Charities share in firm's 'incredible' fun day funds
FOUR charities are £50,000 better off after Princess Yachts raised the cash by staging a family fun day.
The Stonehouse-based luxury boat-maker has presented cheques for £12,500 each to Jeremiah's Journey, Woodside Animal Welfare Trust, the Primrose Foundation and St Luke's Hospice.
The cash bonanza came after 5,000 people turned up at the Plymouth yacht firm's fun day in July.
Workers' families were able to tour the factory and take part in auctions, raffles, and money-generating activities such as boat rides.
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And when Princess Yachts match-funded donations from its supplier companies too, the overall total came to an impressive £50,000.
The cash was presented to the grateful charities, at the firm's Newport Street offices.
And it came just a few weeks after Princess Yachts gave £30,000 to St Luke's Hospice at its summer ball – £1,000 for every year of the charity's existence.
Princess Yachts' managing director Chris Gates described the £50,000 raised at the fun day as "an incredible amount".
"Everyone has pulled together, and a big thank you to the staff," he said. "The lads themselves, with the fun day committee, decided the charities.
"And many of our suppliers supported in cash terms and with prizes for raffles. We agreed with them that we would match fund. And we had a charity auction internally and those gifts were donated by suppliers. Then about 5,000 people came to the fun day."
Mr Gates said such staff and families fun days were held every three to four years. He said this year guests were able to view the firm's new operation at the South Yard in Devonport for the first time, including a look around some of the yard's heritage buildings.
"Because of the demand we will do more tours with staff in the coming months," he said.
Lorna Baker, St Luke's Hospice's corporate fundraiser, said: "We couldn't believe that amount could be raised in one day. Everyone at Princess Yachts worked really hard. We were over the moon. The money will be used to fund the hospice, it costs nearly £7million a year and we have to raise £4.5millon of that, the rest comes from the NHS.
"So this means a great deal to us."
Yvette Benn, of the breast cancer care charity The Primrose Foundation, said: "We're so thankful to Princess Yachts for this incredible amount.
"It's likely to go towards a new scanner."
Joanne Anning, of the children's bereavement organisation Jeremiah's Journey, said: "We have just moved premises from Derriford to the Millfields and are looking to expand our clinical team to work with families, so this could not have come at a better time."
Ginny Jones, from Plympton-based Woodside, said: "We are thrilled to bits.
"We care for 200-plus animals on a daily basis, that's 17 species, and the telephone never stops ringing. This will be a tremendous help."
The Herald reported yesterday how the boss of Princess Yachts, Mr Gates reassured its 2,200 staff that job cuts are not on the horizon despite the luxury boat market facing difficult times.