December, 2019
Tenant news

Towngate tenant, Yodel, works with online retailer, Shop Direct to raise £710k for charity

by Julia Ford

We were delighted to read a recent article published by Business Link regarding a project our tenant, Yodel Delivery Network Limited, has been involved with to raise a huge amount of money for charity, going the extra mile and achieving a final figure of £710,000 against a target of £600,000 set 2 years ago. The firm has occupied a 51,000 sq ft industrial property owned by Towngate plc since December 2010, based at Clayton Road, Risely, Warrington. 

Yodel , one of the UK’s largest couriers, has worked closely with Shop Direct on this scheme, which also operates online retailers Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com. They were raising money to support two charities; The Booth Centre, Manchester; and The Whitechapel Centre, Liverpool.

As reported by Business Link, this is the largest donation ever received by the organisations, which provide support for people affected by homelessness, social exclusion and housing poverty in the North West.

During the two-year partnership, colleagues a huge range of fundraising initiatives were organised, including a charity ball featuring pop stars Jason Donovan, Blue and S Club. Forty colleagues took the plunge with sponsored sky dives, while others completed an overnight ‘sleep out’ in the car park of the company’s headquarters in Speke, South Liverpool, and took part in everything from cake sales to 10k runs.

With practical support from Shop Direct’s tech experts, the charities have begun investing the funds in digital inclusion initiatives, including an online advice service for young homeless people, a youth awareness programme to reduce homelessness for future generations, improving Wi-Fi at their centres and creating IT suites used by people of all ages.

The new digital infrastructure has already enabled the charities to host 430 employment and skills training sessions, help 406 people into employment and 315 people to gain qualifications. 

The retailer recently invited organisations that invest in children’s future development to submit their £600,000 digital ideas to become its next charity partner. The business will announce details of the new partnership in early 2020.

Henry Birch, group chief executive at Shop Direct, said: “We’re so proud of the time, energy and digital expertise our colleagues have dedicated to The Booth Centre and The Whitechapel Centre. It’s fantastic to see that the funds raised are already having such a positive impact.”

Amanda Croome, chief executive at The Booth Centre, said: “The support from Shop Direct colleagues over the past two years has been amazing. Not only have they worked so hard to raise such an astonishing amount to help transform people’s lives, but they have also gone above and beyond and shared their valuable skills and expertise, too. We are extremely grateful for their commitment, enthusiasm and support.”

David Carter, chief executive at The Whitechapel Centre, added: “We’re so grateful to everyone at Shop Direct for helping to transform our organisations and the lives of so many vulnerable people across the region. The charities will never be the same again and will benefit from this partnership long into the future. It has been wonderful to work with so many enthusiastic, committed people who have put in a fantastic effort to smash their fundraising target.”

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