St Catherine’s to benefit from £10,000 lockdown challenge donation

Launched to replace the company’s annual Factory to Festival fundraiser, which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, Leyland Trucks’ charity arm, Helping Hand, instead introduced the socially-distanced programme of events which saw almost 200 participants cycle, run or walk nearly 10,000 miles in aid of local causes.

After finalising its fundraising efforts in July and August, which brought in more than £11,000, Leyland Trucks has opted to donate the majority to St Catherine’s Hospice, which it has partnered with on numerous other charity schemes in the past.

Several team members and volunteers at St Catherine’s Hospice – which helps people facing life-shortening conditions to live in comfort and with independence – participated in the Miles Better Together events, including the moonlight walk and virtual Factory to Festival bike ride. Now, the hospice will use the significant cash injection to support its team through the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.

Emma Jacovelli, head of community engagement at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We have worked together with Leyland Trucks for a long time and our relationship gets stronger with every year that goes by, thanks to the mutually beneficial activities we participate in. For example, 30 staff at Leyland Trucks benefitted from our Wills Week, which helps people be more prepared for the future, and sees solicitors’ will-writing fees being donated directly to our charity. And later this year, hospice staff will join them on their Winter Woolies Walk to raise vital funds during the colder months.

“When we were informed that we’d be receiving £10k of the donations from the Miles Better Together event, we were totally overwhelmed. It was very unexpected, and words cannot describe how much it means to us. Over the last few months, which has seen everybody impacted by something that is completely out of our control, we’ve experienced such generosity and unbelievable levels of kindness. Leyland Trucks has taken that a step further.

“As well as investing some of this incredible donation into the specialist end-of-life care we provide to local people at the hospice and in patients’ own homes, we’ll also be using it to source PPE for our staff and volunteers working at the hospice and out in the community, and for visitors to St Catherine’s.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to Leyland Trucks, and the team’s extended family members who also took part in Miles Better Together, for going above and beyond to make such a difference to our charity every single year, but even more so in 2020.”

Phil Jones, materials manager & chairman of the Leyland Trucks Helping Hand Charitable Trust, said: “St Catherine’s Hospice delivers our local community with an invaluable service, taking care of the most vulnerable individuals at the hardest time of their lives. Our business has long been engrained with theirs; we share values, we share a love for the local area, and we share a dedication to use events like this to bring the best out in people.

“The response we had to Miles Better Together was a real surprise, and saw people push themselves out of their comfort zones, but it was nothing compared to the hard work carried out every single day by the St Catherine’s team.

“There is no more worthy recipient of this donation, and we are pleased it will be used to make life easier for so many, at such a difficult time.”