Master Cutler’s Challenge raises £100k

Forgemasters chairman and outgoing Master Cutler Tony Pedder praised the ingenuity and inventiveness behind the fundraising events which raised just over £100,600 for his 2014 charity challenge.

Ninety teams from across the Sheffield City Region signed up for the 2014 Master Cutler’s Challenge to turn £100, the largest amount ever available for contestants, into bigger piles of cash for the chosen charitable causes Whirlow Hall Farm Trust and Sheffield Hospitals Charity supporting the Jessop Wing neonatal intensive care and maternity hospital.

Using their own innovative fundraising skills the teams, led by companies from one man bands to schools and large city corporates, organised more than 200 events ranging from leg waxing to film-making, mock tribunals to sock monkeys, clairvoyancy to hitch-hiking and horse grooming to swimming the equivalent of the English Channel.

Cycling was a hit in the year that the Tour de France came to Yorkshire with two wheeled fundraising events ranging from a 32-hour bike ride, a static bike ride and a Tour de North while cooking proved popular with bake offs, baking days and homemade cake sales.

The largest fundraising donation came from Sheffield legal firm DLA Piper which raised £7,106.57 through its now annual life-size city Monopoly game, cake bake and dodge ball match.

Tony, who stands down this October as Master Cutler, said: “This event had a fantastic start from Sheffield Forgemasters which provided all the contestants with a healthy £100 starting amount.

“The challenge follows a tested format but we were amazed by the sheer volume and variety of fund raising events and how hard teams have worked to generate so much money for my two chosen causes.

“We attracted a range of companies from across the region, small to large, who entered into the spirit of the challenge and saw some crazy events and innovative challenges take place. I hope we have not only encouraged an innovative spirit but brought together workforces and friends to raise money for local good causes and help boost their profile within our community.”

David Reynolds, Director at Sheffield Hospitals Charity, said: “We are very privileged to have been part of the fabulous Master Cutler’s Challenge this year which has inspired so many companies to come together and come up with some creatively wonderful fundraising ideas.

“All the funds raised for Sheffield Hospitals Charity will go to The Jessop Wing to support the 8,000 babies born every year including the 850 that are cared for in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which provides special care for sick and premature babies born across the region.

“We’d like to thank Master Cutler Tony Pedder for pledging his support and to all of our supporters for coming together to raise funds by taking part in this remarkable challenge.”

Sarah Kerrigan, Head of Fundraising and Events at Whirlow Hall Farm Trust said: “We are delighted with the final totals raised from the challenge. In true Sheffield style all teams have pulled together, given it their all and put in some hard work to make it a success. If there is one thing about our city; when we do it, we do it well.

"I can’t thank everyone involved enough for all their hard work, their tenacious efforts will really make a difference. All donations to our charity will ensure we can continue to deliver our unique learning experiences to the children and young people of South Yorkshire. “

An awards ceremony took place last night (19 Sept) at Whirlow Hall Farm attended by representatives from the companies taking part. Prizes went to companies for the most innovative event (EPIC), innovative idea (Silversmiths), Sheffield Hospitals Charity award (Julie Oxley), Whirlow Hall Farm Trust (Hilary Dennis, Wilson Field), ultimate endurance award (Authentic Recruitment), outstanding contribution (Natalie Slater), young person award (Matt Walter), media mastery (PJ Taste), school award (Bents Green School) and Master Cutler award (Gripple).

The Master Cutler’s Challenge is now one of the largest annual fundraising events in the region. Since it started in 2008, the challenge has inspired more than 500 companies to raise more than £500,000 for local good causes. Last year’s event raised £167,000 for The Children’s Hospital Charity.