Foundation sets north east businesses a challenge

The fundraising team from The Percy Hedley Foundation with businesses who attended the launch of Challenge 500 2016
The fundraising team from The Percy Hedley Foundation with businesses who attended the launch of Challenge 500 2016

A leading North East charity is throwing down the gauntlet and issuing a challenge to local businesses for a fourth year.

The Percy Hedley Foundation, which supports children, young people and adults with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, is looking to lend £500 to businesses who sign up for their Challenge 500 project.

The challenge, which has raised over £90,000 since its first year, urges companies to use their skills to turn the charity’s £500 investment into as much money as they can over a six-month period to support the charity’s service users and families.

Businesses can promote their own mini enterprises, hold weekly fundraising events in their offices or with their customers, invest in the Stock Market or even stick their £500 in a high interest bank account if they can find one!

The charity is encouraging local companies to get involved in what is a proven method of fundraising to help a good cause and a way to build essential working skills and motivate employees.

After six months the companies will hand back the £500 to The Percy Hedley Foundation, plus any other money they have raised by taking part in the challenge.

Ammar Mirza CBE, Chair of Asian Business Connexions is throwing his support behind the campaign.

“I’m delighted to support Challenge 500 and I am urging North East businesses to sign up,” said Mirza, the visiting Goldman Professor of Innovation and Enterprise at Newcastle University.

“The challenge is a superb team building exercise and an ideal way to achieve your corporate social responsibilities, while having lots of fun.

“I’ve supported The Percy Hedley Foundation for a number of years and the money this project generates will be a huge boost to the services they offer disabled people.”

A host of organisations have already signed up including Lloyd BMW, Muckle LLP, Bentinck Furniture, Newcastle Building Society, Identity Consult, Your Homes Newcastle, Swissport, McDonalds, Gossip Magazine, Taught in the Wood, Newcastle and Gateshead Colleges, Network North Team Valley and Durham, North East LEP, Hedleys College, Tyneview Primary School.

The competition only has one rule – that money must be raised or generated in a legal, ethical and moral way.

A launch event was held at the Marriott Hotel, Gosforth last week where attendees heard from past winners MY World, while the Lord Mayor of Newcastle councillor Ian Graham shared why he had selected The Percy Hedley Foundation as one of his chosen charities.

Sheila Coltman, Corporate Partnerships Manager at The Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “We really hope companies use Challenge 500 as an exercise in learning and development and team building.

“I am confident that those who take up the challenge will unearth an innovative and entrepreneurial capability in their workforce, which they will see come through in their day jobs as well.

“I’m sure the businesses taking part will have a lot of fun but they’ll also be supporting the work we do to enable disabled children, young people and adults to lead rewarding and fulfilling lives.”

Interested businesses are being urged to contact Sheila Coltman on 0191 238 1321 or email to register for Challenge 500.