An award-winning Rotherham business which brought in £11,500 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice found that fundraising united its team.

Bluetree Group, one of the UK’s largest online printing businesses, employs over 400 staff at its factory at Manvers near Wath.

The company, a UK winner at the European Business Awards for two years running, decided to focus its charity work by appointing Bluebell Wood as  its ever first Charity of the Year last January.

“Fundraising has always been a key part of our culture, bringing our team together and having fun in the process. Our team always enjoyed it and we decided to take things further and dedicate our efforts to a worthy local cause,” explained Emily Gray, a content marketing executive for the group and head of their fundraising efforts.

“We created an events committee and elected a Charity of the Year to focus our efforts. Choosing Bluebell Wood was an easy decision. We’ve been aware of its amazing work supporting families for a long time and have done various fundraising for it in the past. This was an opportunity to give something really substantial to a cause that we really believe in.

“At the beginning of 2019 we pledged to raise £5,000, but we more than doubled that and raised around £11,500. The fun and the opportunities it gave us to bring different team members together has only been good for our business.”

In June, 16 of its team became intrepid explorers and set forth at midnight to climb Mount Snowdon on the hospice’s Sunrise on Snowdon fundraiser, raising £2,294.

A month later, two teams rowed in the hospice’s annual Manvers Lake Dragon Boat Race, raising £1,151 in sponsorship. They also held a week of internal fundraisers involving leg-waxing, head-shaving, sponge-throwing, cake-baking, an auction and car-washing antics, bringing in £1,187.67.

Five brave colleagues even did a sponsored sky-dive, raising £2,614, and a Hallowe’en bake sale and Christmas jumper event raised another £250.

In addition, the company gave the hospice £3,500 of free printing, £2,000 of envelopes and colleagues filled 50 hospice collection bags destined for its charity shops.

Bluebell Wood’s corporate fundraiser Julie Hampson commented: “We were proud to be the first charity Bluetree’s staff have given an entire year of fundraising support to and delighted to hear that they have raised £11,500 for us.

“This is what happens when employees are given the chance to work together for a good cause. We have lots of support and encouragement ready to give to other companies who would like us to be their Charity of The Year in 2020.

“We are currently supporting over 300 families of children and young adults with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire and it costs more than £4.8m to keep our doors open.”