Retirement housebuilder marks 40th anniversary with £269k donation

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive officer of Royal Voluntary Service, Wayne Sleep, and David Bridges, group sales and marketing director for McCarthy and Stone
Catherine Johnstone, chief executive officer of Royal Voluntary Service, Wayne Sleep, and David Bridges, group sales and marketing director for McCarthy and Stone

A retirement housebuilder is celebrating its 40th anniversary and marking the year by raising more than £250,000 for the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).

McCarthy and Stone’s team in Bedfordshire has helped to raise the funds for the voluntary organisation.

The company announced last year it would be celebrating 40 successful years since opening its first development by partnering with the RVS, a charity which shares the company’s values of helping older people and their families to lead happier, longer and healthier lives.

Staff and employees of McCarthy and Stone’s North London region, which includes age-exclusive retirement developments in Bedfordshire made a significant contribution to the overall fundraising total, with activities such as a 100km cycle ride across the region, raising £13,000.

Throughout its milestone year, employees and homeowners took part in a host of events and activities to raise funds. An initial target of £130,000 was smashed and a cheque for £269,000 was recently handed over to the charity’s ambassador, and much loved dancer and choreographer, Wayne Sleep.

David Bridges, group sales and marketing director for McCarthy and Stone, said: “When it came to commemorating 40 years of enriching lives, it seemed fitting for McCarthy and Stone to show its support for Royal Voluntary Service. Through its network of committed volunteers, the charity makes a real difference to the lives of older people, helping them to stay active and independent for longer; and its fantastic work is therefore very closely aligned to our own aims and company ethos.

“We are extremely grateful to all those who got behind our fundraising efforts; and the support shown by the team in Bedfordshire who helped us to more-than-double our fundraising target. Throughout the year, there were some quite phenomenal fundraising feats from our teams of dedicated employees across the UK. From running the Berlin Marathon and tackling the Three Peaks Challenge to a gruelling Dragon Boat Race and epic cycle rides, so many people pushed themselves to their limits to boost the funds raised for Royal Voluntary Service.”

McCarthy and Stone also received a huge amount of support from its homeowners and the community in Bedfordshire, with people dropping-in to its developments to take part in various activities including Vintage Tea Parties, craft workshops, and choir performances. Suppliers and contractors also backed the regional team’s fundraising efforts, with financial donations and their participation in events and activities.

David aded: “It has been a truly remarkable year in the history of McCarthy and Stone, and we are very proud to be presenting Royal Voluntary Service with a cheque for such a considerable sum.”

Catherine Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer for Royal Voluntary Service, said: “This is a phenomenal fundraising achievement. McCarthy and Stone’s wonderful employees and homeowners have gone to great lengths and worked very hard this past year to raise £269,000 for us. We would like to say a sincere thank you to them all. The funds raised will make a real difference to thousands of lives, helping to support the services we deliver in hospital, at home and in the community.

“We have enjoyed a fantastic partnership with McCarthy and Stone this past year and are very grateful to have been its charity of the year for the 40th anniversary. We possess many shared values and McCarthy and Stone constantly strives to enrich the lives of the people it works with, just as our volunteers do. We look forward to continuing our work with McCarthy and Stone as Royal Voluntary Service celebrates its own milestone – 80 years of inspiring and enabling people to give the gift of voluntary service to help others.”

Royal Voluntary Service ambassador, Wayne Sleep, said: “I’m a firm believer in staying active as you grow older - I certainly have no intention of stopping or slowing down - so I fully support Royal Voluntary Service’ focus on helping older people participate and get the best out of life. It is wonderful to see how McCarthy and Stone shares this ethos, and the difference that can be made when everyone comes together for such a worthwhile and heartfelt cause.”