13th February 2018

Staff at AAK International, the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of edible oils, fats and semi-speciality oil ingredients have smashed their charity target to raise over £11,500 for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Colleagues at the firm, based at Hull’s King George Dock, chose Yorkshire Cancer Research as the company’s Charity of the Year for 2017.

It was a cause close to the hearts of many of the 300 employees, who wanted to devote their year’s fundraising to the charity’s Yorkshire-based research projects and help for people in the region who have cancer.

The sum raised is almost six times the usual amount collected by staff, who took part in sponsored cycle rides, bake stalls, sky dives and endurance challenges.

Rachel Neale, Senior Marketing Manager for AAK’s Foodservice division, said the target last January rapidly grew as it became clear how keen employees were to support the charity.

She said: “A number of colleagues, their families and friends had their lives affected by cancer in 2016.

She said: “Usually we raise around £2,000 to £3,000 for our charity of the year. When we asked for nominations for our charity of the year, it was clear that helping people with cancer was a cause close to everyone’s hearts, so we took the plunge and doubled the target to £6,000.

“As soon as it became clear how many activities were being planned, we stretched it further to £10,000. Now generous staff, their friends and families have smashed that target and we’ve been able to give Yorkshire Cancer Research £11,500.

“We also give a huge thanks to the many suppliers of AAK for kindly sponsoring staff and also donating prizes for our events. We couldn’t have raised this much without them.

“As a key employer in this great Yorkshire city, we are extremely proud of our colleagues’ efforts to support Yorkshire Cancer Research.”

Among the fundraising activities undertaken by staff were:

  • Payroll giving with employees donating every month through payroll;
  • Doughnut sales and cake raffles;
  • Competitions to name a teddy bear and to guess the weight of a hamper full of products containing ingredients made by AAK – from cakes and luxury biscuits to sauces and deli mustards;
  • A Christmas raffle;
  • Dress-up days featuring football shirts, Hawaiian shirts, pink clothes and Christmas jumpers;
  • Jane Tomlinson Hull 10K Run;
  • The 17-mile Hornsea Walk;
  • Coast to Coast bike ride;
  • Tough Mudder;
  • Selby Three Swans bike ride;
  • A sky dive.

The money raised will support Yorkshire Cancer Research in its aim to help at least 2,000 more people survive cancer each year by 2025. The charity has committed to investing £100m over the next 10 years to tackling the region’s cancer problems.

AAK UK supplies value-adding ingredients, vegetable oils and finished products to all the main retailers and food manufacturers, and to many leading pub and restaurant chains.

The company is one of the Hull 2017 Business Club Partners to support the city’s year in the spotlight as UK City of Culture.

It has been a joint celebration for employees in Hull and for their colleagues in Denmark, as they marked both Hull 2017 and Aarhus 2017 in the same year.