work on the hospice’s gardens.

Managing Director of Spark Response, Peter Slee (pictured above 2nd from right), said: “Doing great work for charity is very much a part of our culture and our staff raise thousands every year for local and national causes. This past twelve months we’ve taken that a step further and have been doing a lot more hands-on work in the local community.

“We’ve been very involved in the Foundation of Light’s Back In The Game scheme and members of the senior management team recently helped out with some redecoration work at the Altzheimers Society in Sunderland. This time, we opened the initiative up to all staff and the response was overwhelming.”

Spark staff have already broken all previous records by raising over £11,000 for charity so far this year with the total look set to exceed £13,000.

The company was named winner in the Large Business category at Service Network’s Culture For Success Awards at the Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle earlier this year.