Business Charity Awards 2015: Challenge Event - Yorkshire Building Society with Marie Curie: Hour of Need

For a staff team from a business that took part in a successful fundraising challenge to benefit a UK charity

Yorkshire Building Society staff prepare for their cycle challenge
Yorkshire Building Society staff prepare for their cycle challenge

What was the project?

Staff from the Yorkshire Building Society took part in a cycle challenge to raise money for the cancer care charity Marie Curie. The building society had already committed to raising £500,000 for the charity by December 2016 in a fundraising campaign called Hour of Need. So when it was named as the official supporter of the Tour de France grand départ last year, staff members decided to get on their bikes.

What did the company do?

Forty-eight team members took part in at least one stage of a 339-mile bike ride, which followed the opening three stages of the 2014 Tour de France. Four intrepid cyclists completed the whole distance. A wider challenge was held across all of the society's 128 branches and office sites, in which 4,500 staff were asked to ride 118 miles on exercise bikes in one day – the same distance as the first stage of the tour. At the society's Sheffield branch, the former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who was Deputy Prime Minister at the time, participated in the challenge alongside the society's chief executive, Chris Pilling. A total distance of 15,774 miles was covered over the course of the day.

Why did Yorkshire Building Society win?

The challenge engaged every member of staff: colleagues who were unable to take part in the static bike challenge took part in supplementary fundraising activities such as raffles, cake sales and a "wear yellow" day. The challenge raised £54,672 – 37 per cent above the target.

What did the judges say?

Mike Wright, director of membership and communications at Bond, said: "It was an engaging challenge that made clear the nature of the partnership with Marie Curie and had high levels of employee engagement."


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