Volunteers from ten local businesses raised an incredible £52,000 for local charity Cancer Focus Northern Ireland by taking part in a one-day charity shop takeover challenge, The Big Shops’ Showdown.
The Big Shops’ Showdown, organised by Business in the Community, encouraged business volunteers to step outside the office for one day to take over the running of one of Cancer Focus NI’s charity shops.
There was an element of friendly competition, with each team competing to raise as much money as possible, both on the day and in the run up to the challenge.
The results were revealed at a special celebration event on May 11. Healthy Built Environment, who took over the Banbridge charity shop, was crowned the overall winner, as they raised the most money with an impressive total of £12,513.
Allen & Ovary won an award for best bag for life design, Baker McKenzie and JP Corry won best window display, Whale Pumps won best shop theme, and the judges choice was Progressive Building Society.
Congratulation, too, to the other participants, Arthur Cox, FirstSource, Frylite and Qualitrol, for their fantastic contributions to this important fundraiser.
Roisin Foster, Chief Executive, Cancer Focus NI, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the results of the Big Shops’ Showdown. The fundraising total surpassed all of our expectations and we are extremely grateful for all the hard work that has gone into the fundraising at each shop.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to every company that took part. They have not only raised much-needed cash but they have also helped to raise awareness of the work that we do.
“Every penny raised will stay here in Northern Ireland to provide vital support services for local people including family support, counselling, art therapy for anyone affected by cancer, a NurseLine and a bra-fitting service for women who’ve had breast cancer.”
Andy Nisbet Friel, Communities Executive, Business in the Community, said: “We are really pleased with the results of the 2018 Big Shops’ Challenge.
“The companies involved are committed to doing business responsibly, and this employer supported volunteering challenge offers multiple benefits – enabling employees to take on and project manage the challenge, using their skills and wits to fundraise, get creative in managing and promoting ‘their’ shop and raising awareness of Cancer Focus NI’s services throughout Northern Ireland. It’s hard work but great fun and of course some healthy competition.”
Cancer Focus NI Shops involved in this year’s challenge were: Ballyhackamore, Ormeau Road and Lisburn Road in Belfast; Ballymoney; Banbridge; Bangor; Coleraine; Holywood; Limavady; Lisburn; and Newtownstewart.