‘Very simply, whenever we sell a car, we will donate funds to Jersey Hospice Care’

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THE 12-bed inpatient unit at Jersey Hospice Care, Clarkson House, boasts sea views, beautifully landscaped gardens and comfortably furnished rooms but, most notably, an inspiring team dedicated to providing outstanding holistic care and support to its patients and their loved ones.

While some Hospice patients will be living with cancer – a condition which is now forecast to affect one in two people – Hospice cares for people of any age with any life-limiting or life-threatening illness and provides its services free of charge.

The charity cares for close to 1,000 patients each year at Hospice, at the General Hospital, in care and residential homes and in patients’ homes, helping them to live life to the full and make the most of each day with the people close to them.

It is little wonder that the running costs to provide such services are high. In fact, it costs £16,400 a day – equating to nearly £6 million a year – to run Jersey Hospice Care, which is why support from companies and individuals is so important. 

One company determined to make a ‘real difference’ is the Jacksons Group, which has just launched an initiative which the team hopes will raise more than £60,000 per annum for Jersey Hospice Care.  

While the scheme, which will see the company make a donation of up to £50 for every car it sells, is new, the group’s commitment to the community is well established. 

‘We do a huge amount of charity work, ranging from events, sponsorships and donations, across all the islands in which we operate,’ explained Jacksons’ Channel Islands general manager Andrew Searle. ‘But there was a desire among the team to come up with a longer-term, sustainable project, which would make a real difference. 

‘While there are so many fantastic charities in the Island, the more we spoke to our staff about developing this initiative, the more it became apparent that nearly everybody had a connection with Jersey Hospice Care.

‘Some had first hand experiences of the charity’s services while others had been touched by the organisation’s work with a friend or family members. It was therefore a natural choice for us to partner with an organisation which has such a significant impact on so many members of the community.’ 

While the Jacksons Group has held ‘one-off’ fundraising initiatives for Jersey Hospice Care before, this is the first time that the motor business has committed to such a long-term partnership. 

‘The work that Jersey Hospice Care does is incredible,’ said Andrew. ‘I had never fully understood just how much funding was required, year on year, to maintain the astonishing levels of care they provide, in often the most challenging circumstances for local families. The support they provide and the dedication of the amazing team is truly exceptional and deeply humbling. 

‘Rather than a one-off donation, we wanted to do something that was sustainable, to help in their annual challenge to raise the significant funds needed to maintain their essential service.’ 

Having considered a number of ways to express that support, the final scheme was born from what Andrew describes as a ‘really simple idea’. 

‘Very simply, whenever we sell a car from Jacksons or Motor Mall, we will donate £50 or £25 respectively to Jersey Hospice Care,’ he explained.

‘We will be telling customers about the initiative and encouraging them to match – or even exceed – the donation as well. Through this activity, we are hoping to raise more than £60,000 within a year.’ 

It may sound like an ambitious target but Andrew is confident that, with 23 brands across the two businesses, it is one which is eminently achievable. 

‘Although there are still some supply issues with new cars, the market is in a strong position and being able to offer so much choice across the two dealerships really helps customers to make a considered purchase,’ he added. 

Having run a number of motor dealerships in the UK before joining Jacksons six years ago, Andrew has seen many developments within the industry, not least of which is the evolution of the hybrid and electric-vehicle market. 

‘We have seen a huge increase in the availability of such vehicles over the past few years and every one of our brand partners now has an offering in the EV market,’ he said. ‘And the demand among customers is growing all the time as well. About 25% of all the new cars we sell are electric or hybrid.’  

Whether customers are buying a hybrid hatchback or an ‘aspirational’ Aston Martin, the charity element remains at the heart of not just the transaction but also the team’s involvement in the sale. 

‘With around 170 staff across the Channel Islands, it is really important that we play a strong role in the community,’ Andrew explained.

‘Selling cars is something that we do every day and each sale touches every department from the retail team to the valeters and the motor technicians.

‘Knowing that the sale is not only benefitting the customer but is also helping such an important charity will give the staff a huge sense of pride in what they are doing.’ 

And the partnership with Jersey Hospice Care is not the only corporate social responsibility initiative which the group is undertaking. Last weekend saw staff members join fellow Islanders for the fourth Jacksons 10k run in aid of Headway. 

‘This is a very popular race, which starts and finishes at Les Quennevais cycle track, and we are delighted to support both the runners in the main 10k event and the children taking part in the 3k fun run,’ said Andrew.

‘Headway is another fantastic local charity, providing essential services including a range of physical and cognitive rehabilitation programmes for Islanders living with brain injuries, so it is great to be able to support their brilliant work through such an enjoyable community event.

‘Last year, we raised £5,500 for Headway so I am very much hoping that last weekend’s event will equal – or even beat – that total.’ 

For those who prefer to exercise on two wheels, the Jacksons Mac100 – a 100k cycling challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support Jersey – is also due to return later this summer. New last year, the event was supported by 200 cyclists, who raised £8,500 for the charity. 

‘It was great to see such a positive response to a new sporting challenge, which led to both impressive finish times and, even more importantly, a significant sum being raised for another wonderful charity,’ added Andrew.

‘I am really looking forward to seeing this event grow again this year and further build Jacksons’ presence in the community.’ 

And Andrew’s charitable ambitions are not limited to Jersey. With his role covering both Jersey and Guernsey, he is hoping that an initiative similar to the new partnership with Jersey Hospice Care will soon be rolled out across the water. 

‘We already have a similar scheme in place in our Isle of Man business and I am confident that as we start reaching some fundraising milestones through our Jersey car sales, we will soon be announcing a similar partnership in Guernsey,’ he smiled.

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