On Tuesday 2nd October Theo judged the Many Hands finals, a local business competition in aid of the Royal Manchester Children’s Charity. Fellow judges included Shelina Begum, Business Editor of Manchester Evening News and Maurice Watkins, Chairman of Many Hands. This year marks the last year for Theo, who has supported the campaign for 10 years and seen 180 businesses pitch fantastic business ideas to raise money for charity.
As part of the campaign, businesses are asked to compete to raise a minimum of £1000 for the charity in 6 months, each year the ideas get more original than the last and this year was no exception! Whittled down from the high number of entries the 4 finalists had to battle it out with a pitch to Theo and fellow judges to clinch first prize.
First up to pitch was Small Business Emporium, who had many strings to its bow to raise the money but the main event was a charity evening where there was live entertainment, DJ, food, an auction and raffle as well as pop-up businesses. One of the small businesses had created a handmade felt mouse hospital which was auctioned and re auctioned again to raise money for the charity. They managed to raise a brilliant total of £2,536 and this continues to rise.Their pitch highlighted that their campaign “all started with a mouse..!”
Next up to the podium was Jones & Co Opticians who fundraised as part of their 9th birthday celebrations. Running a £90 promotion on a special line of glasses, a client appreciation event and a silent auction. The winner received a dinner and drinks with the whole team, a great way to encourage the whole company to get involved in the campaign. In total they raised a huge £4035!
We are Gntlmen, an online retailer of menswear, were next up to pitch to Theo and the judges. For the campaign they created an exclusive shirt called the ‘Humphrey’ shirt. It was a white Oxford shirt with brand logo and the charity mascot, ‘Humphrey’ embroidered onto the left cuff. They retailed the shirt at £40 and all the proceeds went towards their total. Prior to the finals the team had raised £1,440. They also worked alongside singer songwriter Frank Turner who backed the campaign and helped to raise awareness. A great idea which really encorporated the charity right down to the finite detail.
The final business to pitch were Shoot the Moon, a creative agency. The company’s objective was to create a cookbook with recipes from local businesses in Manchester. Their Kickstarter campaign raised £3,581 which was more than enough to cover the costs of the book and also give back to the Charity. A great pitch and one that really involved the local community.
The judges had a very difficult decision to make, with so many great pitches and worthy campaigns. Theo took to the stage to announce the winner and, just like the X Factor, there was a very long pause…and We are Gntlmen were crowned the Many Hands winners for 2018, for a fantastic campaign and brilliant design.
As part of the event Theo took to the stage to do an in conversation with Paul Horrocks, former Daily Mail journalist and Editor of Manchester Evening News. It gave a real incite into the potted history of the life and times of Theo!
As it was Theo’s final year with Many Hands, Maurice presented him an award to recognise his outstanding contribution in support of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.