Staff and customers at Argos and Homebase have smashed through their original £2m fund-raising target for a young people’s cancer charity.
For the past two years and nine months, the two Home Retail Group retailers have been raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust in what has turned out to be HRG’s longest and most successful charity partnership, and the biggest corporate relationship in the charity’s 22-year history.
Aiming to donate £2m, HRG will in fact have given £4.3m by the time it wraps up its partnership this month. The relationship has also helped to boost the profile of the charity, increasing its registered volunteers by more than 780% from 628 to 5,564.
The money raised will include significant contributions towards the construction of 10 new Teenage Cancer Trust units, creating 71 dedicated beds for young people aged 13 to 24 with cancer. This includes the construction of the first specialist teenage cancer facility in the Republic of Ireland.
The money is also contributing towards the maintenance of 12 existing Teenage Cancer Trust units, equalling 92 patient beds.
The partnership began in July 2010, and support was so strong that it was extended by nine months and will now finish this month. HRG staff have been resourceful and creative in their fund-raising, and customers themselves have donated nearly £500,000 at collections in Argos and Homebase stores across the UK and Ireland.
HRG chief executive Terry Duddy said the company had been “overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of our customers, who’ve helped us to more than double our fund-raising target”.
And Simon Davies, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust said: “When we first started this partnership we never imagined the huge impact Home Retail Group would ultimately have. Their overwhelming support has enabled Teenage Cancer Trust to grow our unit build programme so much quicker and has made an enormous contribution to our long-term goal of wanting every young person with cancer to have access to the best possible care and professional support, no matter where they live.”