Since it became a charity partner in 2002, the pub chain has raised the equivalent of £850,000 every year for cancer support charity CLIC Sargent.
Over the last 14 years, staff and customers have taken part in countless fundraising activities for the charity which provides social, financial, emotional and clinical support for children and young people with cancer – and their families.
Major recent events include a national pub-wide darts competition in March, raising more than £200,000, and the annual ‘Kick for CLIC’ five-a-side tournament, in which 550 teams from pubs around the UK took part, raising more than £460,000. Hundreds of staff are expected to add to the fundraising total on 25 May, when they will be donning fancy hairpieces as part of Wig Wednesday.
The partnership between J D Wetherspoon and CLIC Sargent began when pub chain founder Tim Martin coincidentally sat opposite the then chief executive of the charity on a train. They struck up a conversation – and Tim was inspired to launch a partnership, with an initial target of £500,000. The reaction from staff was overwhelmingly positive, causing the fundraising target to be raised each year.
Wetherspoon’s chairman, Tim Martin, said: “We are extremely proud of our association with CLIC Sargent. Since 2002, our staff and customers have brilliantly supported our fundraising efforts.
“The fact that we have now raised £12 million for such a wonderful charity is thanks to them. We look forward to raising even more money in the future.”
CLIC Sargent’s chief executive, Kate Lee, said: “We are truly blown away by this spectacular fundraising total. The money raised by Wetherspoon helps us to provide vital support for young cancer patients. Hundreds of families will have benefited directly from these funds.
“Wetherspoon is our longest-standing charity partner and has been an incredible support to so many children and young people with cancer. We are so immensely grateful for the fundraising effort put in by staff and customers which has enabled them to reach this amazing total.”