Business partner: JD Wetherspoon and Clic Sargent

Long-standing link between the pub chain and the cancer charity

Patron Steve Rider (L) pitches in
Patron Steve Rider (L) pitches in

The 10-year partnership between the children's cancer charity Clic Sargent and the pub chain JD Wetherspoon belies expectations that fundraising for the same cause should wane over time. The link has raised £6m since 2002 through a combination of employee and customer support - of this, £1m has come in the past nine months.

A relaunch in 2010 that shifted the focus from children and families to young people helped the campaign to maintain momentum. Caroline Walters, head of corporate affairs at JD Wetherspoon, says a different partner had been considered, but the company concluded that another cause could not attract such widespread support from employees.

"They were already fundraising for Clic Sargent and, at the end of the day, we didn't want to stop fundraising for it," she says.

Liz North, the charity's director of communications and campaigning, says Clic Sargent has been able to "get under the skin" of its corporate partner. Such intimate knowledge has been helped in the past two years by the secondment of a Wetherspoon personnel manager to the charity's corporate partnerships team.

She divides her time between the two organisations' head offices. Both sides benefit from having someone with a foot in the other camp, says North. "It gives us an inside understanding of how Wetherspoon works and we can respond really quickly."

Walters says it has made a huge difference. "I didn't have anybody in JD Wetherspoon working solely on the account before now," she says. "Now I've got her in position and that's what she does full time."

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