Fundraising challenge gives boost to hospice

Businesses which have been battling it out to be named top dog in an annual charity challenge have raised more than �40,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Some 49 firms were involved in this year’s Towergate Accumulator Challenge which involved a three-month challenge to try to turn a �50 stake into as much money as possible for the charity.

Recently the businesses gathered at Ravenwood Hall Hotel, in Rougham, for a presentation evening, where they learned they had raised �40,243 – almost double the �20,762 raised by firms in 2010.

Hospice chief executive Barbara Gale told those present: “The work you do is so important – everything you do helps the hospice to support patients and families.

“St Nicholas Hospice Care is very lucky. It had difficult times a few years ago, but the community rallied. We need ongoing support otherwise we could let the community down.”

The firm which raised the most, and won the overall prize, was Curve Motion with a grand total of �3,452 raised through a sponsored skating marathon and slave auction.

The Towergate Judges Award was given by Julian Palmer, of Towergate Risk Solutions, to the Coffee House, of Lawson Place, Bury, which raised �2,185 through a week of events including bingo, a quiz and wig night.

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The Most Innovative Idea award was presented by Russell Cook, editor of the Times’ sister paper the East Anglian Daily Times, to Asda for its fancy dress conga, which took place in July.

“We were staggered by the ideas that people came up with to raise money,” he said. “We have had fun hearing what the teams were up to – there has been a great deal of effort put in by those taking part.”

The teamwork award, which was presented by Paul Whittaker, chief executive of Towergate Risk Solutions, went to Abbeycroft Leisure.

He said: “Thank you so much for taking part. The Accumulator Challenge is about having fun as much as it is about raising money – and if we can raise money while having fun, that’s very good indeed.”

David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, presented the Community Award, which went to Natwest Thetford, for its ‘what makes you smile’ campaign.

Abby Mayes, hospice corporate fundraiser, said: “To have raised more than �40,000 is staggering.”