North East Connected

Local customer service centre plays part in charity drive

Marie Curie.Generous Sunderland customer services employees have helped to raise £945,000 for charity Marie Curie.

Staff from EDF Energy on Doxford International Business Park joined colleagues from across the country to exceed fundraising targets for the charity, which supports people living with a terminal illness and their families in the UK.

The Sunderland fundraisers, along with other EDF Energy colleagues, raised over £645,000, which was then boosted with a £300,000 donation from the company to reach £945,000.

Kind-hearted colleagues pooled their efforts by hosting fundraisers at the offices and in the local community, including bake sales, dress down days and a BBC Apprentice style ‘charity shop challenge’. The team also raised funds by joining in national Marie Curie fundraising campaigns including the Blooming Great Tea Party and the Great Daffodil Appeal.

EDF Energy chose Marie Curie as its charity partner in 2013 with an ambition to raise £600,000, including a £100,000 annual match funding contribution from the company, but employees from across the UK exceeded the set fundraising target in just fifteen months.

Kevin Gatens, head of customer service North East, said: “The effort put in by all of our employees has been fantastic. Everyone has come together both within work and out in the local community to raise money for this very worthy cause.

“The company was determined to reach the target to help a charity which reaches out and supports so many people. To exceed the initial target and reaching almost £1m as a company has been the icing on the cake.

“It has also provided some excellent team building and personal development opportunities. Fundraising has brought our employees closer together and we look forward to doing the same for our next charity partner.”

Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Marie Curie, said: “On behalf of everyone at Marie Curie, I want to thank EDF Energy for their incredible support over the last 3 years.  We have been overwhelmed by their fantastic efforts to raise vital funds so that we can continue to provide vital hands-on care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their families across the UK.

“Their fundraising efforts, combined with their energy review of our hospices, have made a lasting impact and will ensure we can do more and reach more people living with terminal illness and their families.  Raising £945,000 is a phenomenal achievement and everyone at EDF Energy should all be proud of.”

All the funds raised from the partnership will help Marie Curie Nurses provide more vital care to people living with a terminal illness in their own homes and in the charity’s nine hospices. Last year alone, the charity cared for more than 40,000 people across the UK and provided emotional support to their loved ones. The money raised by EDF Energy employees will help provide more than 47,000 hours of nursing care and support.

The charity partnership is set to complete at the end of April, and employees across EDF Energy will be able to vote for a new charity partner organisation, which launches in October. Until then, the company will be supporting the ParalympicsGB Supercharge campaign through fundraising to help sponsor athletes for Rio 2016.

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