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Mersey firms help raise £80,000 in Zero to Hero corporate challenge

posted on August 1, 2011 categories In The Community

Merseyside youth charity Fairbridge has announced that its annual Zero to Hero corporate challenge has raised £80,000 this year.

In all eight teams took part in the Zero to Hero challenge: Bibby Line Group, Cammell Laird, Brabners, Hill Dickinson, Nat West, Addleshaw Goddard, Barclays and Deloitte. The teams were challenged to form a business idea to raise cash by turning an initial investment of £500 into at least £5000. The teams ran a variety of challenges including sponsored calendars, diaries, recipe books and mouse mats as well as organising five a side football matches, sponsored duck races and various raffles and auctions.

A further £15,000 was raised at Fairbridge’s spectacular Zero to Hero Ball, sponsored by Grosvenor and One Park West, at Wirral’s Thornton Manor held to recognise the achievements of the teams.

Fairbridge Merseyside manager Jayne Wilson said the charity cannot ‘thank the teams enough’ and that ‘every single penny is desperately needed’.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has taken part for raising this cash and for the enormous amount of time, energy and effort they have committed to the challenge,” she said. “We are not a wealthy charity and Zero to Hero makes a huge difference to what we can do. It is fundamental to helping us function and work with around 200 of the region’s most disadvantaged youngsters every year.”

Fairbridge Merseyside committee chairman Sir Michael Bibby, who organised the Ball with his wife Beverley, said Zero to Hero had again proven to be an ‘unqualified success’. He urged more businesses to take part next year and benefit from the ‘considerable training value’ of the challenge.

“The plight of young people, and the value of Fairbridge’s work, was brought into sharp focus at the Ball when two young people Michaela and Chris told their life stories,” he said. “They both received standing ovations. Times are now harder than ever as public sector funding reduces and the recession continues to bite the business world. We urge businesses to come forward and support the next Zero to Hero challenge which will be launched in June.”

On the evening Cammell Laird picked up the ‘winning team’ award for the second year running. The shipyard’s apprentices raised a staggering £33,000 through a sponsored calendar which was distributed to more than 1000 clients and contacts of the firm.

Meanwhile Hill Dickinson scooped the ‘best team effort’ title. Presenting the award Cammell Laird Chief Executive John Syvret, said:

“The energy and enthusiasm the team brought to their challenge was tremendous,” he said. “They ran a variety of events, involved the whole company, pulled together as a team and showed entrepreneurial vision and flair. To raise nearly £10,000 is a fantastic achievement.”

Meanwhile. Wirral West MP Ester McVey presented Brabners with the best entrepreneurial award for arranging for its photography competition. The challenge saw the team build a special website, which helped encourage more than 100 entries. The team then convinced 10 companies to sponsor an exhibition and auction at St Georges Hall. The auction was attended by more than 200 people and raised £10,000.

Background Fairbridge
Fairbridge’s operations are based in 15 of the most disadvantaged urban areas in the country. Within Merseyside Fairbridge works annually with around 200 young people aged 13-25 years old who are currently not in education, employment, or training; in addition to those who are deemed to be at high risk of dropping out. Their services are utilised by over 1,400 different organisations nationwide; including youth justice groups, drug rehabilitation clinics, homeless hostels, and the country’s educational services.

Combining one-on-one support with challenging activities, Fairbridge aims to cultivate the potential of young individuals who are currently on the periphery of traditional social and economic society, assisting such individuals with the necessary education, confidence, and motivational skills required to positively re-engage with society.