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CDS names Candlelighters as 2021 charity – and kicks off fundraising with £5,500 donation

Yorkshire-headquartered strategic communications agency CDS has started the New Year on a positive note, donating over £5,500 to Candlelighters.

Having supported the cause – which helps families facing children’s cancer in Yorkshire – throughout 2020, the firm has committed to another 12 months of fundraising, while also being named as ‘company of the month’ by the charity in December.

Last year’s main event saw CDS business analyst, John Waters, tackle his own version of the National Three Peaks Challenge, climbing a trio of staircases in his home, 360 times. Drumming up £1,250 for his efforts, CDS then topped up the total by a further £1,000.

The Leeds-based firm’s donations didn’t stop there. Having moved into its new, Riverside House HQ in late 2020, and committed to making a positive difference to society, CDS donated 100% of the sale of its now-redundant office furniture to the cause, alongside its annual Christmas decoration budget of £800.

Elaborating on the successful fundraising activities, Paul Meersman, head of marketing, explained: “Our colleagues help us to choose which organisation to support each year – with St George’s Crypt being the beneficiary of choice in 2019.

“It goes without saying that it’s been a tough year for everyone – but it’s also brought home just how much we must maintain our support for those who need it the most. That’s why we’re choosing to help Candlelighters for another year, before selecting a new cause in 2022.

“It’s always uplifting to see people rallying together in aid of such a worthwhile cause. We’re especially grateful to the CDS team for getting stuck in and all those who so generously donated.”

John Waters at CDS added: “The pandemic means that individuals throughout the UK are facing challenges like never before, and for the families who have been affected by childhood cancer, COVID-19 has made life more difficult than ever. Such conditions heighten the emotional, practical, and financial burden that these households already face.

“The adapted services Candlelighters introduced cost the charity approximately £525,000 in 2020. This included increased financial help, plus new virtual ways of delivering emotional and practical support.”

Emily Wragg, CEO of Candlelighters said: “We are so grateful to everyone at CDS for their generous support throughout 2020. The money raised could fund talking therapy sessions for children for approximately six months – something which is vital to enabling those children affected by childhood cancer to process their experiences and express their feelings. This can help to reduce the long-term emotional impact on the child’s mental health.”

Gina Trotter, corporate partnerships executive at Candlelighters, concluded: “To have raised £5,780 in what was such a difficult year is truly a fantastic achievement – and one which means so much to us as well as the young people we work with. It is firms such as CDS which will really help organisations like ours to make it through this difficult time.”

Other fundraising activities included an Easter raffle, a Smarties challenge and Movember, which yielded £325, £465, and £1,300 respectively.

Candlelighters exists to fight the disease and improve treatment, while enhancing the experience of young patients living through such extraordinary circumstances.