Staff and customers from McColl’s Retail Group (which has over 1315 stores across the UK) have been applauded by the Chief Executive and founder of CRY for their huge fundraising efforts over Halloween 2014
Throughout October, staff fundraising events – as well as the many customers who showed their support to the campaign via in-store donations and by purchasing the special campaign magazine –helped to raise around £173,000 for the TreatCRY initiative.
Alison Cox MBE said; “TreatCRY was a really exciting venture for us when we first launched it with McColl’s last year and we were delighted when the retail group decided to repeat the campaign for a second year running. Yet again, thanks to the commitment of their staff, managers and extremely loyal, local customer-base they were able generate huge awareness for CRY in neighbourhoods and high streets across the UK – as well as a staggering fundraising total”
Every week in the UK, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people (aged 14-35) die suddenly from undiagnosed heart conditions. In 80% of cases, there are no signs or symptoms.
CRY is dedicated to helping reduce this shocking number of deaths through greater awareness, research and its pioneering screening programme – which now tests around 15,000 young people every year.
Thanks to the TreatCRY campaign, £120,000 will be donated to CRY and will be combined with £60,000 from last year’s fundraising to fund a CRY Research Fellowship Grant for Dr Elijah Behr at St George’s, University of London. The Research Fellow will look into sudden cardiac death and its link to genetics, with a specific focus on the ajmaline test which can be used to identify a condition known as Brugada syndrome that can cause young sudden cardiac death. The remaining funds will be donated directly to St George’s to fund other aspects of this research project.
This partnership has a special and poignant significance for McColl’s as its Chairman and CEO, James Lancaster, lost his son Robert to sudden cardiac death in 2007. He was aged just 21. Since his death, the Lancaster family has worked tirelessly to support CRY and for 5 years (2009-2014) James was a valued Trustee of the charity.
Commenting on the money raised, James Lancaster added: “It really is wonderful that we have again raised such a large amount of money for this campaign and the ongoing mission to reduce incidence of young sudden cardiac death. Seeing such a large amount raised through the hard work of colleagues – many of whom organised some fantastic in-store events – and the generosity of McColl’s customers, makes me immensely proud.”
CRY has recently launched a hard-hitting new campaign, featuring a short but shocking 60-second film, tracking the last few minutes before a teenage boy collapses on the rugby pitch. The film can be viewed here