When you see a company’s logo on St Luke’s promotional materials – whether it’s a Tour de Moor tee-shirt, an Open Gardens brochure or a Neon Midnight Walk poster – what does it mean to you?

It would be easy to think the answer is simple. A business would only sponsor us and lend its logo if it boosted its own profits, right? Well, not exactly! While the bottom line has to be a crucial consideration in any business decision, from talking to the companies who get behind our charity through corporate sponsorship we know there’s more to their motives than you might think.

As well as citing increased profile and an upsurge in customers as a result of their involvement, what drives them is the pride they feel in being associated with such an outstanding local organisation; the urge to give something back to the charity that has cared for many people close to their staff and clients, and the swell of team spirit that working with us helps spread throughout their workforce.

Portcullis Legals sponsor our Open Gardens scheme, which raises vital funds. The company’s Chief Executive Trevor Worth said: “We’re a Plymouth firm with many local clients and as a charity here St Luke’s is iconic. It’s in our DNA because it touches many of our lives and those of our partners, so it’s important that in the round we provide this support.”

Many of the companies who get involved choose to give long-term support to St Luke’s by sponsoring the same event over consecutive years, recognising the momentum this helps build. One such company, Nash & Co Solicitors, has sponsored our Neon Midnight Walk for three years.

The company is quite literally ‘walking the talk’, too, with a big group of Nash & Co ladies joining together for the event on 21 July. Marketing Manager Dave Briggs said: “It’s something that helps bring our staff together and is a bit more fun rather than them doing it individually, and it helps drive up their enthusiasm and engagement in raising money for St Luke’s.”

Another long-term sponsor is IU Energy, who back our annual Men’s Day Out. Chief Executive Duncan Banks said: “Sponsoring St Luke’s ticks a lot of boxes for us. The charity services the community, and it’s a great team-building exercise for us as so many of our staff love taking part in the event. We raised over £86,000 for last year, and we’ve signed up for the next three years. Ultimately, it’s got to be one of the most fundamental corporate social responsibility activities we undertake as a business.”

So there you have it. When businesses work with St Luke’s, it’s definitely a case of both head and heart. Learn more how your business can benefit from a partnership with St Luke’s.

Excitement is building about Elmer the Elephant and his friends trooping into Plymouth for Elmer’s Big Parade next summer, giving our city a mammoth boost that will benefit us all.

The enchanting trail across Plymouth will feature 40 bright and unique elephant sculptures each painted by a talented emerging or established artist. Brought about in partnership between St Luke’s, Andersen Press and Wild in Art, the Parade is set to attract over 200,000 visitors to the city and its surrounding areas – that’s more than the annual Firework Championships, making it Devon and Cornwall’s biggest mass-participation event for 2019.

On average, trails such as this draw an extra 30 per cent footfall to shops and visitor attractions, and it’s estimated that ours will boost Plymouth’s economy by £5 million. Not only that, the increased profile will help raise awareness of our city’s creative community and all manner of businesses big and small.

Here at St Luke’s, we’re speaking to companies about getting behind our charity and this amazing opportunity for our city by sponsoring one of our elephant sculptures, which will eventually be auctioned off in aid of us when the Parade closes. Recently, we were delighted to welcome accountants PKF Francis Clark on board, the firm having recognised the potential to make a difference to our patients and their families while also boosting Plymouth as a whole.

Duncan Leslie, Partner at PKF Francis Clark, said: “We are delighted to support Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth in support of St Luke’s, who do such wonderful work caring for the families of the city affected by life-limiting illness. We look forward to tracking down our Elmer around the streets of Plymouth soon!”

The opportunity to be a sponsor is an exciting way to be involved in a major tourist attraction and be part of Plymouth’s portfolio of events for 2019. So, if there’s anyone in your networks who might welcome getting involved in this way, please help us spread the word.

Likewise, if you know an artist who’d like to get on board and use their talent to paint one of our lovely elephants, or you’re aware of a school or youth group who could benefit from being part of the trail’s education programme, we’d appreciate your help. Please put them in touch with Emma Milford, Project Manager for Elmer’s Big Parade 2019, on 01752 964429 or at emilford@stlukes-hospice.org.uk

Hot and sunny with hundreds of smiling faces, 22 May 2018 was definitely a day to remember and cherish – and not just for HRH Prince Charles in whose honour a special garden party was thrown at Buckingham Palace.

There to enjoy the event, which marked his 70th birthday this November, were five representatives of St Luke’s, one of the charities selected to attend the prestigious occasion because they are close to the heart of the Prince. Members of staff Frankie Dee, Carolyn Taylor and Anne Adams, and volunteers Dazzle Tighe and Leland Johnston, were nominated by managers to attend.

Not only did their selection mean a lot to them, they were able to share together the excitement of being part of the special celebration.

Speaking about the day, Anne, who has worked at St Luke’s for nearly 27 years, said, “Walking up to the Palace gates felt a bit surreal. The atmosphere was wonderful and it was lovely to be among the many different types of charities there.

“It was so nice to dress up for an occasion like this that you’re probably not going to get the opportunity to go to again. We got to see parts of the Palace not many get to see, and even caught a few glimpses of Prince Harry and Meghan in the distance.

“It was extremely warm and we were on our feet a lot, but nothing could take away from what an amazing day it was.”

Dazzle, who has been volunteering with us for ten years – on reception at Turnchapel and as a befriender – said, “It was an honour to be one of those chosen to attend, and very exciting.

“I think everyone there felt special, and the atmosphere was great. We were so well looked after by Palace staff, and we were close enough to see Charles and Camilla. The day was made even more memorable for me by my son being there, too. He was representing Wells Cathedral School, he will be Headmaster from this September, and it was lovely that we could meet up on such an occasion.”

We’re glad you all enjoyed your special day!

When it comes to kindness, compassion and sensitivity, Janet Hearl has more than enough for one charity. Part of the St Luke’s team for nine years, working as a Social Care Assistant and providing bereavement support, she has also been giving her time and using her skills with Jeremiah’s Journey, a local charity for grieving children, young people and families.

So, it was wonderful to see Janet win Health and Wellbeing Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Livewell Southwest – at the recent Inspiring Lives Plymouth Awards, recognising those who consistently put the needs of others before their own.

Nominated by Jeremiah’s Journey for the difference she has made by coming alongside youngsters as they face the loss of a parent, Janet was very touched to receive the nomination – and completely bowled over to win! There to see it was proud husband Phil, who accompanied her to the awards ceremony at the Theatre Royal.

Janet said: “It was a shock! A lovely one though, and the award means a lot to me. The trophy is in pride of place at home, next to flowers sent to me by my son and daughter when they heard.”

She provides vital support as part of Stepping Stones run by Jeremiah’s Journey. This ten-week programme is for both children and parents, supporting them through their very difficult time, encouraging open conversations and making special memories, all of which can help the children process what’s happening and come to terms with their loss over time.

Janet said: “Understandably, young people facing bereavement can feel frightened and sometimes they blame themselves for what’s happening. Stepping Stones provides a supportive environment, and activities – such as felt-making with students from Plymouth College of Art – help them and their parents talk through issues and challenges. Importantly, Stepping Stones gives them space, as well as the opportunity to make memories together and with others taking part.

“It’s really rewarding to be part of something that makes a difference, and wonderful when they tell us they feel lighter and have made connections that can help sustain them as they move forward.”

Congratulations, Janet – you’re an inspiration!