Chesterfield News

Local employer offers extra holiday for Challenge Derbyshire

As 2016 is a leap year, employers are set to benefit from an extra day of work from employees on Monday 29th February at no extra cost. In light of this, businesses are being challenged to offer an extra day of holiday in exchange for employees making a donation to three local charities.

Part of the new #ChallengeDerbyshire campaign, run by Ashgate Hospicecare, Blythe House Hospice and Helen’s Trust, it is hoped this latest challenge will raise much needed funds to support patients with life-limiting illnesses across North Derbyshire.

Markovitz on Whittington Moor in Chesterfield is the first business to sign up to offer staff an extra day of holiday in return for them making a donation to the three charities. Chief Executive, Rob Turner said:-

“Our staff work hard every year so when #ChallengeDerbyshire asked us to offer them a days holiday in exchange for a donation, I couldn’t say no. Our staff are paid monthly so we won’t be paying them any more in February with it being a leap year so it doesn’t actually cost us anything.

“We have asked staff to donate 50% of a day’s salary and they can take their extra day’s holiday at any time throughout the year. We hope this will raise a lot of money for these three local charities who really need our support.”

One employee, Gemma Wray, was quick to take part. She said: “When I heard from my manager that Markovitz were offering this I thought ‘What an absolutely brilliant idea!’

“The extra day will benefit me and three truly amazing charities. Company employees pay half of what they would normally earn in a day to Challenge Derbyshire and receive an extra days holiday from the company in return. The company get their extra day of trading and everyone’s a winner, especially the charities!

“From personal experience I know Blythe House, one of the three charities that make up Challenge Derbyshire, offer amazing and well needed support to not only the people affected by a terminal illness but their family members too. I don’t know where we would be without them!”

Ashgate Hospicecare, Blythe House Hospice and Helen’s Trust have collaboratively met the needs of local patients through their variety of services for many years. Mary Atkinson, who was diagnosed with Corticobasal Syndrome 5 years ago, is just one of the many patients that receive care and support from all three charities. Her husband and full time carer, Bob, shares his story on the help they’ve both received from the local charities.

Bob says, “For a while I felt like everything was closing in on me. I was finding it really difficult to cope and there were concerns about my health in terms of depression. But the support I received from all three charities really helped me deal with everything – they’ve really helped both of us. It’s much better that I can look after Mary in our own home because that’s what we would both prefer, her here with me. I wouldn’t have been able to look after Mary without the support of these organisations. Because of them, we can continue living our normal lives.”

Ashgate Hospicecare, Blythe House Hopsice and Helen’s Trust joined together last December to form #ChallengeDerbyshire. Supporters can also join in by choosing their own challenge by videoing themselves pledging to complete a challenge to raise money for three local charities and using the hashtag #ChallengeDerbyshire when posting to Facebook and Twitter.

If you are an employer and would like to get involved in the leap year challenge please email or visit for more information.


Tara Underhill

Senior Destination Chesterfield Coordinator

Email Tara
Chesterfield News

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