Vantis, the UK accounting, tax and business recovery and advisory group, proudly announced at an award ceremony last week that the inaugural Tees Valley Vantis Corporate Challenge raised a grand total of £30,000 for two local charities.
This is the first year that Vantis, which has offices based in 17 locations across the UK, including Darlington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, has run the Corporate Challenge in the Tees Valley region. The Challenge was launched in February of this year to an amazing reception from local businesses, with over 50 Tees Valley companies signing up and pledging their support. Teams then spent three months raising as much money as possible for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice and Hartlepool & District Hospice, using their initial £50 starter cash from Vantis – the only condition was that the fundraising activities had to be done both ethically and legally.
In his speech at the awards ceremony, which was held at mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), Martin Barber, Client Partner at Vantis in Tees Valley, thanked all the Challengers involved for their dedicated fundraising efforts.
He explained: “Collectively, the two hospices need to raise £6 per minute to continue offering their invaluable services, which are free of charge to all patients and their families. As a result of the companies here tonight generously giving their time and resources, they have directly contributed to the local community, by supporting two highly regarded charities and the work they do – something we should all be very proud of.”
The fundraising activities undertaken by the Challengers included bungee jumping, canoeing, cake baking, knitting and hiking. One brave lady, Vantis employee Tracy Sykes, even shaved off all her hair, raising over £3,000 for the charities.
At the award ceremony, companies gathered to be in with a chance of winning one of three top awards being presented: Most Money Raised, Most Innovative Idea and a special Education award to recognise schools and colleges that participated in the Vantis Corporate Challenge.
The award for the Most Money Raised was presented to Jane West and Mike Clarke from Teesside Shopping Park, whose team managed to raise a staggering £3,610.37. The judges commented on how the team of two had maintained momentum throughout the three month challenge period, by running a number of interesting fundraising initiatives that included an on-site cake baking event, tombola, sponsored walk and a bungee jump event.
Meanwhile, the Most Innovative Idea award was picked up by a five-strong team from Archers Law. Partner Alastair Smith and his team set themselves the tough challenge of canoeing up the east coast from Teesside to Newcastle. Covering a distance of over 200 miles in a 12 hour stint, the team helped to raise over £1,000.
Alastair Smith, Partner at Archers Law, commented, “We all worked very hard on this task and got very wet in the process – but we had a lot of fun at the same time. We are delighted with the amount of money we managed to raise, and the award will sit proudly in our reception area for all to see.”
The final award – for Education – was presented to Nunthorpe School, whose team showed amazing dedication. In addition to hosting a variety of fundraising ideas including a sponsored bike ride, raffle, sponsored fast and a ‘beat the goalie’ event. Teacher, Will Bailey, who accepted the award, was also paid to dress as a woman for a day, helping to raise over £2,500 in all.
The total funds raised by Tees Valley Vantis Corporate Challenge, which already amount to over £30,000, will be donated equally between the Hartlepool & District Hospice and Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.
Zoe’s Place Event Coordinator, Rachel Bareham, commented: “The Vantis Corporate Challenge awards have tonight recognised the laudable way in which these Tees Valley businesspeople have worked together to benefit the community. Challengers have not only demonstrated a great attitude and team spirit, but also helped to raise a significant sum of money to support those in need. This would not have been possible without the team at Vantis, who instigated and managed this great initiative. We are very grateful to you all.”
Meanwhile Tracy Woodall, Chief Executive of Hartlepool & District Hospice, said:
“In its inaugural year, the Tees Valley Vantis Corporate Challenge has raised an amazing amount of money, which has only been made possible by the tremendous hard work put in by Vantis and each of the companies involved. The great thing about this is that, together, we have all been able to make a big difference and positively affect the lives of local people.”
Finally, Martin Barber concluded, “This has been a fantastic first year for the Vantis Corporate Challenge in Tees Valley. We have been overwhelmed by the incredible response we have received from local businesses, and by the creativity of the Challengers in their fundraising initiatives. I am delighted and encouraged to see that many of the companies who competed in this year’s event have already registered for the next Challenge – in 2010.”
Pictured L to R: Rachel Bareham, Zoes Place, Alastair Smith, Archers Law, Mike Clarke, Teesside Park Far back left Martin Barber, Vantis Centre Jane West, Teesside Park, Will Bailey, Nunthorpe School, Far back right, Sue Fox, Zoes Place, Tracy Woodall Hartlepool & District Hospice, Carole Sennett, Hartlepool & District Hospice.