26 February 2016

Charity Golf Day funds nursing care

EIC Golf DayA Hemel company’s annual Charity Golf Day has added almost £20,000 to their cumulative total in aid of hospice at home care for patients with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

Managing Director of EIC Insurance, Ian Styles, visited Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Tring office last month to hand over the funds that fellow golfers raised at the 2015 event.  He met nurses from Team Herts, who provide specialist nursing care in patients’ homes throughout Dacorum and West Herts.

The Hemel-based insurance company has been hosting Charity Golf Days for three decades and has raised almost £300,000 for good causes during that time.  Rennie Grove – formerly as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home – has been a beneficiary for the last ten years, which has helped the charity meet the growing demand for its 24/7 responsive hospice at home service.

Director of Fundraising & Marketing at Rennie Grove, Gillian Barnett, says: “We are so fortunate to benefit from the fantastic work of Ian and his team – and the generosity of all the golfers who take part in his event each year.  Between them they have raised thousands of pounds for Rennie Grove and made an immeasurable difference to local families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illness.”

Ian explains: “We’ve developed a really successful model thanks to the loyal support of some truly dedicated colleagues, sponsors and volunteers.  Around 120 golfers join us for a bacon sandwich in the morning before getting out on the golf course.  Dayla sponsor drinks for players and we top that up to make sure players have free refreshments for the duration.  But we always ask for donations and people are so generous: there’s usually in the region of £1,000 in the collecting box by the end of the day!

“Another way we raise funds on the course is through the ‘betting hole’.  Players bet one another that they won’t hit the green or that it will take them a certain number of shots to make the hole and this raises a further £500.”

More people join the party for dinner and after trying their luck on the roulette wheel, placing bids in the silent auction and being entertained by close-up magician Paul Megram, around 140 guests sit down to a four-course meal.

“The fundraising continues;” says Ian, “we hold a raffle during dinner that can raise up to £1,500, with prizes donated by local businesses.  Then we have a second silent auction while guests are seated; a golf auction offering vouchers for four excellent golf clubs all around the UK – plus a 9-hole game in the golf course in my garden.  This started as a bit of a joke lot but fetches more and more each year!”

Guests then battle it out bidding for holidays and special experiences in the main auction, compered by Marsworth resident Richard Cooper, who has overseen almost every auction at EIC’s 32 golf days to date.  

Ian adds: “Everyone is super generous and so loyal.  My colleagues Keith Anderson and Charlie Higgs are fantastic – I couldn’t do it without them.  Local pubs, restaurants, businesses and sporting heroes are all so generous too, providing prizes and auction lots and helping to cover the cost of the day so as much money as possible can go to the charities we support.  People come back each year, which is fantastic. Rennie Grove volunteer, David Coles, always mans the betting hole and former fundraiser for the charity, Liz Clarke, always ensures the event runs smoothly.”

The 2016 EIC Insurance Charity Golf Day will take place on Friday 2 September at Whipsnade Park Golf Club.  Ian and his team are inviting entries from April onwards. If you or your company would like to enter a team, get in touch.  

Find out more about how you or your company can support us, and email us for some more ideas.