Launched in 2012, UKTV's Charity of the Year is part of the network's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. Each year we put the choice of charity to a company vote on nominations from across UKTV.
The Charity of the Year campaign was a huge success in 2013, with staff raising a total of £55,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK - an average of £250 per head.
The single biggest fundraising event of 2013 saw 27 members of staff embarking on an enormously challenging 300 mile cycle ride from London to Paris in June. It raised £41,000 - the biggest single charitable donation UKTV has made since it launched 21 years ago.
It was a gruelling three days in the saddle but the determined cyclists braved the wind, rain and mud to smash through their target. Setting off on an overcast morning from the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and covering an eye-watering 300 miles, the team endured some challenging hills and shocking weather, battling through each and every stage with true grit and determination to reach their final destination - the Eiffel Tower. One additional hire car, almost 30 punctures, four broken bikes and countless saddle adjustments later, the team reached Paris.
Resident London2Paris blogger and cyclist, Emily Jones, said she would do it all again,
London to Paris is one of the best and physically challenging things I have ever done! The team spirit and support was incredible and this was what powered me all the way to the Eiffel Tower. I will always have great memories of those three days.
Simon Brown, Executive Director, Strategy & Research and London2Paris organiser who, with great calm and his usual sense of humour, kept cyclists and drivers on track throughout the challenge said,
There were some dark moments but despite the dreadful conditions we dragged ourselves up and ploughed on. It was a whirlwind - quite literally at times!
All the details about the 2013 challenge, including photography and the tweets, can be found on the L2P blog here.
As well as sporting challenges across 2013, several events also took place to raise money including a hugely successful Pub Quiz Auction. From weekly ironing services to dinner and tea-making, staff offered up their time and skills and dug deep to raise a phenomenal £8000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, our chosen charity in 2013.
And the excitement doesn't end there. We've begun 2014 by revealing a calendar full of fundraising and fun events; from bringing back the tried and tested Pub Quiz Auction, to a weekly cookie jar, Sausage Sizzle BBQs, Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, Easter Baking Competition, BAFTA Fancy Dress and the ultimate UKTV Triathlon.
Watch this space for more details.