Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 22.26.36TWELVE North East businesses have raised over £35,000 for The Percy Hedley Foundation after going head to head in a fundraising competition.

The disability charity’s Challenge 500 sees firms given a £500 seed fund to launch their own fundraising initiatives and six months to raise as much as they can to support the Foundation’s Building Brighter Futures Appeal.

In total, the 12 participating companies raised an impressive £35,006.51 and the winners were McDonald’s, who raised a whopping £12,566.51.

The fast food franchises in Newcastle and intu Metrocentre, owned by Ahmed Khan Restaurants Ltd, came up with a host of ideas, which included selling special packets of sweets, seeds to grow sunflowers and various raffles and auctions, while staff members were also sponsored to do a triathlon, firewalk and skydive.

Percy Hedley encourages local businesses to get involved in what is a great team building exercise and opportunity to achieve companies’ corporate social responsibilities.

“It’s been great for everyone involved and has given teams a real challenge and opportunity to do something for a very good cause,” said Ahmed Khan, owner of the winning McDonald’s franchise team.

“Everyone got behind it. It created great morale and a real buzz amongst employees, who really put everything into making the challenge a success.”

Challenge 500 has raised over £121,000 since it began five years ago and the latest total will help fund the construction of a new Percy Hedley junior school on the same site as the existing upper school in Killingworth, North Tyneside.

The results of the challenge were announced at the Marriott Hotel, Gosforth Park, where Percy Hedley handed out some special awards.

Gill Fay, People’s Manager in the Human Resources and Public Relations department at Ahmed Khan Restaurants won the Outstanding Individual award for being the driving force behind the winning team.

Regional Law Firm of the Year, Muckle LLP, won the Best Idea award for taking part in a wheelchair basketball challenge at Percy Hedley’s Sports Academy.

Beth Turner from Muckle, said: “It was good to take part in a challenge that involved the charity, because it gave us a real insight into the work they do. It was great to spend time there and see where the money we’ve raised will be going.”

The participating teams were; McDonald’s, Elliot Westland Insurance Brokers, Network B2B, Your Homes Newcastle, Sage, Newcastle Building Society, Utility Wise, Identity Consult, Gossip Magazine, Tyneview Primary School, Muckle LLP and Asian Business Connexions.

Sheila Coltman, Corporate Partnerships Manager at The Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the results of this year’s challenge. We are so grateful to everyone who has been involved for the way they have embraced the challenge and the energy and enthusiasm they have put in to their fundraising.

“It has been such a pleasure and great fun to work with the teams and we have forged some very strong partnerships that will continue making a difference to disabled children and adults here in the North East.”