A Bradford-based financial company is starting the most ambitious charity drive in its 150 year history.

Yorkshire Building Society has teamed up with Marie Curie Cancer Care and yesterday announced its Hour of Need fundraising campaign.

Every £20 raised will fund one hour of care and to start the clock on the campaign, the Group has made a donation of £50,000 which will fund 2,500 hours of Marie Curie nursing support.

The Group is aiming to raise £500,000 by December 2016 - which equates to funding an hour of care by a Marie Curie Nurse for every hour of the campaign.

Marie Curie Bradford hospice nurse Lola Rowe said: “I’m really happy to be involved in launching the Hour of Need fundraising campaign for Marie Curie. I hope the Yorkshire Building Society Group reaches its target so my colleagues and I can provide support to even more people in their hour of need.”

The chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society Group Chris Pilling said: “In what is a milestone year for the Group as we celebrate 150 years of helping local communities, the Hour of Need campaign will have a real impact on terminally ill people and their families in providing Marie Curie nursing support.

"Raising half a million pounds in two years might look like an impossible task but the incentive of funding 25,000 hours of Marie Curie nursing care will be a massive motivation for all of us.”

Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Marie Curie, added: “Marie Curie is delighted to have been chosen by the Yorkshire Building Society Group as their lead charity until December 2016.

"The Hour of Need campaign really will enable our wonderful nurses to be there for people living with a terminal illness and give huge comfort to them and their families making those last weeks and days as precious and as special as they can be.”

The Group has organised a UK wide fundraising day on Friday, June 27, to celebrate Marie Curie as the Official Charity Partner of the Tour de France 2014 Grand Départ.

Throughout the campaign YBS staff will be involved in a variety of fundraising activities and events as well as volunteering their time and experience to Marie Curie.