Summer PartyA summer party held by the region’s largest private sector employer marked the event by celebrating the achievement of a major fundraising milestone for Cancer Research UK.

Sage, based in Great Park, has raised more than half a million pounds through Sage Foundation – a global philanthropic initiative from Sage plc – in the 10 years it has been in partnership with the popular charity.

The company hosts its summer party for colleagues as a way of thanking them for their efforts throughout the year while using it as a chance to top-up its fundraising total; the final few pounds from the day helped the market leading technology firm to reach its half a million landmark donation.

Cancer Research UK presented a trophy to Sage in appreciation and recognition of the company’s 10-year fundraising partnership and as a thank you from the charity for its support.

More than 4,000 Sage colleagues and their friends and family joined local residents at the event, which was officially opened by Newcastle City Councilor John Graham and Sage’s President of Europe Brendan Flattery.

The party hosted amusements, fairground rides and stalls from a range of local business to showcase the strong enterprise that exists within this region.

Leigh Thompson, Programme Manager for Sage Foundation, said: “We spend so much of our lives at work that it’s great to be able to come together as a wider Sage family and thank everyone for their efforts throughout the year, while providing an opportunity for local businesses to host stalls, promote what they do and make some money.

“But also and very importantly it has enabled us to fundraise for a wonderful charity, Cancer Research UK. This much-loved charity’s Newcastle Cancer Centre carries out some truly life-changing work in the region and has been the beneficiary of employee fundraising at Sage for 10 years.

“Some charity highlights have included the annual bike ride, where this year our cyclists traveled through seven countries in seven days, and the Beat the CEO challenge in the Great North Run. It’s been a great 10 years together and even though this milestone has been reached we will continue to support them in a range of ways moving forward.”

Presenting the award, Professor Ruth Plummer, Clinical Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine for Cancer Research UK, thanked Sage employees for their enthusiasm and spoke of the importance of support for research into cancer: “One in two people alive today will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Cancer Research UK funds over half of the cancer research here in the UK.  We receive no Government funding for our life-saving research. That’s why committed supporters like Sage and their amazing employees are so very important. Every step they run, every mile they pedal takes us one step closer to beating cancer.”

She continued: “We invest £5 million each year in our Newcastle Cancer Centre. It is due to companies like Sage that we’re making ground-breaking discoveries right here in the North East and thanks to their remarkable support, we will beat cancer sooner.”