First Ripon firm joins charity’s guild

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Ripon-based business the Foundation Group has become the first firm from the city to join a corporate partnership scheme for the Harrogate charity Saint Michael’s.

The group has joined the Guild of Patrons programme, a community of business supporters committed to securing the future of the charity that provides care and support to more than 2,000 local people living with terminal illness and bereavement each year.

The group comprises two firms involved in the UK’s financial services sector – Retiring IFA, which brokers the acquisition and sale of IFA businesses, and recruitment specialists Foundation Resourcing.

Managing director Stephen Hagues said: “I am delighted that we have become Ripon’s first company to support the hospice in this way and so help it continue its valuable work. Many people from around Ripon are treated at the hospice so it is only right this community should help raise the funds needed to keep it running. I strongly urge other Ripon firms to consider becoming patrons as well.”

Since its inception in 2007, 31 local, regional and national businesses have got behind the Guild of Patrons scheme, raising more than £465,000 for the charity.

Members make a financial commitment of £5,000 per year for three years to help Saint Michael’s continue to provide its vital services and were a driving force behind the charity’s five year strategy of service development and expansion. Highlights of the service development strategy, achieved 18 months ahead of schedule in March 2011, have included an increase in day therapy provision, a planned respite care bed, an open access bereavement service for children, young people and adults and specialised support for people in their own homes.

More than 80 per cent of Saint Michael’s annual income must be generated through voluntary contributions and fundraising initiatives like the Guild of Patrons.

By becoming members, businesses have an exclusive opportunity to demonstrate corporate social responsibility while also enhancing marketing, communications and company profile and building staff motivation.

Tony Collins, chief executive at Saint Michael’s, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Foundation Group to our growing guild. One in three people in the Ripon area are touched by hospice care, and increasing numbers of people are living longer with chronic illnesses.

”Saint Michael’s is committed to responding to this increasing need – in fact, we are now helping double the numbers of local people that we were in 2007. “By becoming members of the guild, the Foundation Group will play a key role in helping us make a difference to even more people in our area.”

Businesses interested in joining the Guild of Patrons should contact Saint Michael’s on 01423 878 190.