Reward raises £30,000 for charities in Manchester and Leeds

A year-long fundraising effort by staff at Reward Finance Group has raised £30,000 to be equally shared between Manchester-based charity Barnabus and Aching Arms in Leeds.

The money raised by Reward will provide much-needed funds to the charities, with Barnabus offering practical support to homeless and vulnerable people living in Manchester and Aching Arms supporting bereaved parents coping with the loss of a baby during pregnancy, at birth or immediately after.

Barnabus was created in 1991 by founder Peter Green who initially walked the streets of Manchester armed only with some sandwiches and a flask of hot coffee. Deeply saddened by the chronic homelessness in the city, he worked with his wife Beryl to establish an organisation which continues to develop by providing direct support to those most in need. Equipping and empowering people to move away from a life on the streets and into a home through its support centre, case workers and tenancy resettlement team.

From dragon boat racing to participating in an organised sleep on the streets as part of the Manchester CEO Sleepout, the team at Reward embarked on a range of fundraising initiatives to achieve its ambitious target for Barnabus.

Reward’s other charity partner, Aching Arms uniquely provides comfort bears to hospitals and hospices, for midwives and nurses to offer to bereaved parents in their care. Each year in the UK around 3,000 babies are stillborn and one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Along with the comfort bears, it also provides a vital support service and community to parents after their loss and currently works with over 170 hospitals in the UK, as well as an increasing number of hospices, support groups and funeral directors. Since its launch as a small grassroots charity back in 2010 by Leanne Turner, Aching Arms has seen demand for its service double in the last 12 months.

Reward hosted its annual charity quiz at Leeds Arena and completed the Leeds 10k Clarion Corporate Challenge to help achieve its fundraising target for Aching Arms.

Carol Price, fundraising manager for Barnabus, commented: “The generous and heartfelt commitment, energy and incredible fundraising support we’ve received from Reward has been a tremendous blessing and encouragement to our continuing and ever-growing work. The money raised ensures that we can continue to offer vital support, so that people can break free from the cycle of homelessness and have hope for the future.”

Mel Barclay, trustee for Aching Arms, commented: “Our 12-month partnership with Reward has been extremely successful. We are very grateful to all the team for the guidance, support and knowledge they have provided and the many physically challenging fundraising events they have hosted. The money raised will support the charity to continue its work in supporting newly bereaved families who experience the loss of their baby before during or shortly after birth.”

Nick Smith, group managing director for Reward, added: “It’s truly heartbreaking to see the scale of homelessness when you walk through the streets of Manchester and also hear about Leanne’s personal story at Aching Arms.

“Working closely with both charities has really opened our eyes to Barnabus’ commitment to helping homeless and vulnerable people and the community and essential services provided by Aching Arms to grieving parents. The team here at Reward worked tirelessly to reach a fundraising target that exceeded our expectations and we’d like to both thank everyone involved and wish the charities all the best for the year ahead.”