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10th May 2024

Stonegate Group hits Half-a-Million Milestone in Support of MND Association and MND Scotland

Stonegate Group, the UK’s largest pub company, has achieved a significant milestone in its ongoing commitment to combating Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Since April 2022, Stonegate’s managed pub network and support and operational teams have collaborated to raise an impressive £500,000 in support of the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association and MND Scotland.

To commemorate the milestone and to highlight Stonegate’s ongoing efforts to support the charities, a cheque presentation event was held at The Fatling in Hornchurch on Wednesday 8 May.

Stonegate Group CEO, David McDowall, was in attendance, along with General Manager at The Fatling, Sandy Castle, plus representatives from the MND Association.

David McDowell, CEO at Stonegate Group, said: “I’m proud to say that we have raised an incredible £500,000 for our corporate charity partners, the MND Association and MND Scotland. It demonstrates our collective commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by motor neurone disease. Together, via our incredible pub teams and wonderful colleagues in our support teams, we’ve not only raised funds but also awareness. Thank you to everyone involved for your tireless efforts and generosity.”

The Fatling pub was chosen as the hosting venue for the cheque presentation due to its standout fundraising efforts under the leadership of Sandy Castle, who has operated the much-loved local pub for over 12 years. The Fatling pub team have hosted a huge array of charity events for MND over the past three years, showing their unwavering commitment to the cause and raising significant and much-needed funds for MND.

Charity activities taken part in by the Stonegate community have ranged from epic walks along the South-East, conquering 30 miles of the great British Jurassic Coastline, to hosting dinner dances, quizzes, raffles and much more. The collective efforts of the Stonegate community have allowed the company to top amazing fundraising milestones, including hitting the £250,000 mark for MND last May, doubling the figure in year two.

Stonegate’s fundraising efforts align closely with the company’s newly defined mission of ‘bringing people together’. Recently, Stonegate introduced its updated mission, supported by distinct pillars and core values, alongside an innovative initiative. Teams across the organisation were encouraged to create videos demonstrating how they embody the pillars and values. For each video submitted, Stonegate committed to donating £100 to the MND Association. The response was substantial, with 66 videos submitted, resulting in a total donation of £6,600 to the charity.

Chris James, Director of External Affairs at the MND Association said: “Today has been a wonderful opportunity to meet and thank Stonegate employees who have contributed to this incredible total to support people affected by motor neurone disease (MND). Throughout the partnership with the MND Association, we’ve seen a multitude of innovative and creative fundraising challenges from Stonegate and these look set to continue over the coming months – all of which will further our vital support for people affected by MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

Jonathan Mitchell, Head of Fundraising at MND Scotland, said: “We could not directly support people in Scotland with MND or fund vital research without the support of our amazing fundraisers. We are so grateful to the Stonegate Group for the partnership and the generosity of the team and all the customers who have contributed to the incredible total raised. This will go a long way to helping make time count for people with MND.”

The company remains dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of those affected by motor neurone disease by ongoing fundraising activities throughout the year.



About Stonegate Group

Stonegate Group is the largest pub company in the UK.  Its portfolio is comprised of over 4,500 sites, split across managed, operator led and leased and tenanted businesses.

The managed pubs division, which employs just under 16,000 people, is split into Branded and Traditional pubs. Branded is comprised of: Slug & Lettuce, Popworld, Be At One and the Venues division. Traditional (unbranded) pubs are made up of: Proper Pubs, Pub & Dining and Social Pub & Kitchen.

To date, over 12,000 employees have engaged with the various training programmes Stonegate Group offer, with over 600 Deputy Managers across the estate having been promoted to management roles.

The leased and tenanted estate, Stonegate Pub Partners, is made up of over 3,000 diverse sites whilst operator led Craft Union is currently made up of over 500 community pubs.

The business is multi award-winning for the training and development of its people and business success including:

BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs): HR Manager of the Year, multiple times; Best Apprenticeship Training Programme (ATOP). Best Managed Company for Training.

REBA Employee Wellbeing Awards – Best New Wellbeing Strategy (5000+ staff);

Publican Awards – Best Pub Employer (501+ employees) multiple times; Best Community Operator (Craft Union Pub Company) multiple times; Best Managed Pub Company multiple times.

Great British Pub Awards – Best LGBTQ+ operator multiple times; Best Sports Pub multiple times; Best Pub Garden, Best Entertainment; Best pub to watch sport;  Community Mindfulness

Licensed Trade Charity Awards   raising awareness through fundraising

UK Hospitality’s Dusk ‘til Dawn Late Night Awards Best Marketing and Promotions Award; Best Service & Team; Best late Night Operator

HR Excellence Awards: Best Learning and Development Strategy

HR Distinction Awards: Innovation for Digital & Social Media; People Development; Innovative Use of Technology

And awards for charity contribution  including  Licensed Trade Charity: Outstanding Corporate Contribution Award; APPBG PUBAID Corporate Charity Fundraiser Award 

About the MND Association and MND Scotland

The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those affected by Motor Neurone Disease. MND Scotland is the leading charity in Scotland providing care and support to people affected by MND.

Contact: Hannah Leeland

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