JCB’s Royal Visit
A Phenomenal Sum
Staff from the Rocester-based digger giant, JCB, recently embarked on a fantastically generous fundraising effort to raise £1,000,000 for the NSPCC, as part of a campaign they named the Reaching Out to Children in Staffordshire appeal. In the spirit of benevolence, the company chairman, Lord Bamford, inspired by his employees, pledged to double the sum if they could meet their target – and that’s exactly what they did.
A Royal Visit
The £2,000,000 cheque was handed over to the charity’s royal patroness, the Countess of Wessex, by Lady Bamford OBE, a long-time advocate of the NSPCC, when the countess visited JCB World Headquarters to personally thank the dozens of employees who made the donation possible
The countess toured the Story of JCB exhibition as part of her visit, and was introduced to more than 20 employees. Among these staff members were three who this year join Lord Bamford in celebrating 50 years’ service with the company. The royal countess then attended a reception where she was introduced to the scores of JCB employees who had contributed to the company’s success in meeting its £1,000,000 target.
The money pledged to the charity was raised through a variety of inspired ideas. Employees Michael Gregory and Jan Farmer, of JCB Insurance, raised money with a high-flying fund-raising scheme – leaping from a plane at a height of 10,000 feet. Their endeavour raised £2,500 for the appeal.
Making a Difference
A large portion of the proceeds has been put towards the purchase of a service centre for the charity in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The centre provides a range of services for children at risk of harm or abuse. Known as Carole House, in honour of JCB and Lady Bamford’s long-term support of the NSPCC over more than 30 years, the facility was officially opened by the countess earlier in the day.
JCB’s support of the NSPCC began in 1986, when Lady Bamford became involved. Deborah Chandos-Hall, the head of NSPCC’s fundraising efforts in the midlands, praised their long-time patron and patroness: ‘We have been completely overwhelmed by the tenacity and commitment shown by Lord and Lady Bamford, JCB and its employees, in raising such a phenomenal sum of money. Every pound makes a difference, but £2,000,000 is a dream come true, and a sum of this magnitude makes a significant impact on how we can reach out to the children who need us.
“We are extremely grateful to each and every person who has supported this appeal; although they may never meet the children in Staffordshire they are helping, I sincerely hope they have some sense of what a powerful thing they have done.”