Enterprising Employees Raise Money For Charity Challenge


By Dave Grimshaw

Lawyers and support staff from Irwin Mitchell, with a flair for business, took part in a competition organised by a leading disability charity.

The Percy Hedley Foundation threw down the gauntlet to 16 businesses throughout the North East, including Irwin Mitchell, encouraging them to take part in Challenge 500 – a new competition in which business savvy employees invested £500 into a project which in turn, raised as much money for the charity as possible.

Irwin Mitchell’s team - Laura McIlduff, Helen Smith, Ellie Szunko, Jane Pyrah, Kim Fryer, Rebecca Maddock, Jenna Davidson, Phil King and Jon Dell – raised £950 for the charity, which supports children and adults with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

The team’s fundraising pot was boosted by events including a Big Fat North East Quiz Night, a cake and jumble sale, a special-themed menu at Kafe Neon, and a sponsored bike ride at Kielder Water and Forest Park.

Laura McIlduff, Irwin Mitchell’s team captain, said: “The Percy Hedley Foundation is a fantastic charity which has a huge impact on the lives of people with disabilities and their families throughout the region, so it’s a cause we all really believe in at Irwin Mitchell. We were excited about taking part in Challenge 500 and to show our support for the charity.

“We planned various events, including a fun quiz night, a bike ride and bake sale and were really pleased with the amount we raised. It definitely brought out the competitive and enterprising spirit within the team and although we didn’t win, we were really proud of our efforts.”

Julie Calvert, head of marketing, communications, and income generation at the Percy Hedley Foundation, said the teams which took part in the challenge raised almost £50,000.

She added: "I know the Challenge 500 teams have had a lot of fun competing against each other to deliver the most profitable activities and to have raised nearly £50,000 is an amazing result. But being involved in the project has brought about a number of other benefits to the companies involved and their staff. 

“I have been told of the great team building that has gone on, the understanding of the need to communicate and promote their ideas, to challenge decisions to ensure they are the right ones to make when dealing with another organisations money and to ensure a good profit margin at the end of the project.

"We are very grateful for all the hard work and effort from the Irwin Mitchell team and it’s thanks to dedicated fundraisers like them that this project has been such a success. Every year we support 1,000 disabled children, young people, adults and their families and this money will really help us to continue with that vital work."

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's Social Responsibility work.