Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks and their employees have raised an incredible £1 million for charity partner Help the Hospices, the leading charity supporting hospice care throughout the UK.
In just over two years, employees have raised more than £500,000 for Help the Hospices and the Banks have match-funded this pound for pound. Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks had originally set the target of reaching £1 million after three years and so have smashed this target by nearly 12 months. The money raised by the Banks will help 112 hospices across the country, changing the lives of children and adults with life-limiting and terminal illnesses, and supporting their friends and family.
Employees have undertaken a variety of gruelling challenges so far in order to raise the cash. This has included cycling 4,290 miles, running 68 marathons – the equivalent of 1,768 miles – and climbing a staggering 159 mountains, while colleagues and the Banks have dug deep to show their support.
As well as making financial donations, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank employees have given over 1000 days of their time volunteering for their local hospice. This involvement has included everything from everyday tasks such as gardening, decorating, and administration tasks, to valuable expertise transfer to bring new business skills to Help the Hospices and its members.
One of the Banks' top fundraisers is 50-year-old Jock Ferguson, an employee from Clydesdale Bank's Carlisle Branch, who raised £8094.50 by completing the 'Alphabet Marathon'. Jock has been running marathons for 25 years, and since 2003, has been averaging three marathons a year to achieve his goal of completing 26 marathons in cities from A-Z. His quest has taken him from Yiltornio in the Finnish Arctic Circle, to Xiamen on the coast of the South China Sea.
Another employee, Glasgow based Craig Simpson who is head of channel systems and strategy for Clydesdale Bank, recently completed his own self-titled 50-50-50-50 Challenge, running 50 ten kilometre courses, in 50 days, at 50 minutes per run, at the start of his 50th birthday year.
Craig, a relative newcomer to running, raised £3,500 for Help the Hospices, and was match funded by Clydesdale Bank to take the total up to a staggering £7,000. Funds raised were split between Help the Hospices and St Margaret's of Scotland Hospice in Clydebank.
Craig said: "In an attempt to prove that 50 really isn't the time to start slowing down, I decided to take on a personal challenge, encourage my colleagues to join in and use the opportunity to support the Bank's charity partner as well as our local hospice. I've really proven something to myself and managed to raise a significant amount for a great cause."
David Praill, chief executive for Help the Hospices, said: "Hospices are independent charities relying heavily on the generosity of companies and their local community in order to provide the best possible care for people facing the end of life."
"Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks are a wonderful example of how a company can make a real difference in the community. Not only have employees pulled out all the stops to raise an incredible £1 million in two years, but they regularly share their time and expertise with us and local hospices, helping hospices improve and develop the way they work."
Lynne Peacock, chief executive officer for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: "We are absolutely delighted to reach the milestone £1,000,000 target ahead of schedule and my personal thank you goes out to all of our employees who have made this possible."
"We are very proud to be partners with Help the Hospices. Matching our branches with local hospices means that we are actively supporting the communities in which we live and work, which is very important to us all."
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ network of more than 340 head offices, branches and business centres are paired with local hospices – a distinctive aspect of the Help the Hospices corporate partnership programme. This allows employees to get involved with fundraising and volunteering for hospices in their local communities as well as on a national level.