Llanstrisant, 25 July 2016Welsh kids cancer charity challenge funds 24 family holidays
A team of 50 colleagues from Arthur J. Gallagher's offices in South Wales has raised more than £13,000 with a 30-mile challenge including canoeing, mountain climbing and cycling to help a fantastic Welsh charity – Kids Cancer Charity – which aids families affected by children’s cancer.
Fuelled with motivation, the team dedicated a full day last month to the exhausting 30-mile challenge, with the tallying of fundraising efforts in the weeks since exceeding expectations.
The 6.30 am start saw them canoeing down a 6-mile stretch of the River Wye, which was followed by tackling Pen-y-Fan – the highest peak in South Wales – straight afterwards. The team finished the day with a 20-mile bicycle ride back to Llantrisant for a well-deserved gathering in the evening where they were greeted by friends and family.
Kids Cancer Charity supports children and teenagers affected by cancer and their Compassionate Care Break Programme is designed to help families by arranging a break for them free of charge in one of their three luxury mobile homes located on the Welsh coast – aiming to provide happy memories intended to last for a lifetime.
The goal of the 50-strong team – which assembled from three different Gallagher offices in South Wales – was to raise donations to help the Cardiff-based charity provide a holiday for 20 families. However, the team’s fundraising efforts went beyond their original aim and together they raised over £13,000 which allows for 24 families altogether to benefit from the Compassionate Care Break Programme.
Gallagher team member, Michelle Thomas, who took part in the challenge, said: “Taking part in this event – canoeing, mountain climbing and cycling all day – together with so many of my colleagues to help such a brilliant charity was a tremendous experience which will stay with me forever.
“I am grateful for everyone who supported us with their generous donations. Knowing that our challenge allowed Kids Cancer Charity to provide a holiday for 24 families makes an extremely exhausting day – and putting up with the aching arms and legs that followed – all worthwhile.”
Mike Jones, Regional Managing Director for Arthur J. Gallagher in Wales, said: “To see my colleagues come together in aid of a fantastic cause such as the Compassionate Care Break Programme run by Kids Cancer Charity makes me immensely proud of everyone who took part in this gruelling challenge. It was extraordinary to witness not only the teamwork and dedication of our colleagues throughout the day, but also the time and effort put into organising the event.
“At Arthur J. Gallagher we support our colleagues in their charitable endeavours and enable them to commit to causes they care about deeply. I believe this is why one-third of all our colleagues in Wales signed up to participate in a wide-scale fundraising event such as this challenge.
He added: “Promoting ethical behaviour and encouraging our colleagues to give back to our local communities is very much ingrained in our culture. This is supported by our 'Gallagher Gives' scheme which matched the funds raised by my colleagues to get to a total of more than £13,000 which has allowed for twice as many families to benefit from this fundraising effort.”
Alison Desbrow, Appeals Officer for Kids Cancer Charity commented: “When Arthur J. Gallagher first approached us about their idea to organise such a wide-scale fundraising event to support our Compassionate Care Break Programme, we were quite taken aback. It was an unexpected and welcome surprise and we are really grateful to the whole team for their efforts.
“Often one of these breaks is the first holiday since diagnosis and it gives the whole family the opportunity to spend time together away from hospital and invasive treatment, allowing them time to rebuild the intimacy of the family unit."
She added: “Gallagher’s contribution means a lot not only to our charity but to the families supported by Kids Cancer Charity – this kind of help will go a long way in creating countless memories for them."