Each year in May, staff at Millbank nominate a charity to support over the next year through our monthly dress down days and other activities.
As we approach our next cycle of nominated charities, let’s take a look at what we’ve been supporting and the great work each charity has done in the past 12 months.
Fundraising at Millbank
The last Friday of each month is dress down day in our office, where staff pay a contribution in exchange for dressing down to casual clothing for the day. We’ve raised over £500 this year through the dress down days. This will be split evenly between our two charities this year.
We also took part in “Go Yellow Friday” on 23rd June, where our staff dressed in yellow and organised a bake sale, raising a total of £120 for St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice.
In August, staff member Alex McConnell took part in a charity skydive in aid of Huntington’s Disease Association (with his fiancée and 82-year-old grandmother also jumping). With the help of family, friends and colleagues from Millbank, the daring skydivers raised close to £2,000 in total for HDA.
St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice
St Luke’s provides palliative care to local people, supporting them in ways which go beyond the scope and funding of the NHS. Last year they supported over 1,000 local people via end of life care on their ward through to grief counselling and helping patients return to work.
It’s been a big year for St Luke’s, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary. The hospice first opened its doors on 7th March 1988 and since then has significantly expanded its end of life care services, touching the lives of many in the area, including Millbank staff past and present.
This Saturday 24th March, St Luke’s will present a special “Strictly Learn to Dance” event live in Crewe Hall. In this fundraising dinner event, local individuals from the public sector and business world will compete to perform the best dance routine learnt from scratch over the past ten weeks. Click here for more information.
Huntington’s Disease Association
Huntington’s Disease Association supports those affected by Huntington’s Disease, a deadly neurodegenerative disease that typically begins showing symptoms between age 30-50. Sufferers typically survive 15-20 years from diagnosis of their initial symptoms, which start as changes in mood and jerky movements before progressing to inability to move, swallow or think.
It’s been a landmark year for the global Huntington’s Disease community. On December 11th 2017 the results of a significant trial of the drug IONIS-HTTRx were hailed by experts as the biggest breakthrough in fighting neurodegenerative diseases in 50 years. Not only was the drug proven to be safe, but for the first time in humans, the toxic protein which causes the disease was shown to be reduced by the treatments.
This is the first real glimpse of hope for a cure to this devastating genetic disease, whose sufferers have a 50/50 chance of passing it down to their children. Read more about the news here.
HDA is involved in many events throughout the year to raise funds for research and care, raise awareness, and support families affected by HD. Find out more here.
Continuing to support charities in 2018-2019
It’s been an honour to support St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice and Huntington’s Disease Association this past year. This May we will be voting on a new charity we’d like to support. Watch this space for a public announcement of which charity we nominate.