Portmeirion Group staff have pledged to dedicate a combined 200 hours of their time to a local charity, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Group’s Spode Blue Italian design.

Portmeirion Group marks 200 years with 200 charitable hours

Portmeirion Group staff have pledged to dedicate a combined 200 hours of their time to a local charity, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Group’s Spode Blue Italian design.

The tableware manufacturer’s employees were asked to vote for their charity of choice and 63% voted to support Douglas Macmillan Hospice in north Staffordshire.

The names of 24 staff members were selected at random to take part in an array of activities over the next 10 months, such as gardening, assisting the Douglas Macmillan Hospice retail team in its shops, leaflet distribution and coin counting.

Phil Atherton, group sales and marketing director of Portmeirion Group, will be doing his bit by getting involved in supporting the charity’s retail team over the next few weeks. Commenting on the campaign, he said: “Dougie Mac does a fantastic job in supporting those in need and it only seems right that we give something back. Like Blue Italian, Dougie Mac has captured the hearts of many of our employees and the local community, so it was no surprise to me that it received the majority of the votes. This year is such an exciting year for Spode and it’s great that we’re able to share it by supporting such a worthy cause.”

Douglas Macmillan Hospice’s head of corporate fundraising and events Suzi Smith said: “Following the success of Portmeirion Group’s fundraising in 2015, it was an honour to be selected as their Charity of the Year for 2016. The support of the local business community is of vital importance to help raise the funds needed to keep the hospice open each year. We’re really looking forward to working alongside all the Portmeirion staff to help them reach their goal of giving 200 hours of time.”

The 200 for 200 campaign is one of a host of activities taking place to celebrate Blue Italian’s anniversary. Portmeirion Group unveiled Spode’s new Blue Italian-inspired collection Giallo and anniversary range earlier this year.

The supplier is also organising a window display competition, retailer-hosted birthday parties across the globe and a social media campaign.

Founded by Josiah Spode in 1770, the Spode brand was acquired by Portmeirion Group in 2009. It continues to be designed and made at its Staffordshire birthplace in Stoke-on-Trent, where its factory produces over 150,000 pieces a week.

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