The Morrisons ‘Raise a Smile’ partnership with Sue Ryder has come to an end having raised £7.2 million to support families facing the most difficult times of their lives. A record total for a Morrisons charity partnership; this has enabled Sue Ryder, a leading UK hospice charity, to expand its end of life care services into people’s homes and local communities.
The shared vision of the partnership was that everyone should be able to receive the best possible care in their final days, in their place of choice. For many people, this is at home. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Morrisons colleagues, customers and suppliers over the last three years, this vision has become a reality for thousands of people across the UK, people like David Pack and his daughter Lorraine.
They were referred to Sue Ryder’s Hospice at Home service in Gloucestershire – launched using funding from Morrisons – shortly after David was told he only had a few weeks left to live. He had fought multiple cancers for six months and wanted to die at home, a last wish which was made possible thanks to Sue Ryder’s 24-hour nursing team.
“The nicest thing and the last thing you can do for someone is to let them die where they want to be, rather than in a hospital bed,” Lorraine said. “But we couldn’t have given my dad the care he received without Sue Ryder’s help. We wanted him to be comfortable, in the place he wanted to be, and that was our priority. We didn’t once feel we were on our own.”
The end of the Morrisons partnership means Sue Ryder is looking for its next national retail partner to ensure its nurses, therapists and support workers can continue to care for patients and their families. Sue Ryder’s hospice and neurological care services cost £42.5 million a year to run and the charity’s work is vital, caring for more conditions than any other UK charity. Sue Ryder organised a range of events which were hugely popular with Morrisons customers and colleagues, including the ‘Morrisons Communi-Tea Party’ and ‘Morrisons to the Moon’ challenge; and they will work with any future partner to deliver a range of activities that will motivate and inspire colleagues, customers and suppliers to raise funds. The charity’s experienced account managers will also help to ensure their support is recognised and raise public awareness about shared achievements.
Charity partnerships benefit businesses too. In the 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study, 74% of respondents said their job was more fulfilling when they had opportunities to make a positive impact at work, with improved employee engagement known to lead to better performance, fewer sick days and longer service. Charitable giving also influences purchasing decisions, with 72% of consumers saying they would recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t (Edelman goodpurpose Study).
“Morrisons colleagues and customers have been fundraising superheroes,” said Holly Spiers, Sue Ryder’s Director of Hospices and Fundraising. “They’ve organised their own fundraising events and participated in a number of innovative and exciting activities we’ve developed to build engagement with over 110,000 colleagues in more than 500 locations across the UK.
“Our focus has been on delivering an amazing partnership and together we’ve done that. We’ve worked at the cutting edge of partnership fundraising and with the experience and insight gained, we’re ready to work with new companies and create even more incredible partnerships that will extend our care services across the UK.”
“This partnership has strengthened Morrisons commitment to social responsibility and we have worked hand-in-hand with some of our major suppliers to raise money and awareness,” added David Scott, Head of Corporate Affairs at Morrisons.
“News of our partnership has also reached millions of people nationwide, promoting the dedication of our colleagues and customers and raising awareness of Sue Ryder’s vital end of life care services.”
New Sue Ryder services launched with funding from Morrisons include Hospice at Home, which takes the expert care offered within Sue Ryder’s hospices into people’s homes, 24 hours a day. Community nurse specialists also offer practical and emotional support to patients and families seven days a week, supporting people with a wide range of illnesses including cancer and motor neurone disease. Sue Ryder’s therapy, bereavement support and social work teams have also increased, bringing the charity’s care to thousands more families.
Befriending services are ensuring nobody is left to face illness all alone, while Sue Ryder’s Online Community (sueryder.org/support) offers support and advice to people coping with loss 24 hours a day. To ensure these services can continue to help people across the UK who are facing a devastating diagnosis or the loss of a loved one, visit sueryder.org/partner.