WHAT do Smarties tubes, sky-dives, raffles and car washes all have in common?
They were just some of the money-spinning ideas community groups and businesses from Hartlepool and East Durham came up with to help Hartlepool and District Hospice.
The Specsavers Multiplier Challenge saw groups given £50 to turn into more cash for the Wells Avenue-based facility.
The groups’ unbelievable efforts resulted in more than £12,000 being raised for the hospice and they were rewarded for their hard work during an awards ceremony at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
Ten corporate teams and eight schools or colleges backed the innovative initiative and six winners were announced on the night.
The award for the most money raised went to Flannagans Accountants, based in Brenda Road, Hartlepool.
The firm raised £2,548.18 after using the money to hold a raffle for clients, and manager Yafir Javid boosted the funds by being sponsored to do a bungee jump from Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge.
Staff at Tesco Express, in Catcote Road, used the £50 to put together hampers to raffle off and colleagues also did a sponsored walk around the Hartlepool Tescos, and put on fancy dress and busking events, raising £2,317 and wining the Special Judges’ award for exceptional effort.
Students from Hartlepool College of Further Education’s Health and Social Care Level 3 Early Years course won the Young Entrepreneurs award after raising £1,096 by using the money to send personalised messages from Santa, as well as doing sponsored bag-packs and holding bucket collections.
The 9th Hartlepool Scout Group won the Special Judges’ Award for teamwork after raising £699.10 by buying 100 tubes of Smarties and getting members to fill them with 20 pence pieces.
The award for the most innovative idea went to Byron Sixth Form College, in Peterlee, after students bought marshmallows to see how many they could stuff in their mouth, bought candy canes to sell at Christmas at a profit and did a sponsored walk to Hartlepool, raising £430.
The Individual award went to Paul Lowther, a 38-year-old lab manager at Specsavers Peterlee, who did a sponsored sky-dive from 12,000ft at Shotton Airfield and his colleagues, led by Claire Dale, organised a charity night at Acre Rigg Social Club in Peterlee, as well as organising car washes at Seaham Fire Station, where Claire’s husband works, raising £1,900.
Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates was a guest speaker at the event, which was hosted by hospice chief executive Tracy Woodall.
Joy also helped Hartlepool Specsavers director Ian Walker present trophies and certificates.
Francis McAllister, the hospice’s director of fundraising, thanked Mr Walker for sponsoring the event and said: “The teams that took part raised in excess of £12,000, which is a fantastic result.
“This will go towards caring for patients in our inpatient unit.
“On behalf of everyone in the hospice I would like to thank all the teams and their supporters for participating in the Specsavers Multiplier challenge for their creativity and determination to raise money for their hospice.”
Mr Walker said: “I think it’s great that we gave £50 to groups and they came back with £2,000.
“We have close links with the hospice, it’s a very worthwhile cause and this challenge certainly captured the imagination.”