More than £80,000 was gifted to local charities thanks to the Group’s ‘Wheels and Heels’ event
BGL colleagues’ competitive streak shone through in a month-long challenge which saw eight local charities share in £80,000.
More than 650 people across the financial services business divided into eight teams for the Wheels and Heels challenge, with each team representing a different charity.
The aim was to see which team could travel the furthest by foot or on wheels during the month of October, with participants walking, running, cycling, scooting and even paddling to make up their miles. In total, the teams covered almost 70,000 miles, or 111,000km – the equivalent of almost three times around the world, or five times the length of the Great Wall of China.
To kickstart the fundraising, the charities each received a £10,000 donation from BGL which was topped up with personal donations from colleagues.
The chosen charities were:
• Peterborough Soup Kitchen – Operating 52 weeks per year, seven days per week, collecting, preparing and handing out food to homeless or disadvantaged people in the city.
• Up the Garden Bath – A Peterborough charity that makes gardening accessible and transforms run down areas into mini oases by recycling old household items such as bathtubs, mattresses and washing machine drums etc.
• The Matt Hampson Foundation – Leicestershire-based charity that aims to inspire and support young people seriously injured through sport.
• End Youth Homelessness – Helping homeless young people in London and the South East into education, employment and training.
• Star – A Wakefield bereavement charity supporting children and young people who have lost a loved one.
• Sensory Place – A Volunteer-led group in Sunderland supporting families of children with disabilities.
• We Make Culture – A Sunderland charity which uses music to improve mental health, bring communities together and support young musicians across the city.
• La Rue Tourne – A Paris charity that raises awareness of, and supports, the homeless providing tents, blankets, fleeces, thermal clothing and head torches.
All of the chosen charities were handpicked as they are all located close to one of BGL’s five sites in Peterborough, Sunderland, Wakefield, London and Paris and reflect the company’s charitable aims this year – supporting employment and education, health and wellbeing, the environment and alleviating poverty.
Ian Barber, Chairman of Peterborough Soup Kitchen said: “We are grateful for this generous £10,000 donation. We rely on the kindness of our supporters, sponsors and partners to provide our vital services. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in our footfall and during the first lockdown, when demand was at a peak, we were issuing about 125 food bags a day. This donation will allow us to continue our operations which we have also had to adapt to be COVID-secure.”
Claire Virge, CSR and Sponsorship Manager at BGL Group, said: “We know from working closely with many charities how difficult this year has been as the pandemic has placed an enormous strain on their finances. As a Group, we have already donated more than £725,000 to 178 charities since April. We wanted to continue that support for our communities as we work remotely, which is why we came up with this challenge.
“We wanted to give these eight fantastic causes a boost to help them continue to provide their much-needed services ahead of what looks set to be a tough winter.
“It’s been fantastic to see so many people from across our business in the UK, France and even Australia fully embracing this challenge, despite some very wet weather and local lockdowns. As you might expect, it was a very closely fought contest but the winning team was the Matt Hampson Foundation.”
With more than 10 million customers, BGL is home to brands including comparethemarket.com, Budget Insurance, Dial Direct and Beagle Street. It employs more than 3,000 people across its five sites in Peterborough, Sunderland, Wakefield, London and Paris.