Serial entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den star Theo Phapitis has kicked off this year’s Many Hands Campaign with over 40 companies attending a launch event at the Midland Hotel.
The campaign, which is in its fifth year, encourages north west businesses to support the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity (RMCH Charity), by signing up to a fundraising target of £1,000 each over the next six months. The Charity hit a fundraising target of £50,000 for the campaign last year which raised funds towards the charity’s Helipad Appeal.
The Many Hands Campaign aims to engage SMEs to focus their business initiative, innovation and ingenuity on fundraising for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Paphitis, who has been a firm supporter of the campaign, said: “You’re never too small to help make a difference, and that’s something many businesses don’t realise. If everyone does their bit, whether a small percentage of their time and money, their efforts combined with others can make a big impact and that is something very exciting to be part of.
My businesses Ryman and Robert Dyas are also official partners of Comic Relief and the way the team works together to raise money, have fun, and raise a bit more money is a fantastic thing to see.
“Fund-raising can bring teams closer together, boost productivity and encourage.”
He continues: “I’ve personally been involved in the Many Hands Campaign since it was launched in June 2008. Even at that point in time I knew this was a campaign which had the capability of being a long-term fundraising initiative for the hospital.
“That particular event ran for twelve months and generated £100,000 for The New Children’s Hospital Appeal, which helped provide the latest equipment for diagnosis and treatment for the then-new hospital.
“This year marks the fifth Many Hands Campaign, during which time the competition has generated over £240,000 for the children’s hospital supporting projects like the Helipad Appeal and funding Burns Camps as far as Cumbria.
“It’s been a real privilege to be a part of their success and to witness the wonderful things they’ve helped to achieve.”
Asked about what inspired Paphitis to get involved in the campaign, he said: “Manchester is a very special place to me, as I moved here fresh from Cyprus in 1965, aged six. I support many children’s charities through the Paphitis Charitable Trust, and Many Hands was a charity that ticked all the boxes for me as it gets local businesses involved and supports the exceptional work that Manchester Children’s Hospital does.
“Many Hands proves that no matter how big or small, every contribution is worthwhile. With even a small effort from each business, whether in time, energy or donations, they can achieve great things in Manchester.”
The last four Many Hands campaigns have raised in excess of £230,000 and seen over 175 companies get involved from across the region.
It has seen companies come up with a fundraising initiatives from home-grown festivals at the foot of Snowdon to gruelling cycling events.
Last year’s Many Hands certainly captured people’s imagination and after a hotly contested pitching process, the crown was won by executive head-hunter, Gary Chaplin.
With a team of 16 riders, Chaplin spent 10 hours repeatedly cycling the infamous Cat and Fiddle route, with the total distance covered equating to the height of Mount Everest. His efforts raised £10,000 and earned him the prestigious accolade of being the current Many Hands Champion.
As part of his prize, Paphitis invited Chaplin for a celebratory meal in London at the Shard.
This year’s competition, starting on 4 th April and ending in September, will be no exception when it comes to encouraging businesses to really think outside the box with their fundraising ideas.
With a target of £50,000 to raise from the competition to fund a state-of-the-art piece of X-Ray equipment called the Mini C-Arm, it’s important we get businesses to put in the creativity to good use.
Theo will once again be on our judging panel for the finale event in September and will be joined by Charity Chairman, Maurice Watkins CBE and Business Editor at MEN Media, Shelina Begum.
As it stands, 31 organisations have signed up to take part in the competition; however, with a limit of 50 company places available, there is still time to get involved.
If you or your organisation would like to get involved, please visit our website to register:– fundraising/many-hands- 2017