Posted on Wednesday 12 April 2023
Bullseye! JD Wetherspoon staff raise over £141,000 for young people facing cancer at annual darts tournament
Staff from the Picture Playhouse in Bexhill-on-sea won first place at the final of JD Wetherspoon’s annual fundraising darts tournament for Young Lives vs Cancer. Over 300 teams from pubs across the UK helped to raise over £140,000 for young people facing cancer by competing in the company’s annual darts tournament from January to March 2023. The money raised will be added to the £21m JD Wetherspoon has raised for Young Lives vs Cancer since launching their partnership in 2002.
In January, the tournament kicked off with 314 teams of staff from pubs across the UK taking part in the first round. 59 of those teams then progressed to the regional tournaments across 12 venues, including The Mile Castle, Newcastle, The Velvet Coaster, Blackpool and the Gate Clock, Greenwich to name a few. On 14th March the top eleven teams then travelled to the Trent Bridge Inn in Nottingham to take part in the tournament’s national final. After several knock-outs, the final finished with a tense stand-off between staff from Furze Wren, in Bexley Heath, and the Picture Playhouse, in Bexhill-on-sea.
The tournament was set up in 2012 to raise money for JD Wetherspoon’s charity partner Young Lives vs Cancer. The charity help young people (0-25) with cancer and their families to find the strength to face everything cancer throws at them. Their specialist social workers are there from the moment a child is diagnosed with cancer to offer emotional and financial support and their eleven Home from Homes offer families with a free place to stay nearby the hospital.
This year’s tournament raised £141,776.40 which will help Young Lives vs Cancer be there for more young people and their families. The money will be added to JD Wetherspoon’s total raised so far of over £21m.
Samantha Hughes-Smith, Partnership Fundraiser at Young Lives vs Cancer said: “It’s great to see teams from across the UK get together to support Young Lives vs Cancer.
As well as taking part in the competition, employees have really got behind the fundraising by organising raffles, bake sales, sweepstakes and much more at each event across the country.
“The money raised from these incredible efforts will go on to help so many of the families that we support. Thank you to every employee who took part and congratulations to our national champions of 2023.”
Ryan Russel Manager of the Picture Playhouse, Bexhill said: “I would like to thank everyone that took part in organising such an amazing event for Young Lives vs Cancer. We are so proud to have contributed towards helping young people with cancer.
“Secondly the Picture Playhouse would like to thank every team that took part in the event, it was so nice to meet fellow Wetherspoons employees from across the country. It was a great pleasure to be a part of the tournament and we’re all so proud to be taking the trophy not only to the Picture Playhouse, Bexhill but to East Sussex.”
Richard Marriner, General Manager at JD Wetherspoon said: “It was fantastic to do this tournament again this year. I’d like to thank all the staff who took part and the host pubs for organising the area events in January. The final in Nottingham was a great day of darts, played to a high standard with a tense, nail-biting end to a fantastic tournament.
“I am pleased we were able to raise over £140,000 for our charity partner Young Lives vs Cancer to help young people facing cancer.”
The establishment of the Taskforce comes after almost two years of campaigning by Young Lives vs Cancer and Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), who together have been calling on UK government to implement a dedicated Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan.
Dominique Davis will take up her new role at the end of January