Full name, systemic lupus erythematosus, the condition is thought to affect over 50,000 people in the UK, the vast majority of them female. The body's defence mechanism begins to attack itself through an excess of antibodies in the blood stream causing inflammation and damage in the joints, muscles and other organs.
Professor Peter Maddison of Bangor University and Karen Newby, chair of the North Wales branch of LUPUS UK, visited Redrow’s St David’s Park headquarters at Ewloe, Flintshire, to collect a bumper cheque for more than £24,000. The money was collected by Redrow staff, who participated in numerous activities and organised a series of fund raising events throughout the housebuilder’s 40th anniversary year.
Professor Maddison, patron of Lupus North Wales as well as being professor of musculoskeletal medicine at Bangor, said: “We very much appreciate the huge amount of organisation and work that has gone into this project to raise such a large sum. This money is potentially going to make a huge impact on the quality of care we can give to lupus patients in North Wales.
“There are two major issues relating to lupus: firstly that diagnosis is often delayed and, secondly, that however serious the condition is, every patient with lupus has loss of well-being and poor quality of life because of symptoms such as profound fatigue, which don’t respond very well to drug treatment. It has been our intention to target the Redrow money on these issues.”
Staff raised the cash through a variety of activities, including a family fun day held at St David’s Park, several charity auctions for gifts donated by suppliers – including the opportunity to charter a luxury motor yacht on the Solent – bake days, dress down days, sponsored cycle rides and marathons, raffles and two pub quiz nights. It formed part of a wider, year-long charity challenge, which saw Redrow operations across England and Wales raise a grand total of £438,638 to mark 40 years since the business was founded in North Wales.
Professor Maddison added: “Since Redrow Group’s charity team chose to support us we have considered a range of options for using the money and, now, having seen the size of their donation there is potential for something quite ambitious. For example, there is a realistic opportunity to appoint a specialist health professional, perhaps a Lupus Nurse, to work with the hospital medical teams and GPs across North Wales with a focus on earlier diagnosis and managing the quality of life issues that so affect our patients.”
Various options to use the funding to benefit the maximum number of people across North Wales will be considered over the next few weeks.
Redrow employees chose to raise money for Lupus North Wales after hearing how a colleague’s sister was affected by the disease; as well as raising the cash they used their activities to improve awareness, including a local radio interview. See www.lupusuk.org.uk for more about the condition.
Author: Active PR
Date of issue: February 3, 2015
Caption: Pictured l-r: Dave Bexon, Redrow Group sales & marketing director; Professor Peter Maddison, patron of Lupus North Wales and professor of musculoskeletal medicine, University of Wales, Bangor; Karen Newby, chair of Lupus North Wales; and members of Redrow’s charity committee Elizabeth Wakley, Sheila Iremonger, Bethany Head, Natalie Coyne, Judith Irving, Wendy Martin and Cheryl Baldwin. Established more than 40 years, Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, operating across England and Wales, with a strong emphasis on high quality family housing in prime locations. Its Heritage Collection of family homes combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder at the WhatHouse? Awards 2014, the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year and four consecutive 5* awards in the Home Builder Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey. Redrow also collected the award for best marketing initiative at the 2014 Housebuilder Awards and its ‘My Redrow’ online tool won the overall Customer Engagement category at the 2013 Peer Awards for Excellence.