Before entering into a partnership with the Prostate Cancer Charity, Keyline Builders Merchants had struggled to raise money for good causes. Andrew Harrison, managing director of Keyline, says: "We’d only ever raised £5,000 for charity and really struggled to get much interest."
But the partnership with the Prostate Cancer Charity, which won the award for the best UK Project at the Business Charity Awards in May 2011, has exceeded all expectations. Since the partnership began in November 2009, £324,000 has been raised. In fact, the scheme has been so well received that staff at Keyline’s branches earlier this year voted overwhelmingly in favour of extending the partnership until December 2014.
The firm’s 1,000 staff, as well as its customers and suppliers, have got behind the partnership through a range of initiatives including supporting Movember, which encourages men to grow moustaches during the month of November to raise funds for male cancer causes.
Owen Sharp, chief executive of the Prostate Cancer Charity, says the partnership with Keyline has benefited the charity not only financially, but in other ways too. "It has raised money, which is a great thing, but Keyline has also raised awareness of prostate cancer, which is a really big and important factor in what we are trying to do," he says.
Keyline has donated at least half a page of coverage to the Prostate Cancer Charity in all the promotional literature it produces, from technical catalogues to sales brochures.
The money raised has been used to fund a range of the charity’s work, including research and its helpline.
The award win was publicised in an internal magazine for the Travis Perkins Group, of which Keyline is part. A poster featuring the Business Charity Awards logo was also displayed in Keyline’s 89 UK branches.
Harrison believes that the win was a major motivational factor for Keyline’s 1,000 employees. "They were very proud to be recognised in that way, particularly because, as a business, we have historically found it hard to support charities," he says. "Our first full year of getting everyone engaged was a huge thing for the business and our customers."
The partnership with the Prostate Cancer Charity has also assisted the business in
other ways, believes Harrison. "The whole relationship with the charity has helped Keyline to maintain morale through a difficult trading time," he says. "We have outperformed the marketplace in the past two years. The relationship with the Prostate Cancer Charity has been part of that."