The workforce of Royal Mail Group today became Guinness World Record title holders after the UK postal service was awarded the record for the most registered charities supported by a Payroll Giving Scheme.
One in four Royal Mail Group employees have supported a total of 975 registered charities and good causes by donating money direct from their pay. Around £45 million has been given by employees since starting the scheme 23 years ago. Over £2 million has been raised in the last year alone.
Help the Hospices, Barnardo's, County Air Ambulance Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and Royal Mail Group's own charity, the Rowland Hill Benevolent Fund, have all received cash sums from generous employees.
Marek Toombs, Royal Mail Collection Planner for the South East, has donated money to the cancer charity Macmillan for the last seven years through the payroll giving scheme. It is a cause close to his heart.
"My mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when I was 11, and she passed away two years later," Marek explains.
Keen to see how his donations help, Marek visited a local Macmillan cancer centre at Gillingham's Medway Maritime Hospital. The unit was funded jointly by Macmillan and Medway NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, and opened in 2009. It offers chemotherapy facilities and a ground-breaking Cancer Information Service launched just over a year ago, which Macmillan is currently funding.
Marek said:" I was really impressed with the facilities. The services Macmillan offers there would certainly have helped my family when we were going through this.
"I'd like to think my donations have helped in a small way. However it is not necessary that people are touched personally in order to help. Charities function and rely on people donating money to them and the payroll giving scheme is an excellent way to help these worthwhile causes."
Royal Mail Group received the Guinness World Records official certificate at a special ceremony in London.
Chief Executive Officer, Moya Greene, who accepted the award on behalf of the company's payroll givers, said: "It's a tremendous honour for our people to receive this award from Guinness World Records.
"Our postmen and women play a vital and trusted role in every community across the UK. I am delighted that our postmen and women have been recognised as the world's best for donating to charity direct from their pay."
Gaz Deaves, Guinness World Records Adjudicator, said :"This Guinness World Record recognises the 975 registered charities supported and reflects the huge generosity of all those working at the Royal Mail, congratulations to all on this special world record."