STAFF from Linley & Simpson have proved they have the X-mas Factor by unwrapping the biggest round of festive support for charities and good causes in our 20 year history.
And whether it is serving up cooking skills as part of a charity bake-off in aid of Martin House Childrens Hospice at Boston Spa, or turning our Leeds city centre office into a foodbank to help the homeless, we have all risen to the Christmas challenge.
This year, our support stretches from Boston Spa to Barbuda with a raft of initiatives:
- We have linked up with a host of football teams we support to help the children of Barbuda, who were displaced to Antigua by Hurricane Irma. They include Harrogate Railway AFC, Wetherby Athletic JFC, Poppleton Juniors FC in York and Durkar Devils JFC in Wakefield. The clubs are providing old kit for the youngsters, which was being flown out this week to the Caribbean. Its all part of a campaign launched by a Harrogate mother, Anna Byrom, to give the children something extra for Christmas now their basic housing, water, food needs have been met.
- Our Leeds city centre team have turned their office into a foodbank collection point to support people and families struggling with financial difficulties, as well the homeless. It is working with the Leeds North and West Foodbank for the first time to combat poverty and hunger by providing emergency, nutritious meals.
- Colleagues from across the branch network have swapped selling houses for selling Christmas cards, staffing stalls across Yorkshire to raise money for Martin House including at Morrisons supermarkets at Bradford; Ripon and Wetherby; as well as Knaresborough and Ripon markets. On behalf of the hospice, they have also been selling raffle tickets to win a £1,000 John Lewis voucher, raising over £250.
- We also joined in with Christmas Jumper Day on Friday December 15, with our £2 donations going to Martin House.
- Would-be bakers will be showing off their culinary skills in a Christmas Bake Off competition from December 18 with directors Will Linley and Nick Simpson taking on the judging roles of Paul and Prue. All the cakes will be sold off in aid of Martin House once judging has taken place.
- Staff from our Saltaire team are supporting Radio Aires Cash for Kids Mission Christmas campaign, acting as a community drop-off point for gifts. These will be presented to local children who live in real deprivation and are at risk of waking up on Christmas morning to nothing.
- Members of the York office are volunteering to spend a day at The Coppergate Centre on December 6, when they will be staffing a Christmas photo booth, collecting donations for Martin House and dressing up as its Marty the Bear mascot! The event is being organised by YO1 Radio, and Martin House is one of the charities which will have use of the photo booth during December.
Director Will Linley said: As a home-grown Yorkshire business, we are proud of our roots and strive to help charities and good causes in our community wherever possible, especially at this time of year.
Thanks to the efforts of our team, this years Christmas charity campaign is poised to be our biggest yet, which even sees our support extending to the other side of the world for the first time to help the children of Barbuda.
All our staff are offered one day of paid volunteering each year to help good causes and it has been one of the highlights of our 20th anniversary year to see so many take up this opportunity as well as giving up their own time to further the link.
One of the main beneficiaries of this initiative has been Martin House Childrens Hospice, our charity of the year once again, where more than half of our staff have volunteered to date.