A cycling squad of 13 colleagues from the Leeds Building Society have smashed an ambitious fundraising target after completing a coast to coast ride.

Regional manager Victoria Zielonko, who is based at the group’s Stevenage branch in Queensway, was among the party which saddled up for the challenge to raise cash for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Their 140-mile route from Whitehaven to Sunderland was picked out to mark the society’s 140th anniversary year.

The original aim was to raise £14,000 for the cause, but the total has already reached £17,400 and more donations are welcome – you can pop in to the branch or use the JustGiving website, using the search term ‘challengeoneforty’.

Victoria said: “We are delighted to have significantly beaten our initial £14,000 target. It was hard work but very rewarding, and all in aid of a terrific cause.”

Regional managers at the firm pick a charity challenge each year, and local branches support their efforts with other fundarising activities.