Co-op Insurance marked its 150th anniversary with a Chinese dragon boat race raising funds for charities.
Colleagues from across all Co-op departments took part in the race at Salford Quays, celebrating the birthday with a splash.
Each of the 31 boats taking part were crewed by 10 rowers, a drummer and a steersman, and raised money for individual charities including We Love Manchester, Greater Together Manchester and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The event also featured food stalls, a magician and giant outdoor games.
All proceeds from the family fun day that followed the race will go towards Co-op Insurance’s official charity partner, the Eden Rivers Trust.
Co-op insurance commissioned a study into England’s flood plains by the University of Salford, which found that these were no longer functioning properly. The money raised will be used by the trust to help implement natural flood management measures in Cumbria, an area identified by Co-op Insurance as one of the worst hit areas of flooding.
In total, the boat race has raised £30,000, which will be divided among the 21 charities including the Eden Rivers Trust.
Mark Summerfield, chief executive of Co-op Insurance, said: “It’s with huge pride that we’re able to celebrate 150 years of doing business and so we wanted to do something memorable that marked this very special occasion.
“It was great to see so many of our colleagues, including family and friends get together to celebrate this momentous occasion, while helping to raise over £30,000 for the Eden Rivers Trust and so many other causes.
“We hope the money raised – which we will continue to raise over the next six months – will enable the Eden Rivers Trust to continue their valuable work in the education, restoration and protection of the River Eden and its floodplains. Having worked in the home insurance sector for over a century, we know only too well the significant impact that flooding can have on our communities, like we saw in Cumbria during the devastating floods of 2015.”
Joanne Spencer, co-director at the Eden Rivers Trust, added: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as Co-op Insurance’s charity as we’re a local trust that works with people and communities to improve and protect the River Eden and its tributaries.
“The money raised by Co-op colleagues will help us to continue to develop our education programme with schools and community groups in Cumbria, and to help raise awareness and understanding of the importance and value of rivers in the Eden catchment.”