Leading UK law firm Ashfords LLP, has raised a life-changing sum of over £62,000 for Children's Hospice South West (CHSW) as its Charity of the Year 2014.
CHSW provides children's hospice care across the South West and supports more than 400 life-limited children and their families promising to make the most of short and precious lives.
Ashfords started with an initial target of £15,000 but the fundraising soon started to snowball with a wide variety of activities and events such as skydives, abseils, marathons, charity quizzes and a Mount Kilimanjaro climb. Two partners also staged a 250 mile Office Cycle Challenge leaving Ashfords' London Office at midnight and riding to their Bristol Office for breakfast before cycling on to Ashfords' Exeter Office with a team of 20 clients and contacts via the Taunton and Tiverton Offices in between - all in one day! This event alone raised more than £6,000.
Among many other events, Ashfords staff also staged their own gig night with the firm's house band "The Outlaws" and even organised an antiques valuation day with expert Jethro Marles of television's 'Flog it'.
In the autumn, the firm set up the Ashfords £50 Business Challenge, a one-off fundraising initiative to encourage businesses in the South West to compete against one another to generate as much money as possible from a start-up investment of £50 within a 10 week period. Ashfords funded the initiative so that rather than asking for money, Children's Hospice South West gave £50 start-up investments to each team taking part.
Ashfords ran a league table so that teams could see how they measured up against their peers and the combination of a fantastic cause, along with some healthy competition, saw the Ashfords £50 Business Challenge raise in excess of £15,000 in total.
Ashfords' fundraising throughout the year was led by Corporate Partner Stuart Mathews who commented: "We are delighted that this has been one of the best ever corporate partnerships for CHSW and the money raised is enough to pay for two specialist children's nurses for an entire year. It costs more than £8 million a year to run CHSW's three hospices, so every penny raised makes a huge difference."
Eddie Farwell, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Children's Hospice South West, commented: "Staff from across the six Ashfords sites fundraised tirelessly for CHSW during 2014, raising a truly astonishing £63,000. On behalf of all the children and families who receive our special care, I would like to thank each and every member of the team for their commitment and support. They have helped to create many, many smiles and should feel very proud! It was indeed an incredible year – thank you and best wishes from us all."
Naomi Dymond, Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser, commented: "We would like to pass on our sincere thanks, appreciation and gratitude to everyone at Ashfords for a truly remarkable fundraising year. Your enthusiasm and energy has been truly fantastic – we have absolutely loved working with you all."
Ashfords' Charity of the Year for 2015 is the mental health awareness charity Mind.