Birmingham businesses tackle Leukaemia head on

Blood Cancer Awareness Month (September) has got off to an oar-some start in Birmingham thanks to a record donation from Brindleyplace to Cure Leukaemia.

Earlier this summer, almost 200 city professionals battled it out along the Birmingham and Worcester canal in Chinese longboats at the 17th annual Brindleyplace Dragonboat Race. Beating all previous years, participants – including headline sponsor, Deutsche Bank* – raised a staggering £70,374; enough to fund a specialist research nurse for 18 months.

Each team was required to raise a minimum of £2,500 to compete, but some teams raised substantially more, including Deutsche Bank raising around £20,000 and Matalan raising nearly £14,000 for Cure Leukaemia. Overall £135,340 has been donated to Cure Leukaemia since it was named as Brindleyplace’s chosen charity in 2015. On top of the 2016 record donation, Brindleyplace has now raised over £500,000 from this event since it began 17 years ago – this year reaching a whopping £515,975 raised in total for local charities through the Dragonboat Race.


Alex Perrins, part of the Destination Marketing team at Brindleyplace, said: “We are very proud to organise one of Birmingham’s longest running annual corporate fundraising events and especially delighted to have raised over £500,000 for local charities since 1999. This year, we raised a record £70,374 for Cure Leukaemia and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part, their friends and families, the sponsors and the general public for their generosity.”

The money raised at the event will boost the life-saving work carried out at the Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and across the Midlands. The fundraising will contribute towards the planned £3million expansion of the CCH to establish the Birmingham Institute of Haematology. This development will double the capacity of the world renowned centre meaning more nurses can be employed, more world-first clinical trials can be opened and, crucially, more patients can have access to pioneering therapies that are not currently available through standard care.


Cure Leukaemia’s Head of Corporate Partnerships Jackie Kelly said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part in the Dragonboat Race this year and particularly to those that have raised funds for two consecutive years. It is one of the more fun and unique events in the Birmingham calendar and we have been proud to be the chosen charity for the last two years.

“The funds raised will directly help patients battling this terrible disease, offering hope through ground-breaking clinical trials and ultimately helping save lives in Birmingham and the Midlands.”

Alex continued: “Visiting the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and seeing where the money goes, makes this record figure even more worthwhile. Other charities which benefitted over the last 17 years include Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Cash for Kids, Barnardo’s and Help Harry Help Others. Over 10,000 people work at Brindleyplace every day and we know these are causes that many of Brindleyplace’s employees hold close to their hearts.

“But it doesn’t stop there. We will also be supporting Cure Leukaemia throughout Blood Cancer Awareness Month and, as part of this year’s Chilli Festival, former blood cancer patient and firefighter Adam Joyce will be leading a team of emergency crew and air ambulance paramedics in an endurance-testing Hamster Wheel Challenge from 16 – 18 September in the Brindleyplace bandstand.”

*Participants in this Dragonboat Race include Matalan, Interserve, Vodafone, Hines, CAU, Bilfinger GVA, Click Travel, Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Chinatown Lions, Carillion, The Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee and Cure Leukaemia.

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