I’m delighted to be hosting this year’s Checkatrade’s charity Spring Ball in May, with a glamorous evening in store for the guests lucky enough to attend.
The fun will be taking place at Brighton’s Hilton Metropole Hotel on Saturday 20 May, with the event open to everyone. The night’s Hollywood theme will provide the glitz and glamour of the silver screen, complete with a black tie and dress code, an elegant red-carpet reception and a glass of bubbly upon arrival for guests.
There’ll also be cracking contemporary swing-pop on the night from 2014 ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ finalists Jack Pack. The four-piece are renowned for their belting performances that harken back to the days of Sinatra and the Rat Pack – and I for one can’t wait to see them perform live! As well as the top-class entertainment, there’s a quality three-course dinner with wine, a chance to show off your moves on the dancefloor with a disco, alongside a complimentary photo booth and an amazing magician.
Tickets are priced at just £100 per head, and incredibly all monies raised are going towards the Checkatrade Foundation. Proceeds go towards backing an amazing children’s project in Nepal, as well as Dementia UK supporting sufferers up-and-down the country.
We kick-off proceedings at 6.30pm in the Oxford Suite with the drinks reception, and final carriages are at 1am, with car parking available on-site. At the end of the night, there will be discounted B&B rates available at the Hilton Metropole, or there are plenty of alternative options nearby to the venue. Book before 31 March for a discounted rate, a table of 10 for just £900.
It’s going to be a great night in Brighton, I’m looking forward to seeing lots of our members joining us, see you then!
For more information on the event and to purchase your tickets for a special night, visit: springball.checkatrade.com.
Written by Craig Phillips – Checkatrade Ambassador
Checkatrade are very pleased to welcome you to our Charity Spring Ball on Saturday 20th May at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Brighton in aid of our charitable foundation supporting a children’s project in Nepal and Dementia UK.
Prepare for a night of Hollywood Glamour!
The event starts with a red carpet reception, popcorn, arrival drinks, three course dinner, wine and then some live entertainment from our very special guests…..Jack Pack! The Britain’s Got Talent finalists are sure to get everyone up off their seats for an evening full of dancing and fun!
The whole event will be compered by Craig Phillips, our Checkatrade Ambassador and Big Brother 1 winner and there will be plenty to get involved with.
There are also lots of great prizes on offer to be won too.
Tickets are priced at £100 per person but if you book a table of 10 before 31st March, you only pay £900 so get in quick!
The Checkatrade Foundation and Spirit FM have teamed up again and are promoting their annual charity jailbreak challenge on Sunday, 7 May which is launching today! They are encouraging teams of four to enter and raise money for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust. So why not get some friends, family or colleagues together and have some fun while raising money!
The event starts at Fontwell Racecourse near Chichester whereby teams will be asked to dress to impress and will be handcuffed together before boarding a Richardson’s coach to take them to prison. Last year, we had fairies, jailbird chicks, golfers, safari gear, traffic cones, sailors, neon ravers and more!
Teams will then ‘escape’ and be dropped off at a secret and unknown location. You then have to make your way to the ‘hideout’ back at the studios without spending any money or using their mobile phone. The distance is challenging if walking so teams will need to use their wit and powers of persuasion to blag some free transport. Previously, teams travelled back on buses, trains, a boat, quad bikes, motorbikes, classic cars, police & fire vehicles to name a few. Some walked more than others but they all did so well.
All prisoners will also be given a swag bag to help them on their way which will include hints and tips on how to get to the hideout.
Spirit FM will also be presenting live throughout the day, following teams and finding out about your progress. Listeners will be encouraged to give teams some help and phone in when the spot them too! Teams are also advised to use social media too #jailbreak.
The winners will be the first ones back to the ‘hideout’ and prizes are also on offer; Best Route Back, Best Dressed Team, Fastest Team Back and one for the Last Team Back!
It’s just £20 to register and then you are asked to raise £200 per team with all proceeds going to the Checkatrade Foundation which was founded to help those in need, in particular children whether they are abroad, based nationally or closer to home. The Sussex Snowdrop Trusts is a fantastic cause, based locally that provide care at home for children with life threatening illnesses providing nurses and financial help for their families.
Di Levantine, Co-Founder of Snowdrop said ‘we were so delighted to receive so much last year from Checkatrade and it made a huge difference to local families. We were able to take 57 of the families we support out for a family day out to a theme park, which made some wonderful memories. These days are unforgettable for the children, their parents and siblings who also have to cope with so much. It’s the chance to all be together and have fun, something they all really look forward to doing.’
You might remember that in September, some of our brilliant team from our Head and Nottingham Office set off to climb the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
We were delighted to welcome Alison from Chestnut Tree House to our Checkatrade Head Office in Selsey this week and thanks to the teams efforts, we were able to hand over a cheque for £1033 which will be used to support the fantastic work the children’s hospice does to help local families.
Well done to all involved!
You’ll also notice our Christmas Tree in the background. We are selling decorations in aid of Chestnut Tree House too so no doubt we’ll be handing over another cheque again soon…
The Checkatrade Foundation have launched their Christmas Appeal at their head office in Selsey and are supporting local cause, Safe in Sussex this year. They provide domestic abuse awareness and also have two refuges in the county providing accommodation for women and children.
Every women and child who arrives at the refuge receives a welcome pack and we’d love Checkatrade to help make up as many of these as possible! Items needed include:
– Shower gel
– Shampoo and conditioner (for both adults and children)
– Toothbrushes and toothpaste (for both adults and children)
– Liquid soap
– Children’s Book
– Cuddly Toy (new)
If you would like to get involved and help us too then please drop off your donations at;
5-6 Sherrington Mews
Or email [email protected]
The last date for donations is Friday 16th December
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
We were recently nominated for two awards as part of the National Payroll Giving Awards in London. This is all due to our awesome Checkatrade staff who donate to so many worthy causes through their salary.
Two of our Charity Champions, Amber and Becca went along and we won both which is the first time we have done so and we were delighted!
We won Most Innovative and Most Sustained Campaign. A huge thank you to all our fabulous Checkatrade staff! Here at Checkatrade we strive to make a difference and in the past 5 years, due to our generous employees we have donated over £33,000 from payroll giving!
Neil Hardwick has struggled with diabetes since 2005 which unfortunately in 2010 led to him suffering a life threatening stroke. The stroke left Neil disabled with very little movement in his left side and with severe limitations in his legs which meant even a short walk to the shop was a real challenge.
Five years on and after several major operations including one leg being almost completely reconstructed out of steel Neil was able to start a rehabilitation exercise plan to help aid his recovery. Swimming was one of the recommend activities and although his first trip to the pool only saw him swim six lengths in an hour Neil was delighted to be able to exercise free from any pain.
To swim the English Channel! From the 16th January to 22nd January 2017 Neil will attempt to swim 21 miles, the same distance point to point from the UK to France.
The challenge will take place in an indoor pool and has to be completed within 7 days with a minimum of 3 miles (192 lengths) per day with only a five-minute break allowed every mile.
When Neil was asked why he had decided to take on the challenge his reply was easy for him to explain, “I’ve for some reason been lucky enough to be given a new lease of life and mixed with me being a little mad, we came up with the plan after one of my recent training sessions”.
Neil is looking to raise £5,000 for Clipstone Welfare Colts FC
A Clipstone man, Neil has a passion for football and supporting his local community. Clipstone Welfare Colts Football Club has been a significant part of his life and following a very tough few years the club continues to play such an important role in offering sporting opportunities to children between the ages of 6 to 14 years old.
Can you help us reach our target ~ 100 businesses donating a minimum of £50.00 would do it!
There are several ways in which you can donate and support Neil’s remarkable challenge and his chosen charity. Neil’s just giving page is: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/neil-hardwick-1
Donations made by cheque should be made payable to Clipstone Welfare Colts FC and sent to Neil’s Swim the Channel Challenge, Clipstone Welfare, Mansfield Road. Clipstone NG21 9AL.
Cash donations will also be gratefully received.
We held our first Checkatrade Fun Day over the Summer and it was such a brilliant day raising £1000 and all in aid of the project we support in Nepal and the Selsey Lifeboat Station.
The event wouldn’t have been possible without the help from our Charity Champions, a new initiative here at the company and everyone kindly gave up their time to ensure it was a great success. We were invited this week to see the great work they do and founder and CEO, Kevin Byrne and some of the Champions also handed over a cheque for £500. The crew were so pleased and wanted to say a huge thank you to Checkatrade and said the money will be used towards the building of the new station and Lifeboat.
If you would like to get involved in next year’s event, please email [email protected].
We made it! Phew! It’s been 2 weeks since the Checkatrade team conquered Ben Nevis and what an experience it was! From laughter, blood, sweat, tears, bruises, joy, relief… We had it all! Here’s more about our fantastic weekend and challenge in Fort William, Scotland.
At 5:30am, on Friday 16th September our Head Office started their journey! It’s safe to say that we had our priorities straight on this journey…
The traffic was fairly kind to us, many coffee and loo stops were made but by 7:30pm we had made it to our cabin! With a good weather forecast for Saturday, we had a carb-licious dinner and made our way to bed for a (reasonably) early night.
Fast forward to 6am Saturday 17th and we were all up, packing the remainder of our bags full of energy bars, chocolate muffins, water and Lucozade sport. Unofficial chef Matt, one of Checkatrade’s personal trainers and authentic Scotsman, made us all a huge pot of porridge to share to make sure we were fuelled up for the challenge ahead!
By 8am we’d arrive at the Ben Nevis Visitors Centre ready and raring to go. Spirits and motivation were high as we made final preparations (hoodies on, hats on, hiking boots tightened feeling like professionals). Less than 5 minutes into our hike, just after having defeated a small set of wooden steps, we regretted all our layers and coats, hoodies and hats came off!
After sticking together for about an hour, we broke off into smaller groups, setting paces that ensured we all made it up and down safely. The views along the way were encouragement to keep going. With the calves, quads and glutes well engaged we started to take comfort when fellow hikers told us we were doing well and assured us that we were nearly half way/an hour/half hour from the summit. Although often incorrect with their time estimations, their words of encouragement, your donations and the promise of good views from the top kept us going!
“We’ve made it this far, we can’t stop now!”
5 gruelling hours after setting off, the last group made it to the top! All 1345 metres above sea level!
WE MADE IT!!
Due to the chilly weather, groups that had made it up a lot quicker couldn’t stick around at the top for too long so unfortunately we couldn’t get that big group photo at the top but we did snap these…
Now, I’ve been fairly conservative in describing just how challenging this climb was for some of us. Let me assure you that it was no walk in the park… The trail seemed to go on forever, you couldn’t see the summit above the clouds for the majority of the hike and some of us were even commenting on how we couldn’t wait for our knees and ankles to be hurting on the way down, just so we could get a break from the pressure on our lungs, calves, quads and glutes.
That being said, the journey back down was HARDER. We’d been warned of this by some experienced hikers but I don’t think any of us were prepared for the treacherous descent! Despite near perfect weather conditions, the terrain was steep, uncomfortable, unstable and slippery in places. Hips, knees, ankles and feet were hurting, we had a few tumbles and watched other hikers have to be picked up by helicopters due to falling and injuring themselves (including some triathletes who were RUNNING up and down the mountain). Tears were shed, the ground wasn’t getting any closer and The Ben Nevis Inn (at the bottom) never felt so far away!
Despite the pain, fatigue, awkward public toilet stops and beer cravings we all made it safely back down and WOW! What a relief that was. It was then that we all realised a massive sense of achievement and gratitude for having the opportunity to climb the UK’s highest mountain whilst raising money for people who need it more than us. We were spoiled with incredible views and a once in a lifetime experience in Scotland and it’s one that we’ll never forget! After a takeaway and (more than) a few beers we were all able to recover with a good night’s sleep and even had the chance to explore the surrounding areas on Sunday. Monday saw another early morning to get us all home and ready for work the next day. We even detoured to Edinburgh to see the castle!
We want to say a huge, huge thank you to anyone and everyone that has sponsored us and helped us to support Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice and The Checkatrade Foundation, supporting orphanages in Nepal and children rescued from the sex slave trade. We’re ecstatic that we have completely smashed our target and raised £1,512.00 so far! Some of us definitely wouldn’t have completed the climb without your support! Jon, on the other hand, can’t wait to go back up with his friends!
Any last donations will be most gratefully received via our JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/catbennevis
We really cannot get over the support we’ve received as well as how fantastic of an experience and challenge this was. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
DIY SOS have appealed for help from traders in the Isle of Sheppey and the surrounding areas to help rebuild a home for a family with four disabled children.
Kyle Ratcliffe and his husband, Garry have adopted four children, Haydn, Curtis, Isobella and Phoebe, who each have their own complex and life limiting diseases.
After originally fostering the children, the couple chose to adopt them to help keep their family together but their house was completely unsuitable to deal with each child’s needs.
The DIY SOS team were approached by many of the family’s friends and started the mammoth task by knocking down the couple’s home. They will then be returning in October to try and rebuild them a brand new one in 9 days!
If you think you are able to help with this massively worthwhile cause, please email [email protected] with trade details, availability, telephone contact details and a copy of public liability insurance.
You can also read more information about the family and project at; www.kentonline.co.uk