Big-hearted staff and directors at Inchcape Fleet Solutions went barking mad for a day of fund-raising and will now donate more than 2,000 to registered charity Guide Dogs. The Portsmouth-based company, which is one of the UKs largest vehicle leasing and fleet management organisations with 48,000 company cars and vans on its books, raised the cash as part of an innovative fleet contract and sponsorship arrangement with the charity.
Inchcape Fleet Solutions manages the charitys 520-strong fleet composed of around 340 company cars and 180 vans. As part of the deal the company donates a percentage of its annual management fee back to Guide Dogs. In addition, Inchcape Fleet Solutions sponsors a puppy called Bart and now the company has held its first fund-raising day in aid of the charity. Numerous fund-raising activities were cooked up by staff on Friday, May 28 including the directors - Terry Bartlett (Managing Director), David Graham (Customer Services Director), Gary Woodcock (Finance Director) and Kerry Howard (HR Director) - adopting fancy dress and hosting a lunchtime BBQ.
One of the highlights of the fun-packed day was a Guide Dogs-themed assault course. Sponsored by tyre manufacturer Michelin, the Its a Dogs Life event involved Inchcape Fleet Solutions staff navigating the course in pairs with one person blindfolded and the other giving verbal instructors to enable navigation of the obstacles. Other activities during the fun-filled charitable day included a celebrity dog quiz, a count the spots on spotty dog clothing competition, a champagne raffle, the sale of a chocolate recipe book compiled by staff, a find the bone treasure hunt, a guess the objects while blindfolded competition and a stall selling dog decorated cakes.
Guide Dogs showed its support for the day with presentations to Inchcape Fleet Solutions staff showing the journey of a guide dog from puppy to full-time walker and the importance of the organisation. In addition, employees were able to take part in blind walks and guide dog training, so enhancing their own personal awareness of blind and partially-sighted people and the role of a guide dog. Guide Dogs also offered VIP passes in a bid to raise more funds. The passes included a tour of kennels and breeding centre; an introduction to Guide Dog trainers and brood stock supervisors; the chance to experience every day obstacles from the perspective of a blind/partially-sighted person; the opportunity to see six-week-old puppies prior to them setting of for their new homes; as well as view at first hand many of the vehicles leased by the charity, which are specially equipped to carry two or three dogs.
Mr Bartlett said: Over the years we have supported many local and national charities. As we have a business partnership in place with Guide Dogs we thought it was only natural to raise as much money as possible for a very worthwhile charity. Guide Dogs Business Support Manager Gordon Smith said: We receive no Government funding so are completely reliant on donations to continue the vital work we do. We are therefore tremendously grateful to Inchcape Fleet Solutions for all their support, not just as a result of this special fundraising day, which was fantastic, but in helping us spend all funds raised wisely throughout the year. The enthusiasm and commitment of the staff continues to be overwhelming and inspiring.
Guide Dogs has been training dogs for over 75 years and have some 850 permanent staff as well as 14,000 volunteers spread over 29 locations across the UK. Their mission is to provide guide dogs and other mobility services that increase the independence and dignity of blind and partially-sighted people. Inchcape Fleet Solutions provide a wide ranging product portfolio including; multiple funding solutions (contract hire, contract purchase, PCP and salary sacrifice), fleet management (including fully outsourced), zero tolerance maintenance authorisation, daily rental, online vehicle quotations, risk management, duty of care and fleet consultancy.
Service experience and developmental advancements are core within our business processes, achieved by developing the key areas of Inchcape Fleet Solutions - people, technology and product innovation.
This is supported by the strength of the Inchcape group, which provides a complete automotive and financial services portfolio that is unrivalled in the industry.