East Lancashire Hospice has announced the launch of its annual Corporate Challenge this week, aimed at rallying businesses in Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, to raise crucial funds.

Now in its sixth year, the Corporate Challenge invites businesses to take part in a fundraising initiative where they are given £50 and tasked with using their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to turn it into as much money as possible for East Lancashire Hospice.

The funds raised through this challenge directly support patient care and support the hospice's mission to provide comfort and dignity to patients and families facing terminal illnesses.

Ram Gupta has sponsored the Corporate Challenge for the fourth consecutive year, and his support has been instrumental in the success of this initiative.

His donation of £50 to each participating business serves as a catalyst for their fundraising efforts.

Last year, the Corporate Challenge raised £60,000 for East Lancashire Hospice thanks to the commitment of participating businesses.

This year, the goal is to surpass that amount and make an even greater impact on the lives of those served by the hospice.

Marisa Bannan, corporate fundraiser at East Lancashire Hospice, said: "We are immensely grateful to Ram Gupta and all the businesses that have joined us in this meaningful challenge.

"Their generosity and enthusiasm truly embody the spirit of community and compassion.

"Together, we can ensure that individuals and families facing end-of-life care receive the support and comfort they deserve."

When asked why it’s important for businesses to support East Lancashire Hospice, and why Ram chooses to support the hospice, he said: “We believe in the verb charity and giving is a big part of our business.

"The gift of giving is for the giver and when you align your giving with East Lancashire Hospice, you help a team of people who work tirelessly to help those who are ill and their families through the worst times of their life.

"Critical illness care is a service anyone can need and ours is just a small contribution towards the £12,500 per day that’s needed to sustain its facilities is a natural choice for us.”

After winning the challenge last year, Kinetic Law raised £7,000 for the hospice and are determined to come first place again this year.

Following from their success last year, Fatima Musa from Kinetic Law, said: “Last year we took part in East Lancashire Hospice’s Corporate Challenge for the very first time.

"We weren’t sure what to expect and never thought we would win! As a firm, we support the Hospice as much as we can, the hospice helps so many people in our community from all backgrounds and all ages and we’ve seen, first-hand, the work undertaken and the care given by the staff.

“The hospice rely heavily on donations to continue their amazing work and we are proud to support them.

"The Corporate Challenge is a great way for companies to get involved and support the hospice.

"It was a really fun way of charity fundraising and helped bring everyone in our offices together; staff that did not necessarily interact with one another worked together on challenges.

"They also undertook activities that they never would have had the opportunity to do such as skydiving!

"We would wholeheartedly recommend any local company to take part in the Challenge, it helps the Hospice whilst bringing your staff together.”

Businesses interested in participating in the Corporate Challenge can register by contacting Marisa Bannan.

The challenge will run from Monday, March 4, to July 8, with an awards ceremony to follow on July 11.