Networks First, an independent provider of support services for network infrastructure, has kicked off the financial year with the launch of its new official charity for 2010-11, Children’s Hospices UK, with an “alternative way to get to work day” as its first fundraising event.
The first event took place on Monday 21st June, when members of staff left their cars at home and travelled to work under their own steam. Participants included Sallie-Ann Allen, head of HR, who completed a 23-mile commute on foot; network consultant Paul Lewis who cycled the 50-mile journey to his desk; and Alex Hodge, marketing and communications manager, who cycled the 21 miles to work and back (all pictured below). Meanwhile, account manager Steve McAdam made a 20-mile round trip on his bike.
Sallie-Ann Allen, who set off on her unusual commute at 3.30am to reach work on time, comments: “I really enjoyed the challenge. It was quite dark when I set off and the walk took me almost eight hours, so it wasn’t easy but it was definitely very rewarding. When I set off I knew we had already reached our fundraising target for this event, which spurred all of us on to the finish.
“Our colleagues have been very generous with sponsorship money and the event was fun and a great way to keep fit, but it is so important to remember the main reason we did it. If our donations can make even a small difference to the lives of the children and families supported by Children’s Hospices UK, then that would be fantastic. Now we are focusing all our efforts into organising the next challenge with the aim of raising a total of £5,000 across all four events.”
The charity represents children’s hospice services throughout the UK, including Acorns Children’s Hospices in nearby Birmingham. Children’s hospices care for children who are not expected to reach adulthood and their families. The charity aims to ensure that children and parents receive the highest standards of care and support, either in their own homes home or nearby. The organisation also works to improve standards of care, raise awareness and funds, and lobby the government on important issues on behalf of children’s hospices.
Tracy Tait, Fundraiser for Children’s Hospices UK, comments: “We are thrilled to hear that Networks First has chosen our charity as the focus for its fundraising efforts this year. The recession has had a huge impact on charity funding everywhere, which makes news like this even more welcome. Of course we are aware that many businesses have been having a very difficult time too and it is wonderful to see that Networks First is so enthusiastic to raise funds for charity.”
Networks First staff are planning three more events for later in the year, including a skydive in September, with all of the proceeds to be donated to Children’s Hospices UK.