A NORTHWICH businesswoman has pledged to raise £20,000 for charity.

Karen Louise Lee,36, from Hartford, started her career in financial services at the age of 18 and is now director of her own firm.

Earlier this year, she teamed up with several professional colleagues to create mortgage and life assurance brokerage Cheshire Mortgage Group.

The company supports two vital causes – Chelwood Food Bank in Stockport and national charity Hounds for Heroes.

The latter provides specially trained assistance dogs for injured and disabled military and emergency service workers.

Karen told the Guardian: “Both of these charities are close to my heart. Chelwood Food Bank is a vital resource for people in need.

“I know people on a personal level who have benefitted from the food bank service and Cheshire Mortgage Group is honoured to provide assistance.

“My family have worked in the military for more than 100 years.

“I’m extremely proud of them.

“I also have friends in the emergency services, some of whom attended the scene after the Manchester Arena attack, and it struck me just how important their skills are.

“I wanted to give back to those who sacrifice so much for our country and came across Hounds for Heroes, which provides assistance dogs for injured armed forces veterans and emergency service workers.

“These assistance dogs are trained to help in so many ways.

“They can answer the phone, take things out of drawers, press the button at traffic lights and even put people in the recovery position.

“The cost of training and caring for just one dog is £20,000 and we are committed to raising as much as we can to help those who have helped us with their ongoing sacrifice.”

Cheshire Mortgage Group organised a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses. It raised more than £365, which will be split between the charities and count towards Karen’s fundraising milestone.