FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday 31 January 2012
A West Salford housing trust has combined corporate social responsibility with team building to raise thousands of pounds for Kidney Research UK, in a partnership which demonstrates that fundraising can be as beneficial for businesses as it is for charities.
City West, which provides social housing throughout the West Salford area of Greater Manchester, began supporting Kidney Research UK in 2011 and has so far raised more than £45,000 for the Charity.
However, far from being a simple fundraising exercise, City West’s activities have had a profoundly positive effect on the organisation itself, suggesting a more integrated approach to corporate sponsorship can offer companies a very real return on their investment.
David Wright, Assistant Director of Finance at City West, explains how his wife’s first hand experiences of kidney disease led to City West supporting Kidney Research UK – Britain’s largest funder of research into the treatment and prevention of renal disorders.
“My wife, Frances, had kidney problems when she was younger and had to have a transplant when she was 14,” said David.
“2009 marked the 30th anniversary of that transplant, so we thought it was the right time give something back and help raise greater awareness around kidney problems.”
After taking part in a number of fundraising events for Kidney Research UK, the couple set their sights on the Charity’s 2011 London to Paris Cycle Challenge.
“I spoke to various colleagues about it over Christmas and, gradually, more and more people wanted to get involved.”
“Before long City West had agreed to adopt Kidney Research UK as one of its chosen charities for the year and we had a team of 16 people training and fundraising as a group – something which brought everyone much closer together.”
David, Frances and the team from City West eventually raised £32,000 by completing the four-day, 300-mile cycle trip and have continued to support the Charity ever since.
“Over the past year we’ve forged a very close relationship with Kidney Research UK.”
“City West supplied volunteers to help marshal the Charity’s annual London Bridges Walk, while the entire finance department, including myself, raised an additional £14,000 by climbing Ben Nevis, last November – an event he Charity holds every year”.
“We hope the money that’s been raised will help a lot of people but the fundraising has been equally beneficial for City West. It’s been an excellent teambuilding exercise, has helped promote cross departmental relationships and has tied in well with our ethos of promoting health and wellbeing amongst staff.
“It’s also strengthened our relationships with partner organisations and suppliers, who have got involved by sponsoring us.”
City West’s proactive approach to fundraising has even resulted in Kidney Research UK adding an additional overseas challenge to its events calendar, after its London to Paris participants encouraged the Charity to adopt a new 400-mile cycle challenge from London to Amsterdam to Brussels.
David and 24 City West employees hope to raise a further £100,000 by completing the trip later this year – bringing their total for Kidney Research UK to almost £150,000.
Carol Bonham, Kidney Research UK’s Fundraising Manager for the North East, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to City West for the fantastic support they’ve shown us over the past 12 months.
“Kidney disease is a potentially fatal illness that can affect anyone of any age and can’t currently be cured. With more than three million people in the UK at risk from it, the need for more research and greater public awareness can’t be overstated.
“We often hear from individual supporters who’ve found participating in fundraising events incredibly rewarding, even life-changing. City West have shown that professional organisations stand to benefit in a similar way and we hope more companies will take advantage of the opportunities on offer and get involved in charity fundraising.”
For more information about fundraising events such as the London 2 Paris Cycle Challenge and how to get involved, please visit: www.kidneyresearchuk.org/events. Alternatively, you can contact the Charity’s events team on: 0845 612 1226.
Celebrating 50 years of funding research to save lives
For more information visit our website: www.kidneyresearchuk.org or call us free on: 0800 783 2973 to make a donation.
You can follow Kidney Research UK on Facebook and Twitter:
Registered Charity No.252892 Scottish Charity No.SC039245 Registered Company No.905963.
Kidney Research UK is a limited company registered in England.
Registered Office: Nene Hall, Lynch Wood Park, Peterborough, PE2 6FZ
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