STAFF at a leading firm have picked a charity aiming to build a cancer centre as its fundraising cause for the next two years.

After a staff vote, the 230-plus team at the Basing View offices of employee benefits specialist Unum UK have selected Ark Cancer Centre Charity as their Charity of the Year for 2018 and 2019.

Over the next two years, colleagues at Unum will be taking part in various events and activities that will help to raise funds for, and awareness of, Ark and its appeal to raise £5million for cancer treatment centre that will be built in the Basingstoke area.

News of the charity partnership was announced by Peter O’Donnell, chief executive officer of Unum UK, at the launch of the company’s 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report – ‘Championing Diversity in Our Communities’ – at a parliamentary reception.

Peter said: “In September, colleagues nominated national and regional charities that they would like to see us partner with for the next two years.

“This year, over 100 different charities were nominated, and almost three-quarters of Unum’s staff took part in the voting process, including myself. As always, the team made some great choices, and we look forward to helping Ark to achieve its goals.”

While the Basingstoke team will be supporting Ark, Child Bereavement UK will be Unum’s national charity partner for 2018-19, and in Dorking, the Unum team will be partnering with The Halow Project, which supports young people with learning disabilities.

Mark Jones, Ark Cancer Centre Charity director of fundraising and communications, and Ark supporters Mark Dolby and Craig Killick were among the guests who attended the Parliamentary Reception.

Mr Jones said: “Ark Cancer Centre Charity is proud, grateful and honoured to have been chosen as the Charity of the Year partner for 2018-19 by the team at Unum Basingstoke.

“It’s a partnership through which Unum colleagues can really make a difference. Their significant show of support will help to raise awareness of, and funds for, the charity’s £5million appeal which is helping to deliver the much-needed cancer treatment centre that will be built in the Basingstoke area.”

Largely being funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Ark’s £5m will ensure that a range of complementary therapies and supportive services are available alongside radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments in a calm and uplifting environment.