Employees at GAP giving back
At GAP, charity and giving back is very important to the company and its employees. GAP’s Charity Foundation, GAP Giving, which includes schemes such as Charities of the Month and GAP Match, was set up in April 2015 and donates around 0.5% of the company’s profits to charities. GAP’s 1,800-strong workforce have the chance to nominate a charity they feel is deserving to be allocated a donation from the organisation. Employees are encouraged to utilise the matching scheme, where employees who fundraise for a charity will see their efforts, of up to £500, matched by GAP Giving. Since April 2018, GAP has donated £25,162 to 35 different charities!
GAP also offers corporate volunteering days to its employees; every employee is entitled to one day out of work to participate in voluntary or charitable activities. This is part of GAP’s commitment to making a sustainable difference to the lives of its employees and the wider community. It also gives employees’ the ‘chance to give back’ to a charity or cause of their choice.
One of GAP’s Area Sales Representatives, Christine Kerr, who is registered as a stem cell donor, took advantage of this fantastic opportunity and carried out a completely selfless act when she was identified as a match for a patient, living in the US, who was in need of a stem cell transplant. Blood stem cells are used to treat patients with blood cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma.
Christine commented: “As a mum of two children the thought of being in the position of having to rely on the kindness of a stranger meant I did not hesitate for one second when I got the call to say I was a match for someone”.
Christine’s journey began when she registered with an international charity called DKMS two years ago. The charity was set up in 1991 to ‘delete blood cancer’ and create a future where every blood cancer patient has a second chance of life. Christine initially registered by simply sending DKMS a cheek swab and when she was found to be a match, the charity then covered all her costs to go through with the donation. Christine travelled from Glasgow to London and made her stem cell donation during the 3rd and 4th October at the London Clinic.
In the days leading up to the donation, Christine was required to have an injection once per day for four consecutive days which contained a treatment that stimulates the growth of the cells that were to be collected on the day of the donation. Christine underwent an apheresis procedure, donating peripheral blood stem cells that could potentially save a life.
Christine is extremely keen to raise awareness about the DKMS charity and stem cell donation by encouraging more people to register to the donor list, stating: “I would have no hesitation in doing it all again if anyone needed my stem cells in the future. I hope my story inspires people to register.” She has even suggested that GAP holds a drive with its other employees to give them the chance to register for this amazing and possibly lifesaving cause. It is something that Christine believes and hopes a lot of people would be happy to partake in as it initially only asks for a cheek swab and could result in an incredible person, like Christine, saving a patient’s life. You can register as a potential blood stem cell donor here.
Everyone at GAP is extremely proud of Christine’s wonderful donation, a huge well done for this remarkable deed!