Business Charity Awards: Challenge Event of the Year – PureGym with Mental Health UK for PureGym National Relay

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

Pure Gym National Relay: joined by Chris Hoy, on bicycle
Pure Gym National Relay: joined by Chris Hoy, on bicycle

What was the partnership

The links between mental and physical health have long been established, and Mental Health UK and PureGymUK pushed the boat out this year to create an activity that would reach every community they work in and demonstrate a sincere commitment to both.

What did it do?

The fitness chain launched a “National Relay”, connecting each of its 235 gyms around the country. Each branch was challenged to raise £1,000, contributing to a grand total of £250,000 for Mental Health UK, and a total of 1,500 colleagues from PureGyms across the UK took part, covering 3,000 miles between the gyms by cycling, running, canoeing, walking and even doing a conga to get teams from one gym to another. The challenge enabled the provision of Mental Health UK advice, information and support across all four nations of the UK, and got people up and down the country participating in charity classes and other wellbeing activities that celebrated both physical and mental wellbeing.

Why did it win?

The fundraising challenge smashed its £250,000 target, not only hitting an average of £972 per gym, but raising £140,000 in additional gifts, achieving a grand total of £368,347. But the benefits went far beyond the generation of cash for Mental Health UK. The partnership was able to involve the PureGym ambassador Sir Chris Hoy in the efforts and engaged other partners, including Lucozade and Jordan Fitness, which provided resources and sponsorship. About 3,500 Mental Health UK charity booklets were distributed across various PureGyms, and the reach and profile of the event boosted Mental Health UK’s Charity Brand Index ranking by three points. In the aftermath of the relay, Mental Health UK went on to secure new partnerships with other organisations.

What did the judges say?

Judges praised the creativity of the endeavour, the engagement of each branch of the gym, and the clear mutual benefits of the partnership. “It was ambitious, bold and strategic,” said Alyson Walsh, commercial director of FareShare.

“Rather than being a logical or predictable link between a chain of gyms and physical activity only, staff distributed mental health information, raised the profile of the charity and enabled it to win other partnerships. I liked the legacy effect of this as well. Super tangibles – lifted the weight of a jumbo in 20 hours! Excellent all round!”

Finalists

Nisa Miles: Nisa Retail with Making a Difference Locally

Dance Beats: Tesco Stores

Coast-to-Coast bike ride: Kew Green Hotels with the Greenfingers Charity

BF100: Bath Half Marathon 2019

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