image for GDS International raises £30,000 for CHSW

GDS International raises £30,000 for CHSW

Published on Wednesday, 9th December 2015, contributed by GDS Group

After a year of bake sales, skills auctions, and one very long walk (dressed as Gruffalos), GDS International’s Bristol office presented a cheque for £30,000 to Children’s Hospice South West.

Every year, GDS International, a business events and media company based in Bristol, chooses a charity partner through its GDS Cares programme. This year, GDS Cares has been raising funds and awareness for a very special charity, Children’s Hospice South West.

CHSW provides hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions and their whole family across the South West of England. It does an amazing job.

Twenty representatives from GDS International’s 150 staff in Bristol visited CHSW’s Charlton Farm Hospice in Wraxall, North Somerset to find out first-hand about the care CHSW provides to over 1000 life-limited children across the South West.

“I was a little apprehensive,” says Jason Darmody, GDS’s Talent Acquisition and Training Director, of his visit to Charlton Farm. “But after a tour of the fantastic facilities, and seeing the tremendous work the staff do… it just blew me away.”

CHSW solely exists through external donations, and has a running cost of £1.7m a year. After reading some of the farewell messages from siblings to their young brothers and sisters, Jason knew GDS Cares had found its focus. “I admit I welled up,” says Jason. “And I knew we would all commit to contributing as much as we possibly could to this wonderful charity.”

A year of fundraising followed, from regular bake sales to auctioning GDS staff skills and time, an 80s disco and a huge two-day, 30-mile bed push from Charlton Farm to Cheddar and back dressed as children’s favourite, The Gruffalo. The result was a brilliant £30,000 raised, which was presented to CHSW’s Louise Turner at this year’s GDS Christmas party.

“We have received wonderful support from the team at GDS this year, with everybody really getting involved with the fundraising efforts,” says Louise. “Every employee should be extremely proud of raising a staggering total of £30,000. We are all so grateful for the hard work and enthusiasm shown in raising this for the children and families that use Charlton Farm.”

To find out how to become GDS Cares’ chosen charity for 2016, please email