The Morrisons ‘Raise a Smile’ partnership with healthcare charity Sue Ryder has come to an end, with the retailer raising £7.2m to support families facing the most difficult times of their lives.
This huge sum of money, a record total for a Morrisons charity partnership, has helped Sue Ryder provide more incredible end of life care through the expansion of its healthcare and support services into people’s homes and local communities.
Holly Spiers, director of hospices and fundraising at Sue Ryder, said: “Our partnership means that specialist teams have been able to reach out beyond our hospices to provide crucial care and support to patients and their families in the comfort of their own homes.
“This incredible achievement has only been possible thanks to the dedication, enthusiasm and generosity of Morrisons colleagues, customers and suppliers, who have been fundraising superheroes. They’ve organised their own fundraising events and participated in a number of innovative and exciting activities we’ve developed to build engagement with over 110,000 colleagues in more than 500 locations across the UK.
“Our focus has been on delivering an amazing partnership and together we’ve done that. We’ve worked at the cutting edge of partnership fundraising and with the experience and insight gained, we’re ready to work with new companies and create even more incredible partnerships that will extend our care services across the UK.”
The shared vision of the partnership was that everyone should be able to receive the best possible care, in a place of their choice, at the end of their lives; with their families supported every step of the way. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Morrisons colleagues, customers and suppliers over the last three years, this vision has become a reality for thousands of people across the UK.
In total, Sue Ryder has provided over 250,000 extra hours of incredible care a year to patients and families thanks to the Raise a Smile partnership; and increased our team of healthcare professionals by more than 100. Services launched thanks to Morrisons funding include Hospice at Home, which involves taking the expert care offered within Sue Ryder hospices into people’s own homes, 24 hours a day. There are also additional community nurse specialists, who offer practical and emotional support to patients and families in their own homes, including some who specifically support patients with neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease.
Sue Ryder’s therapy, bereavement support and social work teams have also increased, bringing the charity’s care to thousands more families. Befriending services have been set up, ensuring nobody is left to face illness all alone, while Sue Ryder’s Online Community (www.sueryder.org/support) is also there to provide support and advice for people coping with loss 24 hours a day. This valuable resource has already helped thousands of people who are coming to terms with bereavement across the UK.
David Scott, head of corporate affairs at Morrisons, said: “Raising £7.2m in just three years is a fantastic achievement and our colleagues really showed their dedication to the cause by leaving no stone unturned to raise funds. I’d like to thank them for all their efforts, as well as our customers who supported the partnership and our suppliers, with whom we worked hand-in-hand to raise money and awareness.
“The new healthcare services being funded by the partnership are ensuring that nobody feels abandoned and alone at a time when they desperately need support. We are incredibly proud to have been involved in a partnership that is making such a lasting difference to thousands of families across the UK.”
From head shaves and tea parties to marathons and ice bucket challenges, Morrisons colleagues raised money for Sue Ryder in a variety of ways. Customers were involved too, buying scratchcards, toys and supporting numerous other fundraising initiatives. Suppliers including Warburtons and Proctor and Gamble also raised money for Sue Ryder by contributing a donation from their items sold in Morrisons.
The end of the Morrisons partnership means Sue Ryder is looking for its next national partner to ensure its nurses, therapists and support workers can continue to care for patients and their families. Sue Ryder’s hospice and neurological care services cost £42.5m a year to run so corporate support is essential for its long-term survival. And the charity’s work is vital, caring for more conditions than any other UK charity and providing the incredible end of life care we would all want for our loved ones. Experienced account managers will work together with any future partner to motivate and inspire colleagues to raise funds; ensure their support is recognised and raise public awareness about shared achievements. Visit www.sueryder.org/partner for more information.