The biggest hospice in Yorkshire and one of the largest in the UK, St Gemma’s has long established links with Clarionand in January 2019, the firm’s 250-strong team pledged to raise £10,000 for the Moortown-based hospice.
The team has exceeded its goal, despite the challenges of the pandemic and remote working.
Over the last two years, Leeds-based Clarion’s charity committee has helped colleagues plan a diverse range of fundraising activities. In 2019, the team staged a range of events from a ‘Great Clarion Bake Off’ and a Three Peaks Challenge to a daredevil skydive.
However, lockdown and social distancing measures resulted in many events having to be cancelled this year and the team has had to be creative.
Lindsay Texel, partner in Clarion’s real estate team who led the firm’s fund-raising initiative, said: “The usual bake sales and dress down days obviously wouldn’t work with much of the team not in the office, and social events also had to be cancelled.
“However, where there’s a will, there’s a way and the team realised that in the current climate, charities have really felt the squeeze and colleagues’ fundraising efforts were more important than ever.
“We’ve had some really fun events, particularly our ‘Go Purple at Home Day’ in May when colleagues celebrated our shared Clarion and St Gemma’s corporate colour by doing something purple – from baking purple cupcakes and dressing themselves, and their pets, in purple to (in my case) dying their hair purple.
“We also held colouring competitions for the children of employees and a remote Eating Chocolate for Charity event last week, hosted by Hotel Chocolat. Colleagues have been amazingly generous, for example, by donating the money they’ve been saving in other areas of their lives such as not buying coffees and commuting.
“Having supported St Gemma’s for many years, we are proud to have raised such a fantastic amount for this life changing charity. While it’s been a tough year for everyone, it’s important that charities like St Gemma’s, and the incredible work they do, are not forgotten.”
Gail Chapman, head of fundraising at St Gemma’s Hospice, said: “St Gemma’s is here for the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing expert care and support to local people at a very difficult time in their lives. Our work could not continue without the wonderful support we receive from the community, and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who plays their part.
“The team at Clarion have put their heart and soul into fundraising for St Gemma’s, and we are so appreciative of their efforts. Every penny raised supports the vital work of the hospice, both in the hospice building itself and out across the community in people’s own homes. Thank you for making this possible.”
St Gemma’s Hospice has been operating for over 40 years and provides expert care and support for local people with life limiting illnesses.
As well as providing care to patients and their carers in the hospice’s in-patient unit and through the St Gemma’s community team, the charity also offers a range of other support services including bereavement counselling to adults and children.
In the last year, St Gemma’s Hospice cared for over 3,000 people, either providing expert care to the patient or giving practical and emotional support to patients’ loved ones.
The hospice received over 1,300 patient referrals and handled 511 in-patient admissions and the St Gemma’s community team of nurses and doctors made over 5,000 visits to patients in their own homes.