Staff at North East property and energy firm The Banks Group have chosen to adopt a regional cancer charity as their new dedicated fundraising cause.
Having raised £12,000 for The Alzheimer’s Society last year, employees at the Durham headquartered, family-owned firm have now voted to raise money for Bright Red throughout 2018.
Bright Red supports people across the north of England who are dealing with a wide range of blood cancers, such as leukaemias, lymphomas and myelomas, as well as other less common conditions.
It was nominated by David Wilson, a member of the company’s ICT team who was diagnosed with multiple myelomas in 2014 and subsequently treated at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, where Bright Red is headquartered.
David, who is from Darlington, received two successful bone marrow transplants in 2015 and is now in clinical remission. He has since done his own fundraising work in support of Bright Red, collecting around £1,000 so far.
He says: “Bright Red’s work has a direct impact on the patients in the ward where I received my treatment, where many of them have to spend considerable lengths of time in isolation, and they’ve been responsible for the refurbishment and improvement of a lot of its rooms.
“Creating a better environment can improve patients and their families’ experience at what are obviously very difficult times, and the fundraising work I’ve previously done was a small way of saying thank you for the difference it made to us.
“Having my colleagues choose to support Bright Red this year is fantastic news, and we’ve already spoken to them about a couple of new project ideas that this fundraising drive could help them bring to fruition.”
Bright Red works to help create the best possible treatment environments for patients with blood cancers and their families, to assist in the education of healthcare professionals who focus on treating these conditions and to promote world-leading research into the treatment of leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and bone marrow failures.
Care grants are awarded to projects taking place in any haematology unit across the region which will have a positive impact for many patients, such as the long-term funding of a Bright Red Outreach at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, while Lee Robson Patient Care Grants, which are named in memory of the charity’s first ambassador, are one off monetary awards given to patients in most need of financial assistance.
Staff from across Banks’ different businesses and locations will be undertaking a range of fundraising activities throughout the year, such as workplace lunches, dress down days, raffles and cake bakes, as well as participation in a number of different sporting and activity-related challenges.
More than £50,000 has been raised in total over the last five years for the Banks employees’ chosen charities, which have also included The Tiny Lives Trust, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Integrating Children.
Sara Ellis, who is a member of The Banks Group’s charity fundraising committee, adds: “The types of blood cancer that Bright Red focuses on impact on the lives of thousands of families across our region, and the charity’s work is invaluable both to them and the medical staff leading the drive to find ever better treatments.
“Our employees always give their whole-hearted commitment to the good causes that they choose to adopt, and we know that the fundraising activities that are lined up so far for 2018 will be extremely well supported.”
Mark Thompson, chair of Bright Red and chief executive at Ryder Architecture, says: “Everyone at Bright Red is over the moon to be embarking on a partnership with The Banks Group team.
“As a relatively small, regional charity we heavily rely on the goodwill of the local community, so to receive support from an organization as well regarded as Banks means a great deal to us. The partnership will undoubtedly go a long way in supporting cancer patients in our region.’