Gala Coral Group Smashes £1.5m Charity Target

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Leading gaming operator honoured at House of Lords for charity work

Gala Coral Group’s highly successful partnership with Sue Ryder Care was celebrated at a House of Lords reception on Thursday evening (January 27) after it smashed its £1.5million target for the charity.

Sue Ryder Care, which provides expert and compassionate care to people living with conditions including Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke and Huntington’s disease, was selected as Gala Coral Group's chosen charity after taking 50 per cent of the votes in an employee ballot in early 2008.

Over the last two years the Group has pulled together to deliver some truly record-breaking fundraising activities including the Highest Game of Bingo ever played – where a team of 25 Gala Coral Group employees accompanied by a Sue Ryder Care employee trekked to Everest Base Camp to play bingo, raising over £110,000. They even got Gala Coral Group’s directors to go ‘Back to the Floor’ in 2009 and 2010 to host a night at Gala Bingo Woking to raise money for the charity.

Other fundraising initiatives over the last two years that have enabled Sue Ryder Care to continue to liberate lives in its 14 care centres and community-based services across the UK, include Barack Obama’s step-mother Kezia helping the cause during the President’s Inauguration by having a dedicated game on galabingo.com, which raised £20,000.

The fundraising target was initially set at £1million to be reached by the end of 2009. However, due to the fantastic support demonstrated by employees, the Group smashed the target and increased it to £1.5million by December 2010. Each area of the business was set individual targets to hit including galabingo.com who, in addition to ‘Mrs Obama’s Bingo’ set bespoke Sue Ryder Care games where a percentage of the proceeds went to the charity, raising over £75,000.

A weekly fundraising table was also set up within the Group to create friendly rivalry and to guide each club and team’s performance to ensure the target was met.

Gala Bingo Coventry Walsgrave become the highest ever fundraising club in the Group’s history after raising £50k thanks to general manager Gary Colledge and his team’s determination. They organised and carried out numerous activities including bungee jumps, skydives, mammoth cycle rides as well as completing the 3 Peaks Challenge in July 2010.

Dr Colin Morgan, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Internal Communications at Gala Coral Group said: “Raising £1.5m during a recession is a performance in itself. We have never raised so much before for one charity and it is a testament to everyone in the business who got behind such a worthwhile cause. It has been fantastic to work so closely with Sue Ryder Care who do some truly amazing things for those who need extra care and we know they appreciate every single penny.”

Paul Woodward, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, said: “We have been so impressed with Gala Coral’s continued commitment and enthusiasm in raising vital funds for Sue Ryder over the past two years. £1.5million is a fantastic achievement and will go a long way to helping us grow and develop our services to reach more people that need end of life and long-term health and social care.

He continued: “In these uncertain economic times all voluntary income is much needed in order to help us continue to provide care that makes a real difference to people's lives. On behalf of Sue Ryder, my sincere thanks go out to everybody at the Gala Coral Group.”

For more information visit http://www.galabingo.co.uk/ & http://www.suerydercare.org

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Catherine Dobison
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