Estate agent’s Italian Job for hospice panto

Staff from Linley & Simpson at the Martin House Hospice warehouse. (S)
Staff from Linley & Simpson at the Martin House Hospice warehouse. (S)

It was an eye-catching sight that would not have looked out of place in The Italian Job – a fleet of branded Mini cars snaking their way around the roads of Harrogate.

The convoy was playing a starring role in a charity delivery with a difference, helping children across Yorkshire with life-limiting illnesses and their families to enjoy a special festive panto while they spend Christmas in a hospice.

Staff from across every part of Linley & Simpson, the residential sales and letting agent, have been collecting unwanted goods on behalf of Boston Spa-based Martin House Children’s Hospice, their adopted charity of the year, throughout November.

They included colleagues from all 11 of its High Street branches across North and West Yorkshire, plus head office staff in Leeds and the central teams working in renewals, accounts, property management and operations.

Their aim was to turn the clutter into cash - and used Giving Tuesday as the day to deliver all the donated items, worth an estimated £1,000, to the charity’s warehouse at Thorp Arch in style. The goods will now be sold off throughout the charity’s Yorkshire shops over the Christmas holiday___.

Eight cars, each crammed with bags and boxes of goods, performed an eye-catching drive-past the branch network as they travelled in convoy to pick up the stock en route to the drop-off point.

All the agency’s offices - Leeds city centre, Roundhay, Horsforth, Chapel Allerton, Harrogate, Ripon, York, Wetherby, Ilkley, Saltaire and Wakefield – played their part by acting as collection points for any winter clothes, textiles, toys, books, Christmas decorations, DVDs and other bric-a-brac.

“There was an overwhelming response to our first ever stock appeal – not just from the Linley & Simpson ‘family’ who work here, but also from the wider community,” said Emily Wilkinson, who heads up the agency’s charity and community projects.

“As well as the eight drivers, we also had three additional staff volunteering at the warehouse to offer extra pairs of hands to help sort the stock we dropped off.

“The convoy certainly caught the imagination of other motorists and passers-by – and hopefully also promoted greater awareness of the hospice and the amazing work its team does for families across Yorkshire.”

Linley & Simpson has set itself a target of raising £25,000 for Martin House within 12 months and is already off to a flying start with a range of initiatives since it launched in September.

These have included: £1,000 from a raffle, £740 from an inter-office bake off, Christmas card stalls and £1 for every Customer Satisfaction Survey.