North East firms compete to turn £500 into thousands for charity

Regional businesses are taking part in The Percy Hedley Foundation's Challenge 500 initiative

Percy Hedley Foundation
Percy Hedley Foundation

Businesses from across the North East have taken on a challenge to see who can raise the most money for a well-known charity in six months.

A group of regional firms have started the 2015 round of The Percy Hedley Foundation’s Challenge 500 — an initiative which gives companies £500 “seed” funding which they are tasked with growing as much a possible.

The annual challenge raised £20,000 last year and this year’s contestants are hoping to break that barrier with their own fundraising activities across the next six months.

Among those taking the plunge this year are Hay & Kilner, Intu Metro Centre, Supaguard, Westray Recruitment, I Am You, Asperity Reward Gateway, Engage Magazine, Creating Careers, Puddleducks, Gossip Fashion and Lifestyle Magazine, Xercise4Less, GLT Protection, My World, Flame Heating, and Northumbria University RAG committee.

Funds raised from their endeavours will go towards the charity’s Splash Appeal — which aims to reach £1m to build a hydrotherapy pool that helps children with conditions like cerebral palsy move independently and enjoy relief from painful joints.

Ambassador for the project this year is local entrepreneur Paul Callaghan, chairman of the Leighton Group.

Sheila Coltman, a fundraiser at The Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “It’s great to have a mix of organisations involved with different sizes, different sectors and different specialities represented.

“It’s an incredibly flexible way of raising money and organisations benefit from positive PR, team building and a contribution to their CSR objectives.”

Clare Thompson, a partner at Hay & Kilner, said: “We’re delighted to support Challenge 500 and the work of the Percy Hedley Foundation.

“This challenge is a superb team building exercise and an ideal way for us to achieve our corporate social responsibilities, while having lots of fun.”

Patsie Beaton, general manager at intu Metrocentre, added: “We’re big supporters of Percy Hedley here at intu Metrocentre and were really happy to get involved in this great challenge, the team are all putting their heads together and are excited about what they can bring to the initiative.”

The Percy Hedley Foundation, a registered charity, works to ensure disabled people learn the necessary skills to become as independent as possible, leading full and active lives.

It is not too late for other North East businesses to get involved in Challenge 500. Those interested should visit www.percyhedley.org.uk or call Sheila Coltman on 0191 238 1321.

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