JCB today launches a £1 million appeal for the NSPCC which will directly benefit children in the county which has been the company's base for nearly 63 years.
Money raised by the 'Reaching Out to Children in Staffordshire' appeal will be used to build a centre in the county town of Stafford which will help vulnerable young people at risk of cruelty. It will be an environmentally-friendly, purpose-built centre that will offer all of the NSPCC's specialist services under one roof and will be accessible to every young person across Staffordshire.
Today the appeal, which will run until the end of 2009, was officially launched by Lady Bamford OBE, wife of JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford, at the company's World HQ in Rocester, Staffordshire. Sir Anthony has pledged to double the appeal total to £2 million if the target is met.
Lady Bamford was joined by pupils from the neighbouring Ryecroft Middle School and the JCB 'Charity Champions' who will co-ordinate the various fundraising events at JCB's 11 UK factories. And she revealed that thanks to the enthusiasm of employees across JCB more than £120,000 had already been raised ahead of the official start of the appeal.
Lady Bamford said: “When I started to support the NSPCC over 20 years ago, I wanted to make a difference and getting JCB employees involved in our early appeals meant we were successful in making a really big difference.
“JCB is a global company but the company's heart and roots are in Staffordshire. This appeal will reach out directly to children in this county, the community where most of JCB's employees live and work.
“The appeal is already off to a flying start and I have every confidence that the JCB team will reach the £1 million target to benefit children in Staffordshire.”
Dame Mary Marsh, Director and Chief Executive of NSPCC said: “I'm delighted that JCB and its employees have launched this new fundraising initiative for the NSPCC. This is a very good example of how individuals and organisations can play their part in ending cruelty to children.
“JCB fundraising over the years has given help and protection to many, many vulnerable young people. There is now an urgent need to reach out to children in the county who are at risk of cruelty including physical violence, sexual abuse, long-term neglect and emotional damage.
“Because of JCB's support, the NSPCC has been there for children who needed support, care and counselling and we've been able to respond to the significant challenges faced by children in care in Staffordshire. Their lives will be made safer and better because of the support of JCB employees in this appeal.”
JCB's last major fundraising drive was launched in the Spring of 1999 when the company and its employees embarked on the JCB/NSPCC Digging Deep appeal to support the NSPCC's FULL STOP campaign. The £1 million target was reached in the summer of 2000 and as a result Sir Anthony Bamford honoured a pledge to double the amount raised to £2 million.
In October 2000 Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford handed over a £2 million cheque HRH The Duke of York, Chairman of the NSPCC's Full Stop Appeal, when he visited JCB's World HQ to thank the company and its employees for their efforts.
JCB's links with the NSPCC can be traced back to 1986 when Lady Bamford became involved with the charity, at a time when her three children were young. A fundraising committee was formed involving employees at all levels. In 1988, £250,000 was raised for the Tunstall (Stoke-on-Trent) branch of the charity and in 1995 – JCB's 50th anniversary year – a further £200,000 was collected.
In 2002, JCB donated a further £50,000 to the charity – enough money to help more than 30 victims of child abuse in Staffordshire. The money was raised at a Lakeside Concert at JCB's World HQ and at a corporate Golf Day for JCB dealers and customers.
It was spent helping children who seek therapeutic support from the Newcastle-under-Lyme based Carole House – an NSPCC centre named after Lady Bamford in honour of JCB's extensive support for the charity.
JCB and its employees have made numerous other donations to the NSPCC. Most recently, employees in the company's Hydraulic Business Unit donated £16,000 raised through a lottery that was started as part of the Digging Deep campaign.