Candlelighters named as Sky Betting & Gaming Charity of the Year

Emotions ran high when Sky Betting & Gaming’s Chloe Cross met Candlelighters’s Brian Curran to reveal the news that the Leeds based charity which supports families of children with cancer, has been named as Sky Betting & Gaming’s Charity of the Year for 2018. 

With plans to raise thousands of pounds for families in Yorkshire affected by cancer, Sky Betting & Gaming will offer Candlelighters a special focus from their community engagement, volunteering and fundraising activities throughout the year to help them bring light and hope to families affected by cancer.

Candlelighters was one of six charities shortlisted, with runners up; The Leeds Rhinos Foundation, Macmillan UK, Retired Greyhound Trust, Mind and SSAFA – The armed forces charity, each securing a £500 donation. 

The charity was put forward by Sky Betting & Gaming Receptionist, Chloe Cross, who cried tears of joy when she was able to deliver the news to Candlelighters that colleagues had overwhelmingly chosen to support them. Chloe made the pitch on behalf of her friend whose 18 month old son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer affecting mostly children under 5. Chloe has previously been involved in pioneering Sky Betting & Gaming’s first Children’s toy bank for young cancer patients based at the Leeds General Infirmary. Chloe said, “ Candleighters provided support for my friend and her family when they needed it most and it is truly amazing to be able to bring the charity this gift in return - a partnership worth thousands of pounds. I’m so grateful to everyone who voted for this special cause and look forward to our year of fundraising.”

Fiona Barker, Sky Betting & Gaming’s Community Partnership Manager, said, “This is the third year of competitive employee pitches on behalf of some of our favourite charities and I think what has captured people’s hearts - and votes - with Candlelighters, is the opportunity to give back to a local charity that has been providing both emotional and practical support to Yorkshire families for over forty years.”

The new annual partnership follows an impressive twelve months which saw Sky Betting & Gaming employees raise over £65,000 for The Give a Duck Foundation, the grass roots children’s cancer therapy programme. The charity, which began its journey in the Leeds General Infirmary, ensures that every child suffering with cancer in the UK has a chemo duck so they can be shown by a specially trained play therapist what to expect when they start their cancer-fighting treatment.

A delighted Brian Curran, Corporate Fundraiser at Candelighters added: “ Everyone at Candlelighters is thrilled to be have been chosen as Sky Betting & Gaming’s charity partner in 2018. It is particularly poignant that we were nominated by someone whose friend is receiving our support. Our role is to make life a little easier for children with cancer and their families who are going through the most challenging of times.”

Events planned for 2018 include a special Yorkshire Day Three Peak Challenge, Tough Mudder, Leeds and Sheffield 10k, company talent shows and a charity gala ball.