Pandemic impact sees Kohler Mira extend charity partnership with Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder Leckhampton

The devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on palliative, neurological and bereavement charity, Sue Ryder, has led Cheltenham-based Kohler Mira to extend its charity partnership for a second year running – and hopes to raise an ambitious £100,000.

Kohler Mira revealed Sue Ryder as its charity partner in March 2020, just before the pandemic hit.

Following the announcement last year, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice Director, Elise Hoadley, said: “This year is the World Health Organisation’s ‘Year of the Nurse’, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. It’s a poignant year for us to have this support from Kohler Mira, raising vital funds so our Sue Ryder Nurses can continue to be there when it matters.”

And 2020 became poignant for more reasons than anyone could ever have imagined, as the worldwide pandemic hit, changing everything and putting nursing and care teams, like those at Sue Ryder, under huge pressure.

Elise shares, “Everything changed overnight for everyone, but the doctors, nurses, carers and all support services at Sue Ryder have worked tirelessly to ensure people could carry on receiving the end-of-life support they deserve. Despite all the pressures faced, our Sue Ryder staff didn’t stop caring.

“Like many charities, Sue Ryder has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the outbreak, all our shops closed overnight and our fundraising activities had to stop with immediate effect, resulting in a deeply concerning drop in income.

“But through the darkness the response of our staff and supporters has shone through. Over the past year I have really seen how resilient our teams are. They have kept going and shown huge commitment and passion to make sure our care can continue, and they’ve been there for one another too.

“Our supporters have rallied and gone the extra mile to raise funds for us, and it’s been truly humbling to see so many people coming together during one of the hardest times we have faced.

“The news that our friends at Kohler Mira have decided to extend their charity partnership with us for another year comes as a tremendous boost to us all at Sue Ryder.”

Every year, Kohler Mira Associates raise money for a different charity, with the organisation also matching all money raised £1 for £1. For the first time, Kohler Mira has extended its charity partnership across two years, and hopes to raise a substantial sum for the charity.

Craig Baker, Managing Director at Kohler Mira said: “Like Sue Ryder, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the fundraising plans and activities we had in place for 2020. We had hoped to raise £30,000 for Sue Ryder, and despite all the restrictions and limitations our associates raised an impressive £20,000 for the charity.

“We’re committed to supporting Sue Ryder, and after hearing about their initial struggles in accessing adequate PPE we donated hundreds of items of PPE, including face shields manufactured by our own 3D printers, in the first lockdown too.

“We’ve all read and heard about the fantastic work Sue Ryder is doing to keep on being there when it matters. We wanted to continue our support for them for a second year to help that care continue.

“It’s a special year for Kohler Mira, as we celebrate our Centenary year. That’s why we’re planning our most ambitious charity of the year fundraising target to date, as we hope to raise £100,000 for Sue Ryder.”

With such a big target to reach, fundraising is already underway. A team of 28 apprentices completed a virtual 500-mile challenge in February, which with match-funding has raised £3,000.

Joe Marsh, a Business Apprentice, took part in the challenge. He said: “As an Apprentice team, we wanted to organise an event which everyone would be able to participate in. Walking, running and cycling allowed everyone in the team an opportunity to get involved and contribute some miles to our event. Our goal was 500 miles, and we incredibly hit 990 miles for Sue Ryder, whilst also raising £1,500 – an incredible effort from everyone involved!”

With headquarters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Kohler Mira is just a few miles from Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice – one of seven Sue Ryder hospices and palliative care hubs and four Sue Ryder neurological care centres across the UK, giving 2.2 million hours of expert and compassionate care each year.