030524 L to R Paul Holmes Steph Harrison Helen Berriman and Julie Wick

Yorkshire garden centre group smashes its fundraising target for its Charity of the Year

The team at Yorkshire Garden Centres is celebrating after raising over £24,000 for its 2023 Charity of the Year, Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The teams at Yorkshire Garden Centres’ four sites at Tong, Tingley, Otley and Bingley had aimed to raise £19,000 for the independent charity that relies solely on donations to provide its lifesaving rapid response emergency service but exceeded their target by over 27% to raise £24,253.

The Charity of the Year fundraising is managed by a committee led by the People and Culture team. YGC’s People and Culture’s Sustainability Lead, Steph Harrison said: “It costs Yorkshire Air Ambulance £19,000 every single day to keep its two helicopters in the sky and saving lives across Yorkshire. Our fundraising has not only covered one full day of flying but has also covered one extra mission which is absolutely fantastic. Thanks to our fabulous team, customers and supporters for helping us to make this possible.”

Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s regional fundraiser for West Yorkshire, Helen Berriman is delighted with Yorkshire Garden Centre’s donation: “All at the Yorkshire Air Ambulance would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for Yorkshire Garden Centres for their amazing contribution to the charity over their last 12 months. From bucket collections in the centres and hosting our recycling banks to employees of the centre braving our challenge events, the team have been an invaluable support.

At the start of the year their target of £19,000.00, the cost of a day’s service for the charity, seemed a scary task to some however, their willingness to try new things like the Grinch parties in Grasshoppers, they have smashed their target, raising a remarkable sum for our charity of over £24k. This generous donation will play a significant role in enabling Yorkshire Air Ambulance to continue its life-saving missions across the region.”

Since Tong Garden Centre was acquired in 2015, the team and supporters have raised over £80,000 for charity. Previous beneficiaries of the Charity of the Year initiative include Forget Me Not children’s hospice, Luke’s Lads, Butterflies Mental Health, The Cellar Trust, Candlelighters and National Literacy Trust. In addition, the team has supported hundreds of smaller charities in the local community through its Kindness Pot initiatives.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s two Airbus H145 D3 helicopters are based at RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk and Nostell ASU, Wakefield. Due to the location of the airbases, its crew can reach 90% of Yorkshire’s population within 20 minutes.