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At IRESS, we believe that our responsibilities extend to positively contributing in our local communities.

During 2013, IRESS was proud to be involved with the Prince’s Trust Million Makers challenge, which saw organisations across the UK and Ireland compete to raise at least £10,000 each, over a six month period from an initial funding of £1,500. Our self-styled ‘Team EPIC’ threw themselves wholeheartedly into the challenge and as a result, raised an incredible £17,000; the highest tally raised by the ten teams in their region for the event. Money raised will be used to fund the Prince’s Trust in their vital work giving practical and financial support to under-privileged young people, helping them build the life they choose rather than the one with which they’ve found themselves.

Most recently, in Canada, the IRESS team was involved in ‘Ride for Heart’, a cycling event dedicated to raising funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

Sunday, 1 June 2014 dawned bright and sunny, and saw 14,000 cyclists gathering in downtown Toronto for the ‘Ride’, ready to take over one of the main traffic arteries to the core of the city, the Don Valley Parkway. This six lane highway is usually host to over 100,000 cars per day making their way in and out of the downtown core. A broad, green corridor, the Don Valley Parkway is a spectacular way to enter Toronto, but can often suffer – much like a real artery – from blockage and congestion. It’s an appropriate metaphor for the body’s circulatory system, a metaphor that has been adopted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario for the ‘Ride for Heart’.

First launched in 1987, the ‘Ride’ has grown steadily into one of the premiere sponsorship events in Canada, attracting thousands of riders and generating millions of dollars for cardiovascular research, including heart disease and stroke prevention and treatment. According to the Heart and Stroke foundation, someone in Canada dies every seven minutes in Canada of heart disease or stroke, with an estimated cost impact of $20.9 billion in healthcare, lost wages and lost productivity. It’s a major health problem with major health consequences.

IRESS has participated in the ‘Ride’ every year since 2006, and this year, had 20 participants, generating over $6000 in sponsorship, well in excess of our $5000 target. This year, the Ride had a record number of participants and generated total funds over $6,000,000 for this important healthcare issue.

In South Africa, we support Seeds of Africa, an organisation dedicated to the transformation of historically disadvantaged people. This support takes the shape of regular on the ground activities; creating a children’s library, delivering reading programmes and DIY help at the Itsoeng ECD Centre and providing basic items such as blankets.

Each week, members of the IRESS team give up their time and or money to support causes such as these, many of them quietly and unrecognised. I’d like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank each and every one of them. Our people are at the heart of IRESS.

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