Help the Hospices has been selected as Tesco's charity of the year for 2004, crowning a year that has already seen the charity achieve numerous fundraising successes.
The organisation, which supports independent local hospices by offering training, advice and fundraising, has developed a number of innovative fundraising events this year and has been rewarded with a period of remarkable growth.
"It's been a busy time but there is a lot more to do in order to secure greater support and understanding of hospice care, and how vital it is for people with non-curable illness and their families," said David Burland, director of fundraising at Help the Hospices.
The Tesco charity of the year association, which is viewed as the Holy Grail of corporate partnerships, should provide a significant opportunity to boost Help the Hospices' £3.5 million annual income.
"Since we started the charity of the year scheme, we have raised £21 million," said Steve Graver, spokesman for Tesco. "On average we raise about £2 million a year."
However, David Phiall, chief executive of Help the Hospices, has set his sights higher. "We want it to be the most successful Tesco charity of the year ever, which will mean overtaking the £3.2 million raised for Macmillan," he said, referring to Tesco's 2000 partnership with the cancer charity.
Past experience shows that the Tesco partnership is likely to boost Help the Hospices' preference of supporting local independent hospice charities through a "loose federal structure".
This year also marks the charity's first month-long Hospice Care Campaign, which revolves around a sponsored tea party.
- See Newsmaker, p14.