Festival Place team make a big difference

The team at Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke have marked the success of a two-year fundraising campaign for Ark Cancer Centre Charity with the presentation of a very large cheque. The actual amount raised – £20,445.01 – certainly merited the size of the big cheque that was handed to Trustee Merv Rees by Centre Director Steven Connolly and his team.

During 2014 and 2015, the 100-strong staff in Festival Place adopted us as their Charity of the Year and got involved in various fundraising events and challenges to support the charity’s mission to raise £5million towards a unique local cancer treatment centre.

Some of the team really reached for the sky to help the good cause as Jo Lush, Sean Taylor, Sarah Killingback and Ieva Bajorinaite took part in a fundraising skydive which raised nearly £1,200.

Other employees kept their feet on the ground and pulled in the pounds by piling on the miles through a sponsored running, cycling and rowing challenge.

And among the other fundraising initiatives, the award-winning shopping centre hosted two events where members of the UK Garrison – one of the foremost Star Wars costuming groups in the country – were joined by Ark Cancer Centre Charity supporters for fundraising sessions that raised more than £2,500.

Mr Connolly said: “This has been a great team effort and everyone at Festival Place is delighted to have raised such a significant sum for such a good cause. My team and I will continue to follow the progress of Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s fundraising campaign and the cancer treatment centre project with interest.”

Last September, Festival Place installed a specially-branded collection box in the centre as part of its support for the charity, and this will remain in place.

Mr Rees thanked the Festival Place team for their terrific fundraising, and updated them on the progress of the £5m appeal, which recently passed the £1m milestone.

Mr Rees said: “You have made a significant contribution to the campaign to raise awareness of, and funds for, Ark Cancer Centre Charity, and it is public support such as this which is making a telling difference to the progress of the fundraising appeal and the cancer treatment centre campaign. It is priceless.”