PwC: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!!!

PwC’s One Firm One Day (OFOD) volunteering initiative took place in May.

PwC Northern Ireland’s (PwC NI) theme was “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” and it organised a White Collar Boxing Charity Fundraiser. It turned out to be the toughest yet most rewarding OFOD challenge ever undertaken in Northern Ireland. Once again, OFOD brought out the best in people with 21 (eight women and 13 men) signing up to a gruelling eight week training programme prior to competing in a three round fight on the night.

One Firm One Day was a result of a regular meeting between PwC and Business in the Community (BITC). Denise Cranston from BITC explained that BITC was fundraising to buy a defibrillator for the City of Belfast Boxing Academy (CBBA) where BITC staff used twice a week to train. PwC NI’s charity at the time was The Cormac Trust; one of its aims is to provide defibrillators to sports clubs to reduce death caused by Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS). PwC NI had previously purchased four defibrillators and was looking for good appropriate organisations to whom they could be donated. CBBA fitted the bill perfectly.

CBBA Manager, Terry McCorran was the 2013 Mark Pollock Award for Hope winner, which PwC sponsored at the annual BITC Awards ceremony so it was impressive that two years later PwC NI could build upon this existing relationship with Terry and work with him to develop the project further.

When Terry heard that all proceeds from the OFOD event would be going to TinyLife, a charity close to him, he agreed that he would not charge for his time, training, equipment or the use of his premises throughout training. The Europa Hotel (Hastings Hotels), a long-time client and partner of PwC NI, through its understanding of the PwC Foundation, provided the room for the event, two bedrooms, and logistics on the evening free of charge.

Carl “The Jackal” Frampton, current IBF World Super Bantamweight champion, kindly donated a signed pair of his gloves which were  raffled off during the event, which contributed an additional £920 to the fundraising total.

VIP seating was arranged at the event where we had invited clients to attend. Alison Morrow from DEL said of the night: “I was amazed at the quality of the boxing, I thought PwC were just boring accountants, who knew. Great night!”

The event provided a showcase for the City of Belfast Boxing Academy (CBBA), showing the positive side of amateur boxing.

The fundraising aspect of the event raised the profile of the PwC Foundation internally and externally, as well as raising £6,463.75 for TinyLife.

It also brought great benefits for PwC employees, some of whom said:

“I changed my lifestyle to suit the training and now that the event has finished I feel inclined to maintain the changes. Be it drinking less, or doing some more running outside work. I got to know people outside my LoS and made lots of new friends.”

“I got a lot more from the experience than I could ever imagine. I have developed a lot of discipline from the experience which will help me in work life and during sporting activities outside of work. It is definitely something I would do again.”

“I got fitter than I have been in a long time, I have got closer to a level that I thought was beyond me and that is quite empowering to know.  Taking part in this has made a positive impact on my life and I would definitely do it all again if I was given the chance.”

“A greater sense of belonging to a team, met nice people outside of the Forensics department and made me want to take part in more OFOD initiatives.”

The improvement in people’s health and wellbeing was startling. It was truly amazing to see the transformation in people. One person, for example, was described as overweight, unfit and was identified by the coaches on the first day as a heart attack waiting to happen. Since then he lost 2 stone, his fitness has drastically improved, he is happier and more engaged in his life and work. Some others have given up smoking and reduced their alcohol intake.

In exchange for Terry’s commitment to the community and to PwC NI’s OFOD event, PwC will be providing the independent economic appraisal pro-bono for CBBA to help unlock the future for the club, enabling it to improve its services to the local community. This should help CBBA to access £90,000 of funding to renovate the building by building new changing rooms, replacing windows decorating rooms and most importantly knock a door through the Peace Wall; something for which Terry has been lobbying for years. It will enable the communities to grow and trust each other, breaking down generations of mistrust and hatred.

The legacy of this year’s One Firm One Day will last for years to come. This event will leave a lasting impact on the boxers, provide money to TinyLife, improve the facilities at the boxing club and begin the healing and reconciliation process between local residents of different religious beliefs. PwC NI have demonstrated that it is fully committed to doing the right things for its clients, its people and its community.