BLACK Country bankers aim to give a good kick-start to Mary Stevens Hospice's biggest-ever appeal after choosing the Stourbridge charity as their chosen cause for 2016.

Lloyds Bank's Black Country SME & commercial banking team will be organising and taking part in a variety of fundraising events during the next 12 month - and all money raised will be split between the hospice and the bank's national charity - BBC Children in Need.

The team hope to raise a minimum of £6,000 for the Oldswinford hospice to go towards its newly-launched £3 million fundraising appeal to build a new day services unit and residential family apartment.

A cheque for £3,550 has already been handed over and a further donation is planned following a sponsored walk from Stourbridge to Birmingham. Fundraising events including a charity golf day at Little Aston Golf Club and a quiz night at Hagley Country Club are also in the pipeline.

The banking group has also agreed to sponsor the charity's 5K Neon Night Run taking place in September at Himley Hall.

Alex Winstanley, corporate engagement officer for the Hagley Road hospice, said: "We're delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Lloyds Black Country team over the next year, and humbled to have been chosen over so many deserving charities in the local area.

"The £3 million appeal is the largest fundraising drive we've ever done, and it is only through such wonderful acts of generosity that we can hope to make this dream a reality.

"They've drawn up a fantastic calendar of fundraising activities and it looks like they're really going to be getting stuck in."

Richard Jenkins, area director SME & commercial banking at Lloyds, said: "Lloyds Banking Group has committed to raising £22million through colleague and community fundraising for its charities of the year by 2020.

"As well as supporting the group’s national charity partnership with BBC Children in Need, we are proud to be supporting Mary Stevens Hospice with their £3m fundraising appeal."

Any other businesses interested in making the hospice their charity of the year or holding a fundraiser for the £3million day services unit appeal can email or call 01384 377778.