On an overcast but thankfully dry Saturday in April, nine colleagues set off from Cambridge railway station and 6 hours later arrived triumphant, if a little sore, at Ely railway station. Their route took them along the Fen Rivers Way, a mercifully flat but long, 18-mile walk. Predominantly along the rivers Cam and Great Ouse, the pretty route takes in the villages Fen Ditton, Waterbeach and Upware as well as long stretches of fen farmland. The wonderfully named pub, Five Miles From Anywhere, was perfectly placed for a picnic lunch and well-earned hot chocolates were enjoyed at the finish! Well done to the team for completing the challenge and congratulations for raising over £600 for the charities Widowed and Young, and Papyrus.
Hot on the heels of last year’s Sport Relief success (which saw us collectively walk, run, cycle and swim 6,000 miles), we set ourselves the challenge of attending 150 parkruns throughout March. All in aid of Comic Relief, colleagues walked, jogged, ran and volunteered their way to a total 117 events! While we’ve not quite reached the finish line of our challenge, we’ve been thrilled to see both novice and experienced ‘parkrunners’ attend events at more than 20 locations across the UK and in Singapore. Not only that, but through generous donations from colleagues, family and friends, together with bake sales in our Cambridge office and at Coldham’s Common parkrun, we’ve raised over £340.
During March, members of our Medical Affairs Division (MAD) were each given £1 and tasked with raising as much money as possible from this initial investment. In true Costello Medical style, the team got creative, making and selling sweets, cakes and bracelets, laundering our corporate lanyards and car-washing, to name just a few of their entrepreneurial efforts. The £70 raised will support our three nominated charities, as well as CamSight, a Cambridgeshire charity supporting people with low vision and blindness.
During March we also sadly said farewell to ‘Souper Tuesday’. Over the past 5 months, the Multidisciplinary Division together with guest chefs from across the company have cooked up a storm with a host of scrumptious soups. The Division also cemented their status as fundraising aficionados, having raised more than £1,250 in the process, or £2,500 when donations are generously matched by the Company!
To add to our fundraising efforts, four brave members of the Costello team took the plunge and got the chop for charity, losing a total of 45 inches of hair between them! Their locks were donated to The Little Princess Trust, a charity providing free wigs to young people under the age of 24 who have lost their own hair due to illness, including cancer treatment. However, their charitable efforts did not stop there…the team also raised an incredible £610 for Bloodwise, a charity funding research and providing support to improve the lives of blood cancer patients. At just over 6% of our £10,000 target, that’s quite a cut!
In the spirit of our big fundraising year, Costello Medical will also be matching this amount in a shared donation to our three nominated charities (Against Malaria Foundation; Papyrus; and Widowed and Young), meaning a total of five charities have benefited from this fundraiser.
Keep a look out for our next post… we’re not done with fundraising yet!
While much of the money we raise will go towards our three nominated charities (Against Malaria Foundation; Papyrus; and Widowed and Young), colleagues also have the opportunity to support other charities. On each working day throughout December, our Rare Diseases Division (RAD) shared details of a different rare disease charity with the wider company, highlighting the range of organisations providing invaluable support to affected patients and their families. From these, RAD voted collectively to support the Norrie Disease Foundation with their next fundraiser, a Valentine’s Tea Party! The Norrie Disease Foundation promotes vital new research and provides support to families affected by Norrie Disease, a rare genetic condition causing blindness or severe sight impairment from birth.
On Thursday 14th February, RAD hosted an afternoon tea party, complete with sandwiches, scones and even unicorn-themed cakes. Aside from all the tasty goods, which were certainly appreciated by all, the real treat was the amazing £154.50 raised, putting us even closer to our £10,000 target! However, it’s not just the Norrie Disease Foundation that will benefit from RAD’s efforts, as the amount raised will also be matched by a company donation to be shared between our three nominated charities (Against Malaria Foundation; Papyrus; and Widowed and Young).
A massive well done to RAD!
Three months into our year of fundraising, and the total raised stands at £4,701.26, meaning that we are well on our way to achieving our overall target of £10,000. Very generously, all donations up to this target will be matched by the company itself, doubling the potential impact we can have. During December, our Rare Diseases Division flexed their creative muscles to produce a series of Christmas cards, with each having been created by a different member of the Division. The team wowed us with their elegant designs, and sales of the cards raised £181, or £362 once the donations have been matched.
On Wednesday, our Cambridge and London offices came together for our second annual Christmas quiz. The quiz was hosted live from London and featured 17 teams competing across 6 rounds of questions, which tested our knowledge on all things Christmas- and Costello Medical-related. The winning team was ‘The NICE List’ from Cambridge, and the prize for the best team name was snapped up by ‘Sleigh what?’.
Most importantly, the Christmas quiz was accompanied by a fundraising raffle. With a range of brilliant prizes up for grabs, including a coffee machine and a spa day, the raffle raised £746.69, bringing our current total to £1,074.80. As well as providing a fantastic boost to our fundraising total, the event proved a great way to welcome in the start of the holiday season. A huge thank you to everyone involved in organising the quiz and raffle, as well as all those who participated and gave generously.
Stay tuned for updates on all the exciting fundraising activities that will be taking place throughout 2019!
We are proud that all our fundraising efforts will be supporting three fantastic charities – Widowed and Young (WAY), Papyrus and Against Malaria Foundation (AMF). These charities were nominated and selected by our colleagues.
Widowed and Young (WAY) operates across the UK and provides support to those under the age of 50 who have lost a partner. Peer-to-peer support is at the heart of what the charity does with social activities organised for individuals and families. This provides the opportunity to spend time with those who have experienced similar bereavement.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young people – men and women – under the age of 35 in the UK. The charity Papyrus has a vision of a society which speaks openly about suicide and has the resources to help young people who have suicidal thoughts. Papyrus’s mission is to shatter the stigma around suicide and to train people to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.
Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) is our third charity. 100% of the funds they raise through public donations buys long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). These nets are distributed via distribution partners and AMF monitor usage to ensure that they are effectively used. LLINs have been proven as the most effective means of preventing malaria, an infection which kills half a million people every year and 400 million fall ill.
We have an ambitious target to meet in support of these three charities and we are looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Costello Medical is 10! It was a decade ago that Sophie Costello and Richard Short founded the company. They were, and still are, motivated by their enjoyment in the scientific work and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to healthcare. While they had no firm plans for how quickly the company would grow, they were committed to the idea of creating an organisation where people would feel challenged and supported in equal measure, where they would enjoy coming to work and where they could grow their careers to realise their potential.
The desire for Costello Medical to contribute in a way that goes beyond the day to day delivery of our work still runs deep which is why we have chosen to set ourselves the challenge of raising as much money for charity as we can during our tenth year. Now a team of over 120 globally, we are aiming for every single colleague to be involved in these efforts.
We chose our three charities via a company-wide vote and selected Widowed and Young, Against Malaria Foundation and Papyrus.
Lots of ambitious plans are taking shape and we’ll be sharing updates on all the ways that we are raising money over the next twelve months. We hope you will join us on this journey.
November has already seen some inventive fundraising efforts. ‘Souper Tuesday’ involved a team in both Cambridge and London providing lunch of a delicious home-made soup and bread, with all the money raised kick-starting our fundraising.