UKTV logoOver half of UKTV’s workforce has signed up for triathlon in aid of COSMIC which is the broadcasters chosen charity of the year.

Multi-award winning television broadcaster UKTV has announced its biggest ever fundraising initiative – a triathlon in aid of COSMIC (Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care), its Charity of the Year for 2014.

We’re delighted to be partnering with COSMIC as our Charity of the Year for 2014. It’s very motivating for all of us at UKTV to support a cause that is close to our hearts. We are aiming to beat last year’s amazing achievement and we’re looking forward to an action-packed year of fundraising initiatives to help such a worthwhile charity. -Julia Jordan, UKTV’s Executive Director Business & Operations

The UKTV Triathlon, which is made up of cycling, walking and swimming events, spread across several months, has already attracted over 100 members of staff to sign up, more than half the workforce.

COSMIC, which was democratically elected UKTV’s Charity of the Year for 2014, supports the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St Mary’s Hospital in London which treats hundreds of children each year who are seriously ill. COSMIC relies on donations to fund vital research into life-threatening childhood diseases and equipment, provide parent accommodation and support training for medical professionals.

Launched in 2012, UKTV’s Charity of the Year campaign is part of the network’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. Each year UKTV staff are given the chance to nominate the charities close to their heart and the list is put to a company-wide vote.

UKTV, has kicked off 2014’s campaign by revealing a calendar full of fundraising and fun events; from the tried and tested Pub Quiz Auction, which raised £8000 in 2013, to a weekly cookie jar, Sausage Sizzle BBQs, Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, Easter Baking Competition, BAFTA Fancy Dress and Wimbledon Strawberries & Cream.

The UKTV Triathlon promises to be this year’s ultimate fundraising initiative. The Big Walk will cover a 100km stretch from Putney to Henley, to be completed within 24 hours; The Big Cycle will see 37 cyclists, including CEO Darren Childs, pedalling their way across 300 miles from London to Amsterdam in three days, and The Big Swim will comprise a marathon lap relay involving swimmers of all abilities.

The Charity of the Year campaign was a huge success in 2013, with staff raising a total of £55,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, an average of £250 per head. In June, 27 members of staff embarked on an enormously challenging 300 mile bike ride from London to Paris, which raised £41,000 – the biggest single charitable donation UKTV has made since it launched 21 years ago.

We are thrilled to be chosen as UKTV’s charity of the year 2014. The crucial funds raised from the partnership will help our dedicated team to treat hundreds of children with life threatening conditions and ensure that we can provide vital support to parents and guardians at one of the most stressful times in their lives. Everyone at COSMIC is very excited about working together with UKTV to make a valuable difference to our patients and their families. -Dr Parviz Habibi, Chairman of COSMIC

UKTV has a characteristically imaginative take on CSR. It encourages staff to contribute to improving its environmental impact, helping the local community and raising funds and awareness for causes it cares about. The company holds fortnightly open door CSR meetings for staff to come and suggest their ideas the broadcaster notes.

UKTV, which was awarded recognition for its high staff engagement and positive working culture by Best Companies last year, also supports the local MASBRO community centre with activities including Christmas Carols, donating gifts and helping out at the Summer Fete. UKTV staff members regularly read with local children or mentor teens in the area.

In May 2013, UKTV was awarded the Gold Government Quality Mark by Workplace Giving UK for its successful payroll giving scheme, which allows staff to make monthly donations directly from their pay packets to any charity of their choice. With over 50 staff donating in this way, thousands of pounds have been raised. For 2014, UKTV aims to double the uptake and achieve Platinum status. The broadcaster was also awarded Highly Commended at the National Payroll Giving Awards 2013 for ‘best relaunch of an existing scheme’. – UKTV

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