Access Group raises over £1/4 million for its charity of the year DEBRA

The Access Group has smashed its annual fundraising goal and set a new record by raising £281,488 for its charity of the year, DEBRA. UK charity DEBRA, the national charity supporting those living with genetic skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), was voted for by Access staff to become the company’s charity of the year. DEBRA was brought to The Access Group’s attention through a poignant and personal connection, staff throughout the company became determined supporters after learning that a colleague had tragically lost their son to EB. The collective fundraising activities of Access staff across the year raised a total of £140,744, which The Access Group then matched to bring the company’s total donation for DEBRA to £281,488. Jenny Jackson, Business Development Manager of DEBRA commented: “To see how a company have got behind an employee to turn a tragedy into hope for the future and to enable DEBRA to support other EB sufferers is incredibly inspiring and humbling. It has been a phenomenal year working with The Access Group. From runs to tuck shops, volunteering to abstaining from alcohol – the team at Access have all played a part in helping to #FightEB. “The monies that Access have raised will make a difference long into the future and we cannot thank everyone enough for all they have done this year. The monies will help us achieve our overall goals of supporting more people suffering from EB, researching into the condition and improving quality of life for the EB community.” Throughout Access’s year (June to June) staff raised funds to support the charity through both companywide initiatives and activities in local offices. Gruelling physical challenges included two Access runners in the London Marathon, 49 team members taking on Tough Mudder races, and a team of five Access staff taking part in a ‘Steel Day’ that saw some complete seven 45-minute workouts in a single day. Access Group volunteers helped the DEBRA team to host their 14th annual DEBRA Fight Night, which took place at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel, by selling raffle tickets and spotting bidders in the auction. Also, two teams of The Access Group’s Board members went head to head in a retail challenge, seeing which team could raise the most money in one day working at one of the DEBRA charity shops. Healthy competition between the teams saw a total raised of £4,088.54. Chris Bayne, CEO of Access, commented: “I am incredibly proud of our fundraising activities for DEBRA this year. It is heartening to see the extraordinary efforts our staff have made to raise funds and awareness for a charity that has such a personal connection within our Access family. At Access, everyone can make a difference, and that is evidenced in the tremendous overachievement with regards to our fundraising goal. “We are passionate about giving back, from electing the company Charity of the Year, raising money in many different ways, to having a paid day to help a charity or good cause, everyone has the chance to give back to what's important to them. “The incredible accomplishment of our team this year will continue to inspire us and sets a fantastic benchmark for our fundraising activities in the coming year.”

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