Maghera based company, Specialist Group have shared a colossal £73,500 with 19 charitable causes during a presentation held at their headquarters on Friday last week.
The funding was raised by their Christmas Charity event “Project Santa” which welcomed over 3,500 visitors from across the country to Specialist HQ over two days, 7th & 8th December. Patrons were treated to a 2 acre indoor Christmas Wonderland, Santa’s Grotto Experience, as well as an indoor food market and Circus performance, ensuring fun for all the family.
In August 2019 the staff set an ambitious target to raise £50,000 for 10 charities by hosting their annual Christmas event. The initiative received overwhelming support from the local community, supply chain partners and organisations, which resulted in the group exceeding the original target by raising a staggering £73,500 during the course of the Christmas Festivities.
The original ten charities, chosen by the team at Specialist all received cheques of £5,000, they were; The Olive Branch, STEPS, Alzheimer’s Society, Marie Curie, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, Charis, Northlands Addiction Support and Roberta’s Wish, Supporting Chron’s and Colitis Sufferers. A further donation of £5,000 was made to Habitat for Humanity Australia’s Emergency Bush Fire Appeal in response to the devastation suffered over the Christmas period.
Once the original fundraising target was surpassed the company selected an additional 7 charities to receive £2,500, they were; All Lives Are Precious, Foyle Search & Rescue, Welcome Organization, Leonard Cheshire Foundation, De Paul, Brooke Harley, Kangaroo Island and Maghera Cross Community Link. During proceedings, the company also announced a £1,000 sponsorship for local man, Aharon Donaghy who is running the London Marathon this year in aid of Child Bereavement UK.
During the presentation, Managing Director Ciaran O’Hagan shared his thanks to the local community, SG supply chain, event partners and local businesses; “Now in it’s 4th year of operation the Project Santa event continues to grow from strength to strength. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the support that we have received from the local community for the event. To all the staff at SG and our event partners please be very proud of what you have achieved in supporting these brilliant causes. Looking to the future, it is our intention that Project Santa 2020 will be back bigger and better! We plan to run Project Santa 2020 on the weekend of 5th & 6th December. Tickets will go on sale via the usual outlets in September and further details will be announced in due course.”
During the presentation Ciaran welcomed the charities to the stage and representatives shared their insight to the programmes that will be supported by the funding they received. Across the board, the charities shared messages of how their limited funding is under increasing pressure and they emphasized their thanks to the Specialist team and all patrons of Project Santa for their support.