Industry pulls together for charity fundraiser

On Thursday June 21 the greetings and gift industry will come together for a very special charity fundraising event in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND Association).

The Sheffield-based buying group, Cardgains, is organising the event, which is to take the form of a 27.5 mile sponsored walk from Dungeon Ghyll to Ulverston  in the Lake District, part of The Cumbria Way.

This is the 20th anniversary of the legendary Cardgains Charity Challenge, which usually entails a (very!) long walk across fabulous British countryside, totaling almost 700 miles plus the 4000 metre height of Ben Nevis.  Over the past 19 years Cardgains walkers have raised £300,000 for many great causes and for 2018 they will be doing their utmost to support the amazing work of the MND Association.

This year’s walk is estimated to take between 7-12 hours to complete, meaning that card publishers and gift suppliers are brushing off their hiking boots as we speak in preparation for the challenge. And that includes us!

It is a good few years since Gifts & Greetings Review publisher, Charlotte Cowell, participated in one of the walks but she’ll be getting out her hiking boots for this one. If you would like to sponsor Charlotte or any other Cardgains walker, you can do so via the website:

Over 40 members of the industry will be taking part in the Cardgains Charity Challenge. They include: Chris Dyson, Steve Grocott and Penny Shaw from Cardgains, Alan Holmes from Icon Art, Alison Butterworth from Nigel Quiney, Cardgains retail members, Andy Eaton, Richard Marsden and Nigel Williamson, Carl Salt from Words-N-Wishes, Chris Houfe from GBCC, Darren Cave from UKG, Ian Powis from Tisa Solutions,  Jessica Dawnay from Autumn Fair, Mark Drury, Michelle Comerford, Julie Dommett and Chris Smalley from Qualatex, Nick Carey from Abacus, agent Paul Valentine, Thomas O’Brien from Boxer Gifts, Tony Roberts from I C & G, Harry Robinson and Lee Wardell from Carte Blanche and Cardgains friends, Nick Davison and Louise Isherwood.

John George of Cardgains retail member From The Heart in Maryport is bringing a team of 13 along to the event from his 3 stores. Sadly they have a connection with the illness/charity and when John asked for volunteers he was overwhelmed.

There will, as always, be a fantastic support crew ensuring that walkers are fed, watered and otherwise cared for over the course of their long trek. This year’s challenge will be especially poignant for all participants, as long-term support team member, Cummo, recently lost his mother to Motor Neurone Disease. Walkers will very much be thinking of Cummo’s mum and other suffers as they make their pilgrimage around the Lakes.

Cardgains managing director, Chris Dyson said: ‘Behind the scene planning for this fantastic event is well underway it is so good to have so many members involved this year along with our regular supplier supporters.  It is without doubt a challenge but for a great cause and I know everybody is looking forward to the day.  Everyone at Cardgains is very proud of this being our 20th event and the charities we have supported over the years’.