Leading law firm Arthur Cox has raised over £3,500 for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland as part the Big Shops’ Showdown, a one-day charity shop takeover challenge.

The initiative, organised by Business in the Community, encouraged business volunteers to step outside the office for a day, to take over the running of one of Cancer Focus NI’s charity shops.

At a special celebration event, awards were given for the best design for a Bag for Life, window display, shop theme, and judges’ choice. The overall total raised for Cancer Focus NI was £52,945.

David White, of Arthur Cox commented:

“We were delighted to work with Cancer Focus NI and Business in the Community to assist them to raise funds and awareness of the vital work they are carrying out with those affected by cancer and their families.

“Taking part in the Big Shops’ Showdown forms a part of our overall corporate social responsibility programme and has significantly enhanced the major contribution Arthur Cox is making to the local community.

“We already have a strong relationship with Business in the Community, with our Chairman Alan Taylor sitting on the charity’s Board.

“Positive community engagement is an integral part of the ethos at Arthur Cox as we aim to impact the lives of people living and working locally.”

Roisin Foster, Chief Executive, Cancer Focus NI, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the results of the Big Shops’ Showdown. The fundraising total surpassed all of our expectations and we are extremely grateful for all the hard work that has gone into the fundraising at each shop. I’d like to say a big thank you to every company that took part. They have not only raised much-needed cash but they have also helped to raise awareness of the work that we do.”

“Every penny raised will stay here in Northern Ireland to provide vital support services for local people including family support, counselling, art therapy for anyone affected by cancer, a NurseLine and a bra-fitting service for women who’ve had breast cancer.”

Andy Nisbet Friel, Communities Executive, Business in the Community, added: “We are really pleased with the results of the 2018 Big Shops’ Challenge. The companies involved are committed to doing business responsibly, and this employer supported volunteering challenge offers multiple benefits – enabling employees to take on and project manage the challenge, using their skills and wits to fundraise, get creative in managing and promoting ‘their’ shop and raising awareness of Cancer Focus NI’s services throughout Northern Ireland. It’s hard work but great fun and of course some healthy competition.”