Busy businesses in West Suffolk turn £50 notes into £38,000 in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care

Accumulator Challenge participants celebrate their achievements at the grand finals night, held at t

Accumulator Challenge participants celebrate their achievements at the grand finals night, held at the Ickworth Hotel. - Credit: Archant

A summer challenge between businesses across West Suffolk to turn £50 into as much money as possible for charity has raised more than £38,000.

The Jacobs Allen Accumulator Challenge saw 39 companies and organisations given a £50 note in June and issued with the three-month fundraising challenge in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care.

On Thursday evening [1 October], representatives from each team attended a grand finals night at the Ickworth Hotel, in Horringer, where they learned they had collectively raised £38,672.

Kevin Clements, hospice director of Fundraising and Marketing, said: “This is the sixth time we have done the Accumulator Challenge and I can’t believe it – time goes so quickly. To date we have raised more than a quarter of a million pounds through the challenge. To put that into context, I found out what that amount of money means to the hospice: the money would fund our entire Community Hospice Team for a whole year.

He thanked the Jacons Allen team for sponsoring the event and all those who took part.

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“If we didn’t have this kind of support, we wouldn’t have St Nicholas Hospice Care,” he said. “We are your local community hospice and we are very dependent on everything that you do for us. We are really grateful for the support.”

Sheila Burke, of Accumulator Challenge sponsors Jacobs Allen, said: “I am overwhelmed by what everyone has achieved. I know how hard you have worked, because Jacobs Allen has won this challenge three times out of the six years it has been running.”

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The top prize for the most amount of money raised, presented by Sheila and Thady Senior, of Jacobs Allen, was won by Asda, of Bury St Edmunds. The ASDA team, led by Michelle Frost, raised £5,685 through a range of events including a superhero car wash, stocks, £50 note cake and a medium night.

Michelle said: “I’m overwhelmed – I didn’t expect to win but I’m so pleased we’ve taken the top spot after being second and fourth in previous years.”

Justin Pedley, Asda Western Way store manager, said: “The Accumulator Challenge is a really good way for us to support a local charity and all of our staff got behind it.”

The Marketing Award, to commend the businesses that best marketed its fundraising activities, was presented to Swayne and Partners vets, of Western Way, Bury, which raised £2,412 through a month-long car wash, puppy calendar competition and stalls at community events.

The Community Award, presented by Russell Cook, Editor of the Mercury series, was given to the businesses the judges felt involved the community demonstrated the essence of community spirit. The award was presented to Lucy Cronin, of 365Motivate, which held a community fun day.

The Most Motivated Team Award was given to the team which demonstrated fabulous teamwork and motivation. This year it was won by Glasswells, of Newmarket Road, Bury.

The Most Creative Idea Award was given to the Arc shopping centre and Toolbox Marketing for their Bury’d Treasure beach tombola.

The final award – Most Entrepreneurial Strategy - was won by Atkins Thomson for their ‘Trade- It Up’ fundraiser, which saw them trade up from a paper clip to a luxury holiday.

Adrian Williams, chairman of the Hospice Board of Trustees, said: “The hospice needs and spends just over £5 million a year. We get a quarter of that from the NHS, but all the rest has to be raised by people like you.”

Rachel Card, hospice corporate fundraiser, said: “What a summer it has been - I couldn’t feel prouder. This year being my first as a fundraiser for St Nicholas Hospice Care I was unsure what the Accumulator Challenge had in store, but I can honestly say the last four months have been a truly enjoyable yet humbling experience.

“The effort and dedication displayed by all the organisations has been inspiring and the money raised this year will have a huge impact on the care we provide across West Suffolk and South Norfolk.”

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