Santa runs and cycling challenges help fund good causes

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Charities around the country are more than £30,000 better off this year, thanks to kind-hearted colleagues working for independent health and social care provider Care UK.

Each year the organisation supports colleagues raising money for UK-based charities through its Working With The Community match-funding pledge. As a result, Care UK has match-funded employees’ charitable efforts nationwide to the tune of £16,000 this year.

Two colleagues took on the 100-mile Ride London event, a gruelling cycling challenge that includes the muscle-straining Box Hill in Surrey, which has formed part of the Olympic and Tour de France races, to support charities close to their hearts.

With match-funding, Francesca Cortvriend, operations manager and deputy hospital director at Southampton NHS Treatment Centre, raised £2,480 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Francesca explained: “My father was recently diagnosed and is struggling with the condition.  Seeing first hand all the challenges that this presents for him and my family, I was galvanized into positive action. Fundraising in those circumstances gives you a real passion to make a difference.

“The training was the most gruelling part. I calculated that I had spent about 70 hours covering more than 1,000 miles around the hilly countryside of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire, in addition to a further 25 hours in the gym and pool over the eight weeks preceding the event.

“Really generous support from my friends, family and Care UK via the match-funding scheme provided a tremendous support to help me through some very challenging training days and moments when I felt I could not go on.”
 
In the north, two teams chose to raise funds for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. Together, colleagues from Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre and the Rotherham Out-of-Hours service raised more than £1,500. The money raised was then match-funded by Care UK taking the total to more than £3,000.

Helen Mower, head of fundraising at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “We’re extremely grateful for the tremendous support from community and corporate fundraisers. Every penny they raise makes a huge difference to us. They help us to raise the money we need to keep our doors open, providing specialist support to children and young adults with life-shortening conditions across the region.

“Well done and thank you to all those involved at Care UK. This money will help us to continue providing love and laughter for families facing the toughest of times.”

In Colchester, kind hearted colleagues dressed up in Father Christmas outfits and completed a lunchtime run to raise money for East Anglia's Children’s Hospices (EACH). The team are hopeful that their application to the Care UK match funding scheme will also be successful.

Reading-based Philippa Slinger, Care UK’s managing director of secondary care, said: “Our colleagues across the country have not only worked hard all year to provide excellent service to their patients but, in their own time, they have often undertaken amazing feats of endurance to help people in their wider community.

“Care UK is very proud of its teams and very pleased to be able to support them and their chosen charities through our match-funding scheme. I wish all my colleagues the very best for their future fund-raising ventures.

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