As part of its 225th anniversary celebrations, this year WHSmith has pledged to raise £2 million to be donated to three charities; Cancer Research UK, Mind and National Literacy Trust. As part of this fundraising the WHS High Street Cards Team is running a special Race for Life 5km run on Friday 19 May.
A trio from the WHS High Street greeting card team of Claire Castle (senior buyer greeting cards), Andrew Gunnell, (cards distributor), and Chrissi Bee, (cards distribution admin) are in training for a special WHS Race for Life run to raise money for Cancer Research UK. “None of us are runners so even this little run will be a challenge!” says Claire Castle of the 5km challenge.
The WHS Travel/Funky Pigeon cards team of Rachel Hevicon (greeting and gifting buyer Funky Pigeon) and Travel, Katie Briggs (assistant buyer), Emily Andrews (assistant buyer, cards), Martin Higgins (merchandiser cards and gifts) and Antony Armstrong (distributor cards and gifts) is also running a Race for Life event later in June as part of the retail group’s fundraising challenge.
It’s all part of a larger fundraising effort to raise £2m for three charities: Cancer Research, National Literacy Fund and Mind during WHSmith’s 225th anniversary year. There have already activities around World Cancer Day, with store teams dressing in pink and doing a whole host of fun activities in store, in May the company will mark Mental Health Awareness Week for Mind, and in the autumn, WHSmith will be one of the official partners for Cancer Research’s Stand Up to Cancer campaign.
In September, there is a national Three Peaks challenge event open to WHSmith employees and suppliers, which Claire Castle encourages card publishers and suppliers to join up for. WHS’ ceo Stephen Clarke is leading a team and hopes to be the fastest to complete the challenge (defending his title from last year’s event!).
Claire Castle comments: “As part of the fundraising events, it would be great if we could have some teams from card publishers to join our three peaks event in September. Steve Clarke (CEO) and Phil McNally (commercial director High Street) are leading teams and I know they’d really appreciate any key suppliers getting involved!”
Alongside all this activity, there is a range of exclusive and commemorative products in store, ranging from exclusive fiction titles written by big name authors specially for WHSmith, to commemorative products like teddy bears, jigsaws and canvas bags, and a huge range of charity Christmas cards and calendars.
Hundreds of employees across the UK are taking part in Race for Life events during the summer months, raising money for Cancer Research UK. Many other employees are taking on all sorts of other fundraising challenges, whether cycling 225 miles, doing sponsored walks across Dartmoor, running marathons, or even shaving their hair off for charity!
WHSmith will finish the anniversary year with a charity ball in November.
Sponsor Claire and the team at the Cancer Research fundraising page
Pictured at top: Andrew Gunnell, Chrissi Bee and Claire Castle from the WHS card team are running for charity