London, 17 October 2016Community engagement recognised at Gallagher Gives Awards 2016
Arthur J. Gallagher’s Welsh team secured a double win at the 2016 Gallagher Gives Awards on Thursday evening, scooping Community Team of the Year for their collective volunteering and fundraising activities, which have benefited a wide range of local causes and organisations.
Llantrisant team member Michelle Thomas then fought off tough competition to be named overall Charity Champion of the Year in recognition of her exhaustive efforts in promoting community engagement, devising creative ways to involve colleagues and organisation of a string of successful events.
By electing to pool their prize money, Cardiff-based charity Kids Cancer Charity is now able to benefit to the tune of £5000 (Welsh team pictured, led by Wales Regional Managing Director Mike Jones, far left, and Michelle Thomas, far right).
Five awards were presented on the night, by International CEO Grahame Chilton, with all winners receiving £2500 to donate to the charity of their choice, and £750 donations for each highly commended individual or team.
The culmination of the Welsh team’s efforts this year saw them bring together more than 50 colleagues, from three South Wales’ offices on 4 June 2016, to tackle a 30-mile ‘Row Hike Bike’ challenge — raising enough money to send 20 families on a compassionate care break.
Unsung Local Hero went to London market broker Chris McKnight who gives up a huge amount of time, often during the night, biking essential blood supplies between hospitals to ensure those in urgent need of transfusions gain the help they need, wherever they are.
Volunteer of the Year, meanwhile went to Manchester’s Laura Balshaw, who has spent more than 10 years as a committed volunteer for Chorley Hospital Radio, helping to brighten people’s in-patient stays during what will undoubtedly be difficult or even traumatic times.
Finally, Fundraiser of the Year went to Katie Chedgey of our Coventry team who has raised thousands for vital charitable causes over the past couple of years, both through individual challenges and the organisation of team and branch events. And she’s not planning to stop any time soon, with Leicestershire charity Loros hospice set to be the beneficiary of her next London marathon in 2017.
Wim Bushell, CSR Chairman, commented: “The Gallagher Gives programme continues to go from strength to strength in the UK, with more regional volunteering and fundraising activities being recorded than ever. This is a vital part of our wider Corporate Social Responsibility programme — one that enables us to fulfil our role as a true community broker, giving back to those same communities that we help grow and prosper through risk management advice and the protection of businesses and individuals.
“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and highly commended candidates, who were each selected by an independent judging panel having first been nominated by their colleagues. The communities and causes you support are the real winners in this — because without your time and enthusiastic support they simply wouldn’t be able to achieve and deliver all that they do.”
Charity Champion of the Year
Winner: Michelle Thomas, Llantrisant
Highly Commended: Dan Moore, Wakefield; Melissa Carter, London
Community Team of the Year
Highly Commended: Alesco; Bournemouth
Unsung Local Hero
Winner: Chris McKnight, London
Highly Commended: Scott Kitchenham, Chelmsford
Fundraiser of the Year
Winner: Katie Chedgey, Coventry
Highly Commended: Ben Pailthorpe, London; Richard Connop, Brierley Hill
Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Laura Balshaw, Manchester
Highly Commended: Debee Tracey, Jersey