Business Charity Awards: Challenge Event - Winner: Morgan Lovell with the Down's Syndrome Association

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

The Charity SOS team during the office refurbishment
The Charity SOS team during the office refurbishment

What was the challenge?
The workplace design consultancy Morgan Lovell set itself the Charity SOS challenge – to organise a large group of donors, volunteers and subcontractors and transform the Down’s Syndrome Association head office in Teddington, Middlesex, over a weekend. Everything had to be sourced for free.

What did the company do?
A team from the consultancy called every supplier, company and subcontractor it knew and asked them to donate anything they could. In the end more than 60 suppliers got involved, giving new furniture, flooring, carpets, paints, electrics, labour, food, plumbing and much more. On a cold December weekend, more than 200 volunteers showed up to strip the office back to a shell and refurbish it. The Charity SOS team transformed the once old and crowded office into a clean, modern and uncluttered space. Many Morgan Lovell staff donated their time to organise the initiative. The refit was a huge success and was valued at about £300,000 in donated items and work carried out.

Why did Morgan Lovell win?
The real measure of success was not the redesign, but how it affected the lives of those who use the office. Staff can now chat and eat lunch away from their desks, and the space is now a more welcoming place for visiting families.

What did the judges say?
Lynda Thomas, director of fundraising, Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "There was clear alignment between the business and the task, and the charity has been left with a lasting legacy that will benefit it every day."

Highly commended
Tate & Lyle Sugars with Richard House Children’s Hospice

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Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity
Investec with the Lord’s Taverners
Lloyds Banking Group with Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland
Marks & Spencer with Action Cancer, Action Medical Research, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer UK and the Marie Keating Foundation

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