Manchester businesses are donating cancelled office Christmas party funds to charity

A new campaign has been launched and it’s urging businesses in Greater Manchester and beyond to donate their cancelled Christmas party budgets to charity.

The #XmasPartyHeroes campaign – which has already raised more than £500,000 in less than a week – is the brainchild of Mark Hawthorn, the CEO of investor Landmark Group, and as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has already caused most businesses to cancel their Christmas parties this year, it is encouraging companies to donate any unused funds to a charity of their choice. 

A number of high-profile national companies have already signed up.

Companies that have pledged money to charities through the campaign so far include Timpson, Property Alliance Group, Urban Splash, FK Group and Barratt Developments – and the commitment is growing.

Charities have also picked up on the idea and are promoting it to their partners too.

Speaking on the launch and the initial success of the campaigh, Mark Hawthorn said: “There will be lots of unspent Christmas party budgets this year and this campaign offers a really simple and effective solution that many businesses may not have considered.  

“I only had the idea a week ago and after making a few calls to sound it out, I’ve been inundated with people wanting to get onboard. 

“The reaction so far shows there is the potential to raise tens of millions of pounds for charity.”

He continued: “With the help of my team, we’ve launched a Xmas Party Heroes website to support the campaign and keep the momentum going. All we ask is that businesses let us know how much they have donated so we can keep a running total and help make a massive difference to those who need it the most.” 

Victoria Russell – Director at Property Alliance Group – added: “Charities need support more than ever in 2020 and Xmas Party Heroes is a great way to raise a significant amount of money and awareness. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit disadvantaged communities the hardest, with increasing numbers of children and young people that would not have previously been identified as vulnerable, now moving into thresholds of higher need.

“Unemployment is increasing, loneliness, food poverty, issues relating to emotional health and wellbeing are all on the rise, which create additional demand and pressure on public services.

“It’s great to see so many businesses getting behind this idea and helping to raise much needed funds.”

Xmas Party Heroes

Adam Farricker, CEO, HideOut Youth Zone, Manchester added: “Whilst local charities and youth services have been hit hard across the country, they have continued to deliver essential services throughout this time, providing critical support when and where needed the most in the heart of our local communities. 

“As a youth work charity in Manchester, HideOut Youth Zone continues to provide young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk do. Professional experienced youth workers take a holistic approach to supporting young people, their families and the wider community, with the aim of tackling existing and emerging inequalities, building resilience and improving life chances.

“We are committed to continuing our work to support the most vulnerable in the lead up to Christmas and are extremely grateful to the donations we have received on the back of this campaign – any donations, large or small, would be gratefully received and can be sent to us directly via our Virgin Giving page.”

Fancy getting involved?

You can find more information about taking part in the campaign through visiting the Xmas Party Heroes website here, and by following @XmasPartyHeroes on Twitter, as well as the #XmasPartyHeroes and #JoinInToHelpOut hashtags.

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