Business partner: Wickes and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

The DIY retail chain has worked with the cancer charity for eight years, and says there is still plenty of life in the partnership

Wickes fundraise for the charity across the stores
Wickes fundraise for the charity across the stores

The partnership between Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Wickes, the DIY retail chain, was forged in October 2006 after a staff vote.

In the eight years since then, the company's 6,000 staff have been given two opportunities to vote for another charity to support, but both times have opted to stick with LLR - on the last occasion, in 2012, by a 75 per cent majority.

"We regularly ask colleagues," says Colin Contini, regional operations manager at Wickes. "But the vote has been overwhelming whenever we've done that, so it still feels as if there's plenty of life in the partnership."

Originally framed around a £200,000 12-month target, fundraising - mainly by employees - has gathered pace each year. The £2m mark was passed in 2011 and the total now stands at £3.8m. The full gamut of fundraising techniques has been employed, from bikeathons to fancy-dress days.

Since 2012, customer relationship management promotions have been added to the mix. The charity receives 50 per cent of the profits from the sale of special wheelbarrows and buckets in the charity's colour, red.

"We've increased the different fundraising techniques each year," says Rowan Parkes, the corporate account manager at LLR. "It is currently our largest corporate partnership."

Another staff vote is due in two years' time, but there is no indication that the partnership is running out of steam. "It's very visible," says Contini. "The colleagues who give up their time to raise money see where that money goes and get recognition from the charity. It's really alive in the stores and the business."

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