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And they're off!

East Lancashire Hospice welcomed the 15 businesses who have signed up to their first ever corporate challenge along to the Park Lee Road hospice to launch the six-month contest.

Corporate Banner - Web Cover

The businesses, spanning Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley - the areas covered by the hospice, were invited along to a breakfast meeting where they were greeted by the hospice before being given their fundraising packs.

The 15 companies - including The Partwell Group, Beagle Orthopaedic, Alan Price Automobiles, Tesco Blackburn, Easirent Blackburn, Acorn Fire and Security, Napthens Solicitors, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest Blackburn, DW Sports Gym in Blackburn, Zest Café Lounge in Darwen, James Alpe Sign and Design in Clitheroe, R Briggs and The Crown Inn in Clayton-le-Moors, and Turn It Up in Accrington - have between 1 April and 31 October to raise as much money as possible for the hospice.

All cash raised will help to cover the cost of caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses and supporting their families.

Each of the businesses was given £50 by headline sponsor Organic Insurance to help them get the ball rolling.

The representatives from the companies were also given fundraising hints and tips, raffle prizes and collection tubs to get them started.

Each week there will be a leaderboard of the totals raised. To conclude the six-month challenge, there will be an awards event to thank everyone for their participation and hand out prizes.

Sharon Crymble, Fundraising Manager at East Lancashire Hospice, said: “We are all very excited about our first Corporate Challenge. At the breakfast meeting it was great to hear that everyone is raring to go and all hungry to win.  Many have events and plans already in place and we look forward to hearing about them and offering support as the six months unfold. Good luck to all taking part."