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Graduate Gala Generates Ten Grand for Macmillan’s Summer Lights fundraiser

Over 60 employees at npower’s Solihull office took part in a musical gala and an evening of celebration in support of  Macmillan’s first ever national ‘Summer Lights’ fundraiser, raising nearly £5000 – which when matched pound for pound by npower, came to a staggering £10,000 for the company’s charity partner of 12 years.

The nationwide fundraising event encourages people to celebrate the loved ones who ‘light up their lives’ by holding a Summer Lights get together indoors or out, using decorative lights as a key focal point. The idea is for people to invite family and friends over for nibbles and drinks, or dinner – however they like to celebrate, in exchange for a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Organised by the 2015 graduate cohort based at the Solihull site, the fundraising team of 13 hosted their Summer Lights party with an appetising BBQ, delicious homemade cakes and lashings of mocktails, all enjoyed whilst listening to new musical talent, ‘Bobby and Lindsey’, singing a set of beautiful cover songs throughout the evening at the nearby Solihull Sports and Social Club. The venue inside was beautifully decorated with sparkly fairy lights, glowing LED candles and colourful lanterns.

To help add to the fundraising pot, a variety of money-can’t-buy prizes were auctioned to raise further funds for Macmillan such as guitar lessons with the CEO Paul Coffey, a dinner for two cooked by COO, Dirk Simons and a golfing session lead by Head of npower Business, Jason Scagell. A culinary masterclass with Director of Communications, Guy Esnouf created a bidding war, which raised a huge £440 as the auctioneer’s hammer hit the table.

Heading up the fundraising team, Rachel Butler, a graduate in the Marketing team, said: “We’ve had an amazing night filled with music, food and plenty of fundraising fun. Many thanks goes out to the team who have worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks organising a fantastic Summer Lights party. We are delighted to have raised an incredible amount of money for such a great cause – all our hard work has really paid off.”

During the evening, Heather Boulton, a graduate in the Commercial team, took time to reflect on how the cancer charity has helped her and her family in their time of need. Heather said “Over the past 20 years, Macmillan have always shone a light of support in our darkest hours, from taking care of my Dziadek (granddad) 20 years ago, to my  father in law 15 years ago, and my uncle 2 years ago. They were also there for me and my family, and we are so grateful to have had that kind of support time  and time again.

“It’s great that I get to support Macmillan through my job at npower. The grads worked tirelessly to pull this Summer Lights celebration together, but we’ve had great fun doing it! I’d encourage everyone to hold their own celebration, it’s a great way to remember loved ones, bring people together and have fun whilst raising vital funds for an amazing charity.”

npower’s Head of Community, Clare McDougall who joined in the evening celebrations, said: "I am so proud of each and every colleague who has taken part in their own Summer Lights party for Macmillan this year: from a team of 132 hikers joining in the celebrations at the campsite at the foothills of the Yorkshire Three Peaks last weekend, to our team of graduates hosting an evening of music, to individuals hosting their own parties at home. With thoughts of those that ‘light up our lives’ in our minds, we have all celebrated and enjoyed time with our nearest and dearest to help raise funds to provide support for people affected by cancer.”


npower is also hosting a social media competition to encourage people to share a photo on social media, tagging @npowerhq, of the person who's the inspiration for their celebration. For every tweet that uses #summerlights, npower will donate £5 to Macmillan, up to a total of £50,000.


For those who’d like tips on how to decorate their Summer Lights event, the Summer Lights website ( provides a hub of inspiration, where people can learn about the campaign and see the gorgeous lighting looks that have been created by top style influencers.