CHARITY CHALLENGES....in challenging times

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At the heart of Partner Plus Media’s team is an ethos to help those who are in need.  

Back in 2019, we held one of many successful fundraising campaigns for Brian House Children’s Hospice, raising a total of £3,500! Riding on the success of this it was always our intention to continue with annual fundraising events, for a charity that is close to our hearts. But...suddenly COVID 19 hit. 

It literally felt like the world had stopped; businesses closed, the death rate rocketed, whole countries were forced into lockdown – it's safe to say that not one single person has been left unaffected by the pandemic in some way. 

For some though, life did not stop – food production, medical services and emergency services all continued to serve. Charities were especially hit hard, not only by staff shortages but also by the loss of fundraising events that could no longer be held to raise vital funds. 

One such charity, that is very close to the heart of Partner Plus Media is Trinity Hospice & Palliative Care Services, which also includes Brian House Children’s Hospice. While the rest of the world was forced into restrictions their role continued – providing help and support to those with life-limiting illnesses, at a time when compassion, comfort and peace of mind for patients and families were sorely stretched to the limit. 

The work that these charities do is a vital part of our community, with limited funding they rely on fundraising campaigns to raise the much-needed funds. COVID affected this too – with restrictions in place in terms of social distancing, large events were cancelled, which in turn had a knock-on effect.  

Skip forward to late 2020/early 2021 and virtual life was becoming the norm. Aware of the dire need for such charities to be able to continue their work an intrepid team signed up to complete a Virtual 5K run – to be completed from January 2021 through to March 2021. With 6 team members, some of whom were complete novices at running, in fact some of us couldn’t even run to the end of the road without getting out of breath 😉; we set about attempting weekly running targets which culminated in completing a virtual 5K run. In total, the team raised in excess of £1500. 

During this period, life at Partner Plus Media had started to return to something resembling normal; as more staff returned to work from the office as opposed to working remotely, the one thing that was foremost in our minds was the loss of funding for charities. So, never one to sit still the company signed up for “The £50 Challenge” with Trinity Hospice – the idea behind the event was that each team would receive £50 from the charity, which they could use to raise further funds. 

Once signed up we had a brainstorming session to come up with some fundraising ideas – the events were to be held over several months, ending at the end of September 2021. 

Our 1st event was an Independence Day celebration, held at our office in the UK and with an American theme the entire team enjoyed fun & games, together with food & refreshments. With the only participants being employees, we raised in excess of £1000, a great amount to kick-start our challenge! 

Other events that we held were: 

  • Clothing Drive – along with much needed funds Trinity Hospice also has retail outlets that raise money from donated items, which they then sell. The pandemic meant that the number of donated items was dramatically reduced, so Partner Plus Media employees had a spring clean and donated various items of clothing and bric-a-brac, which was then sent to the charity for them sell in their outlets. In total we sent two huge cages of items, which when sold should raise in excess of £500 in actual monies. 

  • Charity Car Boot Sale - together with items from our spring clean and further donated goods, 3 very bleary-eyed employees braved the early morning and set up a charity stall at a local car boot event. Once we had got over the initial shock of having to get up so early it turned into a fun event, and we raised a very healthy £200 to go in the pot. 

  • Throughout the fundraising challenge we had several in-house events, including scratch cards, quizzes and more. 

Our two largest events consisted of a Summer Raffle and participation in the Blackpool Colour Run 2021. 

For the Summer Raffle we reached out to other local companies, along with friends and family, which resulted in a wonderful array of prizes for the raffle. These ranged from hotel stays, restaurant vouchers, hot-tub rentals, gym memberships, boutique gift vouchers and hampers to free designs of unique/personalized artwork designed by our very own in-house design team members. Once all the prizes had been accumulated it was down to the staff to sell as many tickets as possible – over 2000 tickets were sold, at a £1 each this equated to over £2000 raised! 

Bitten by the running bug we set about putting a team together to take part in the Blackpool Colour Run, due to take place on 14th August 2021, on the beach at Blackpool. (It was fingers crossed all the way that the event would be able to take place, as social distancing restrictions were constantly changing) In total 14 staff members, along with some family members, signed up for the event. Amongst the team we had seasoned runners, novices and those who simply wished to be part of a fun event. The aim wasn’t to be the fastest runner, but to raise as much as possible while walking, dancing, running our way along the beach in a storm of colored chalk. We set ourselves a target of £2K - find out how we did [here – https://www.justgiving.com/team/TeamPPM

As the months progressed and after all the hard work put into this challenge, we decided to end the fundraising with a mouthwatering array of goodies - after all everyone loves a Bake Sale. 

Donning our aprons, we set about cooking up some delicious delights, which were then sold throughout the office building, to say it was a success is an understatement – we'd sold out in less than 30 minutes and raised a total of £125! We then ended the day with the Summer Raffle draw. 

With the challenge over, and while all the monies are being accounted for, we can confidently say that we have raised in excess of £8000!