Every financial year here at Finlay James we have the opportunity to vote for a charity that we are going to support from a list of nominations put forward by our employees.
I put forward Macmillan Cancer Support as my nomination as I know first-hand just how much support they can provide to cancer sufferers and their families.
When the results were announced I was delighted that the rest of my colleagues voted for Macmillan to be our Charity of the Year and put myself forward to be the Charity Ambassador.
It’s been a busy year with a number of different fundraising activities to raise some money for Macmillan.
We started a charity sweetshop in our Manchester office which went down very well (and continues to do so!). Obviously, we have a bit of a sweet tooth! Our Chief People Officer and co-owner, Sara Gaughan, decided she was going to take ‘Dry January’ eleven steps further and complete a full year without touching a drop of alcohol, and she’s still going strong! My colleague Dan Halkyard, my boyfriend Chris and I took on the ‘Longest Day Challenge’ which just happened to be on the hottest June day in 40 years! Finally, we’ve also collected £4 per month from each FJ employee so we could all dress down on a Friday.
Sara has been doing brilliantly on her dry year, and has raised so much money for Macmillan, I’m sure with a little over 2 months to go she’s looking forward to that cocktail come midnight on New Year’s Eve! If you’d like to sponsor Sara, you can still do so by following this link - http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Finlayjames
The Longest Day Challenge was something I had wanted to do for a number of years however I hadn’t managed to convince anybody to do it with me until this year, and believe me, now I know why, it was hard! We played four different golf courses starting at 5.30am at Hazel Grove Golf Club, we were met off the 18th green by my dad who had made us some sausage butties which we demolished then went onto Marple Golf Club for round two. Again, my dad along with my mum this time, met us off the course with plenty of food for us to refuel in time for round three at New Mills Golf Club. Personally for me, that was the hardest round, and if it wasn’t for Chris and Dan, I could have quite easily given up at that point. Our final round was at my home course, Mellor and Townscliffe Golf Club, which, as daft as it may sound, was for me the easiest round, perhaps because I was on auto-pilot, but, we did it!
72 holes, around 47,000 steps each, 20 miles covered, somewhere between 900-1000 golf shots combined and 16 hours later, shattered and aching but at the same time so proud that we had done it. I’d like to say a huge thank you firstly to both Chris and Dan for agreeing to take on the challenge with me, I’ve already promised them I won’t ask again! To all of the golf clubs for giving us courtesy of the courses, to everyone who helped us out on the day, particularly my mum and dad and of course, to every single person that sponsored us and helped us to raise over £1,000.00 for Macmillan.
Our final bit of fundraising for Macmillan took place on Friday 20th October 2017 in our Manchester office where we held a cake sale, (playing to our sweet tooth again!) the proceeds of which just tipped us over £7,000.00 raised!
I’d like to say a final thank you to everyone who has done their bit to help raise as much money as possible, I had set a personal target which I kept under wraps of us achieving £5,000.00 and I think it’s fair to say we’ve exceeded that by a fair bit.
Our chosen charity for FY 17/18 is Mind, who provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. I’d like to wish our new Charity Ambassadors, Nicole Moorjani and Jodie Haywood the best of luck in raising money for another worthy charity!