Without business support, Eden Valley Hospice would be unable to carry out its vital caring role, as Sarah Millington finds out...

Eden Valley Hospice, which offers care for adults with life-limiting illnesses from North Cumbria, recently received the donation of a new Mini Countryman worth more than £30,000 from Lloyd Motor Group. The gift marked the renewal of a long-standing partnership between the two and is just one example of how business provides a lifeline to the charity.

With a target of raising more than £3 million from fundraising a year, the hospice, which also has a children’s arm, Jigsaw, has built up a network of support. While it doesn’t have a business or corporate club as such, as some charities do, it benefits from contributions from both long-standing more recent allies.

These include McVities, which has held raffles and competitions and recently provided training for a hospice staff member. The team has also volunteered at the Carlisle-based hospice and donated biscuits for coffee mornings and events.

The local Center Parcs at Whinfell Forest is twinned with Jigsaw, thanks to a

national partnership the company has with Together for Short Lives, a charity that links together and raises money for children’s hospices all over the UK. Various fundraising days onsite directly support families locally in Cumbria and, at Christmas, Center Parcs brought in hampers of goodies for staff to thank them for all their hard work. A team at Center Parcs also provided support by taking part in a hospice challenge, Bikes Boats Boots, last year. The event is being held again in May and applications from local businesses are being sought.

Martha Pardoe, relationship fundraiser at the hospice, has the key role of being the point of contact for business. She says that the value of its contribution cannot be overstated. “We need to fundraise more £3 million of the £4.2 million it takes to keep the hospice running. This means that having our local businesses behind us, giving us the support they can in whatever way that may be – is vital to the charity.

“Businesses can help the hospice in unique ways by offering advice and expertise as well as financial support, so we are very thankful to those local businesses who are devoted to support Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, especially throughout the uncertain years we have all faced. Their kindness keeps us running and means we can continue to keep providing the time and deeply personal care to people at the end of their lives, as well as support for their families.”

Supporters range from national organisations like British Gas which, in October, held a volunteer day and painted the fence in the new Jigsaw garden, following this up with a donation of £4,500; to Penrith-based Ast Signs, which has entered multiple teams for Bikes Boats Boots, also providing banners, t-shirts and other promotional material.

Cumbria-based home store Lakeland chose to ‘Pay for a Day’ at Jigsaw last year and have pledged to pay for that day for the next couple of years, while many of the staff at tyre firm Pirelli have signed up to a payroll giving scheme. The variety of ways in which business can help, says Martha, is endless.

“Businesses can support us in a number of different ways, no matter the size or scale of the company,” she says. “A smaller sized business could support us by holding our collection tins in shops or reception areas. Smaller businesses might also be able to offer us discounted or donations of their services or products. We also have many volunteering opportunities that companies might want to get involved with.

“For a larger business, the hospice runs fundraising events every year to raise as many funds as possible which a business may wish to take part in. There is also the opportunity for businesses to sponsor events, getting their name out in the community as well as allowing all the money raised to go straight into our care. A larger business could also look into setting up payroll giving for their employees or choosing the hospice as their charity of the year and fundraising throughout the year.”

She encourages any business that might be able to assist to get in touch. “Any way in which a business can support the hospice, they are directly helping us to care for local people and their families,” she says. “Our fundraising team and I are there to support businesses to raise as much money as possible for the hospice, as well as promoting the good work that the business has done, so do get in touch for a chat if your business would like to support us.”


Every year, in lieu of sending corporate Christmas cards, Dodd & Co accountants in Carlisle make a donation to charities chosen by its staff. Last year they donated £3,000 to The Tom Clarke Foundation, Cumbria Family Support, Food Banks and the Winter Warmth Appeal.

Heidi Marshall, Partner at Dodd & Co, said “We are delighted to be able to support such wonderful charities again this year, despite the difficult job of having to choose between an extensive list of amazing causes! This year’s chosen charities work so hard to support local people and families during some of the most difficult times of their lives. Their service is imperative to the health and survival of our communities, and we hope this year’s donations go some way to support their amazing work.”

As patrons of Carlisle Youth Zone, Dodd & Co also provided their annual donation of selection boxes to the Christmas Party event held for the children of the Youth Zone over the festive period.