Focus: Corporate Responsibility - Side by side - Help the Hospices and the Royal Mail Group

In 2005, Help the Hospices was chosen by a poll of Royal Mail's 196,000 staff to be the group's first major charity partner. As part of the two-year relationship, Royal Mail Group will release £250,000 in matched funding as soon as the staff target of £250,000 has been attained.

DAVID BURLAND, DIRECTOR OF INCOME GENERATION, HELP THE HOSPICES

Why did you choose this partnership?

Royal Mail was looking for a partner that would give staff the chance to get involved locally. We were chosen by staff vote.

How do you benefit?

Royal Mail has the UK's largest workforce. Many of them donate through payroll giving, staging their own fundraising activities and volunteering in their free time. We have already recruited nearly 3,000 new payroll-giving donors.

Did you have any reservations?

We knew that setting up the campaign's systems and structures would be a lot of work. There are already substantial benefits.

What are your plans?

We're collaborating on a range of projects over the next year. For example, Royal Mail is sponsoring our Sunflower Runners team in this year's Flora London Marathon.

STEVE BOORMAN, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Royal MAIL GROUP

Why did you choose this partnership?

Help the Hospices was chosen by our people in an open voting process.

Help the Hospices was a good fit because we already had teams raising money for local hospices.

How do you benefit?

The campaigns are fun and provide team-building opportunities. The partnership has also given us valuable experience of developing and organising a national fundraising campaign.

Did you have any reservations?

Only that we would struggle to generate the interest needed to make the partnership work because our organisation is currently going through massive change.

What are your plans?

We are extending our work with Help the Hospices across other aspects of our social programme.

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