13 January 2015
Multi-award winning television broadcaster UKTV today presented a cheque for £75,000 to COSMIC (Children of St Mary's Intensive Care), its Charity of the Year for 2014.
The grand total, raised by a year-long fundraising campaign, was revealed to COSMIC at UKTV's London office today. On hearing the amount, which smashed the broadcaster's ambitious target of £30,000, Chairman of COSMIC Dr Parviz Habibi said, "this is just incredible, and will make such a huge difference."
In aid of the charity, whose work helps save the lives of critically ill children, UKTV staff organised and partook in a jam-packed calendar of activities including its biggest ever corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, The UKTV Triathlon. Events also included a ticketed COSMIC concert, inter-broadcasters pub quiz and auction hosted by Jamie East, regular cake sales, Wimbledon Tennis strawberries & cream, and loads more.
The UKTV Triathlon, a series of ambitious sporting events, was this year's ultimate fundraiser, with more than half the workforce signing up to take part. The Big Walk covered a 100km stretch completed within 24 hours; The Big Cycle saw 37 cyclists pedal their way across 300 miles from London to Amsterdam in three days, and The Big Swim comprised of a marathon lap relay at the London Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park.
COSMIC supports the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St Mary's Hospital in London. The centre treats hundreds of children each year who are seriously ill, and relies on donations to fund vital research into life-threatening childhood diseases and equipment, provide parent accommodation and support training for medical professionals.
Through fundraising, UKTV employees raised a whopping £37,212 for the charity in 2014. Chief Executive Darren Childs then announced to staff that the business was going to match the amount raised and round it up to £75,000. The total figure marks the biggest single charitable donation UKTV has made since the company launched 22 years ago.
Darren Childs, UKTV's Chief Executive said,
UKTV's typically tenacious fundraisers baked, ran, cycled, swam, bidded and were utterly committed to raising as much as possible for COSMIC throughout the year. I'm incredibly proud of what everyone has achieved and to be able to hand the charity £75,000 on behalf of the company.
COSMIC's Dr Habibi added,
We have been astounded by the enthusiasm, generosity and fundraising efforts of everyone at UKTV. The amount they have raised is just incredible, and will have a significant impact on the lives of critically ill children and their families, allowing us to be there with the latest state of the art equipment, counselling, and emotional and practical support for every child and family. This truly has been a strategic and integrated partnership, with UKTV going above and beyond fundraising to help us with volunteering, communications, and marketing.
COSMIC also today launched its #IAmCosmic viral video, which aims to raise awareness of the charity and support fundraising. Dreamt up by UKTV staff and funded entirely by the broadcaster's Innovation Pot initiative, the video produced by The Project Factory UK is offered as an alternative to the traditional sombre charity video. The campaign aims to bring a few smiles and giggles whilst highlighting the important work of the Children's Intensive Care unit, and COSMIC. The video features Fay Ripley, whose niece was treated on the unit. Watch it here: http://ow.ly/HeDqa.
UKTV's Charity of the Year campaign was a huge success in 2013 also, with staff raising a total of £55,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK. Launched in 2012, UKTV's Charity of the Year campaign is part of the network's CSR strategy. Each year UKTV staff are given the chance to nominate the charities close to their heart and the list is put to a company-wide vote.
UKTV has a characteristically imaginative take on CSR. It encourages staff to contribute to improving its environmental impact, helping the local community and raising funds and awareness for causes it cares about. The company holds fortnightly open door CSR meetings for staff to come and suggest their ideas. UKTV staff support the local MASBRO community centre with activities including Christmas Carols, donating gifts and helping out at the Summer Fete, as well as reading with local children or mentoring teens in the area.
For more information:
Notes to Editors
UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month.
UKTV's eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food - include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £278m, and EBITDA of £67.4m. It invested a record £125m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
Now celebrating its 21st year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.
COSMIC Registered charity 1043697
COSMIC (Children of St Mary's Intensive Care) was founded in 1994 to raise money for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London.
The PICU treats around 500 desperately sick children every year. Today the PICU is an 8 bedded intensive care unit, with 2 high dependency beds, saving the lives of children with life threatening conditions such like toxic shock syndrome, meningitis, meningococcal septicaemia and pneumonia, or trauma.
All the children treated in the PICU are critically ill and have often been transferred to St Mary's PICU, from their local hospital to receive the specialised life-saving care the unit can provide. Without this support it's unlikely they would survive.
COSMIC raises money to fund vital medical equipment, fund research into life threatening childhood illness and to provide support and accommodation for parents.
St Mary's Hospital is part of Imperial College Healthcare, which compromises Hammersmith, Queen Charlottes & Chelsea, St Mary's, Charing Cross, and Western Eye Hospitals.
For more information about COSMIC please contact Vicky Rees on 020 3312 6947 or visit www.cosmiccharity.org.uk
Find us at www.facebook.com/cosmiccharity or #cosmiccharity