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Third Sector Awards 2017: Enterprise Award - The Grand Appeal

Awarded to a social enterprise or charity that has significantly improved its income from its commercial activities in recent years

What does it do?

The Grand Appeal raises funds to save lives and support more than 100,000 sick children and babies treated at Bristol Children's Hospital every year. It also funds Cots for Tots House, providing free accommodation for parents of babies in intensive care. 

How does it make money?

In 2013 the charity worked with Aardman Animations to launch the arts trail Gromit Unleashed, featuring 80 giant Gromit sculptures, to raise £5.5m needed by Bristol Children’s Hospital. A temporary shop selling miniature versions of the sculptures generated further funds. Demand for figurines was so high that queues of 500 people regularly formed at midnight, waiting to get their hands on the latest one. This soaring popularity led to an expanded retail range including kitchenware, stationery and games.

What has it achieved?

The owners of The Mall, where the pop-up shop was located, were so impressed with the footfall figures that they gave the Grand Appeal an outlet on long-term loan. The charity has run interactive activities in the shop and created a Collectors Club, as well as running another arts trail and retail line around Shaun the Sheep.

Retail now accounts for £9m of the charity’s turnover, funding life-saving ventilators for the Special Care Baby Unit, a pioneering neurosurgical brain lab and new bedrooms for the children's Cancer Ward, among other projects. The retail operation takes advantage of the charity's 150,000-strong digital audience, to which it speaks daily through a variety of channels.

What did the judges say?

"This is a unique and brilliant tie-up between a charity and a world-famous local brand that has delivered incredible financial results," said Justin Davis Smith, senior research fellow at the Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Cass Business School.

Highly commended

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust

Finalists

Local Hospice Lottery

St Andrew's First Aid Training and Supplies

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