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How Checkatrade are helping thousands of people through their charity work
When a freak tornado tore its way through the small town of Selsey, Sussex in January 1998, no one could have guessed that this would lay the foundations for Checkatrade, the largest online resource of trusted tradespeople in the country. The immediate aftermath saw a huge trail of destruction throughout the town, with £10m worth of damage caused. From this, entrepreneur and local businessman Kevin Byrne was inspired to start a brand-new resource of trusted tradespeople, as the devastation had attracted scores of rogue traders to the town.
Fast forward to the present day, and Checkatrade have continued to grow, with the company now generating a whopping £1.5bn every year for UK trades. Checkatrade are not only a household name across the UK when it comes to home improvement, the company is also dedicated to helping others through its charity work.
The company’s values are based upon helping others so it’s fitting that Checkatrade have a large focus on charity work. One of Kevin’s biggest achievements to date is the 12 marathons in 12 months he ran, fundraising for a building project for a local school. Checkatrade themselves donated a site manager and materials and convinced many of their members to give up their time to complete the build. Checkatrade’s charitable contributions were commended winning the ‘Greatest Contribution to Sussex Charity’ award at the Sussex Business Awards.
Checkatrade regularly contribute to a whole host of other charity and fundraising events. Here is just a selection of what they’ve been up to over the last 12 months.
Charity Abseiling, Sunday 11th September 2016
For their biggest fundraising event of the year, Checkatrade took over The Emirates Spinnaker Tower, in Portsmouth for a charity abseil. The colossal structure dwarfs the London Eye and the Blackpool Tower standing at over 560ft. 40 plucky participants took on the daring challenge, among them Big Brother winner and Checkatrade ambassador Craig Phillips.
Craig is adamant the company are more than just a trusted tradespeople resource, saying: “I have worked with Checkatrade for a while now and I am continually impressed, not just by the great service they offer customers. It’s more than helping consumers find a trustworthy tradesperson, I’m impressed by their commitment to raising money and supporting good causes.”
Almost £8,000 was raised for the Lighthouse Foundation, who work to support victims of the 2015 Nepal earthquake, that left thousands either dead or injured, and hundreds of thousands more without a home.
Checkatrade Mad March Mare, 4th March 2017
Taking place at the opposite end of the country, the Checkatrade Mad March Mare, saw competitors take on a 10km obstacle course. Staff from Checkatrade’s offices in Nottingham, Newcastle and West Sussex were present and joined in with the fun!
Money raised went towards the Tynedale Hospice at Home, based in West Northumberland and Ponetland and St Oswald’s Hospice, Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The funds will help provide essential care for those with terminal or life-limiting illnesses.
Checkatrade Trophy Final, 2 April 2017
In 2016, the company broke new ground by becoming the title sponsor of the Football League’s EFL Trophy. The Checkatrade Trophy was a roaring success, culminating in a record-breaking attendance of 74,434 fans at Wembley Stadium to see Coventry City prevail 2-1 over Oxford United in April 2017.
Not only was the day a fantastic footballing spectacle but it also provided the opportunity to raise awareness for a great cause.
When Checkatrade member and landscaper Addam Smith discovered that his close friend and fellow tradesman Keith Ellick had been diagnosed with terminal cancer he formed the charity ‘Band of Builders’ and helped raise almost £60,000 to help Keith put his affairs in order.
Sadly, Keith passed away a few days before he was due to carry the ball out at the final and so Addam and his son George did so on his behalf.
Band of Builders continue to fundraise and are currently hoping to raise £100,000 for Keith’s family which will help them to buy their house from the council and provide them with more stability. Their charitable efforts will also raise money for tradespeople who have found themselves in similar situations to Keith.
Charity Jailbreak, 7 May 2017
In May, Checkatrade again teamed up with radio station Spirit FM to raise funds for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, which provides days out for families whose children suffer from various life-limiting afflictions.
Putting on their annual charity jailbreak competition, participants were left with no phone, no money and only had their brains to rely on during this challenging and fun filled event.
Teams of four were carted off to prison, before having to ‘escape’ the confines by any means they could. From an unknown location teams had to find their way back to the starting point at Fontwell Racecourse, Chichester. A great day was had by all involved, with thousands being raised and plenty of fancy dress fun.
Checkatrade realise how important it is to provide a helping hand to those less fortunate and have a range of fundraising events lined up throughout the year. For more information on any of Checkatrade’s charity events visit www.checkatrade.com
Checkatrade helps combat the UK’s rogue trader problem by continuously vetting and monitoring local tradespeople such as builders, plumbers and electricians as well as service providers. If you’re thinking of having work done in your home and are looking for a reputable tradesperson, please visit www.checkatrade.com