Longhurst Group ‘Make May Purple’ for stroke awareness

Longhurst Group's executive team after taking on the Purple Tie Challenge
Longhurst Group's executive team after taking on the Purple Tie Challenge

Over 900 members of staff from Longhurst Group have been involved in a month-long fundraising initiative to raise awareness of the devastating effects of stroke.

The housing provider, which manages thousands of homes across Lincolnshire and has regional offices in Lincoln, Boston and Grimsby, showed its support by taking part in the Stroke Association’s Make May Purple annual month of action.

Staff across the Group, which comprises Longhurst & Havelok (L&H) Homes, Spire Homes, Friendship Care and Housing and development arm Keystone, held fundraising activities in support of the charity after one of its care service managers, stroke ambassador Val Paragon, was chosen as the national face of this year’s event.

Val said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to help raise awareness and support for a charity that is doing so much to support people affected by strokes.

“We’re all too aware of just how debilitating a stroke can be, especially for older people who we work with but, like the Stroke Association, we believe in helping people rebuild their confidence and take back control of their lives and it feels great to have gone the extra mile for them.

“I’m very proud of the way in which Longhurst Group have got behind this year’s Make May Purple campaign. The support has made it possible to spread the word far and wide.”

Louise Knight, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at the Stroke Association, added: “We’re incredibly grateful to everyone at the Longhurst Group for all their support throughout Make May Purple and helping to put the spotlight on stroke.

“Without the efforts of fundraisers, we wouldn’t be able to support people across Lincolnshire who are currently living with the devastating effects of stroke, as well as their families and carers.”

At offices and schemes throughout the company’s operational area, which stretches from Lincolnshire to the West Midlands, staff held three fun-filled events throughout the month, helping to raise hundreds for the Stroke Association.

Lovingly-created cakes and cookies went up for grabs at bake sales, while staff also rooted through their wardrobes to dig out their favourite purple item of clothing on a designated ‘Wear It Purple’ day across the business.

The month culminated with the quirky Purple Tie Challenge, which saw staff attempt to knot a tie using only their non-dominant hand to highlight the difficulties stroke can cause.

All attempts were filmed, timed and shared across social media, with the quickest across the Group being crowned as the winner.

Jonathan Driffill, Longhurst Group’s Executive Director of Partnerships, Care and Communities, said: “The challenge was very, very difficult, let me tell you! It was an excellent way of raising awareness.

“Putting on a tie is the kind of activity that you take for granted, but it’s only after you lose the ability to do it that you really understand the challenges that stroke victims are forced to cope with.

“It was a fantastic end to a brilliant month of activities and it just demonstrates the passion, care and commitment that staff at Longhurst Group all have for initiatives such as this.”