"So long as you could paddle, hike, have green fingers or a head for heights, or even a soggy bottom, there was something where everyone could contribute to a good cause"
Emily Wilkinson, Linley Simpson
STAFF from a Yorkshire estate agency have marked Children’s Hospice Week by passing another major milestone in their support of young people with life-shortening illnesses.
Linley & Simpson, which has 16 branches across North and West Yorkshire, handed over £20,000 to Martin House Hospice after a record year of fund-raising.
This latest donation to the Boston Span-based hospice – its chosen charity partner – takes the total amount gifted over the past five years to £70,000 and counting.
The money has been raised by big-hearted staff in the biggest series of diverse challenges since the independent agency opened its doors in 1997.
On land, this included a sponsored trek along the Cleveland Way in which 12 footsore and windswept colleagues took part in a 40-mile route from Saltburn-by-the-Sea to Scarborough in just two days.
Meanwhile, on the water, other members of the team competed in the hospice’s annual Dragon Boat races at Roundhay Park in Leeds.
Other recent fund-raisers have included a sky dive, a Great British Bake Off-style cooking competition and a staff slimming challenge.
Colleagues also took advantage of the day of paid volunteering offered by the agency to create a children’s jungle adventure garden in the hospice grounds.
“We strive to create a programme that’s accessible to every member of our 250-strong team,” said Emily Wilkinson, the agency’s Customer Services Manager who coordinates the community support activities.
“So long as you could paddle, hike, have green fingers or a head for heights, or even a soggy bottom, there was something where everyone could contribute to a good cause that has touched the lives of all of us.”
“The events also shared an added benefit of improving teamwork among our staff, and equipping them with new skills as we all progressed towards a common goal.”
The latest gift enables Martin House to give children and young people with life-shortening conditions and their families experiences to treasure.
This includes enabling a group of young adults to go on an outdoor adventure holiday, a camping trip for a group of bereaved brothers and sisters, and funding a mini-music festival in the grounds of Martin House, as well as paying for activities like cinema trips for a group of young people, or providing support groups for parents, grandparents and brothers and sisters.
Like Children’s Hospice Week, Linley & Simpson is celebrating its 22nd anniversary - the team has now set itself the new challenge of raising a further £22,000 for Martin House in the next 12 months.
This represents the amount needed by the hospice every day to deliver the expert care and compassion it is renowned for across Yorkshire.
Polly Hale, Partnerships Manager for Martin House, said: “Linley & Simpson have been dedicated supporters of Martin House for a number of years, raising a significant amount of money, and we are delighted they have reached this latest milestone.
“The commitment shown by the whole team is tremendous, and we are privileged to have such a wonderful partnership with them, which has had such an impact on the children and young people we support.”
Children’s Hospice Week is the only week in the year dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the 49,000 children across the UK living with life-limiting conditions, and the lifeline services that support them. This year it takes place for between 17 and 23 June.
Team effort ... Will Linley (left) and Nick Simpson hand over the latest £20,000 to Martin House on behalf of their colleagues.