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AXA End to End gives charities $25,000 boost

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Anne Mello, right, chairwoman of the Axa End-to-End board, with Sandy De Silva, the executive director of Family Centre, at the charity’s awards ceremony last Thursday night (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

A “quirky and compromising” Axa End-to-End went ahead to bolster Bermuda’s charitable sector despite a pandemic that almost put the 32nd event off for this year.

Anne Mello, chairwoman of the AXA End-to-End board, said organisers were “delighted” to have gone ahead with improvised and socially distanced version of the popular walking, running, swimming and cycling event.

Despite restrictions, a trimmed-down End-to-End still brought out roughly 500 participants last month.

Along with its title sponsor, the 2020 End-to-End was backed by Butterfield Bank and the financial services firm Deloitte.

Ms Mello said: “This year has been a battle. There were a lot less people but our big goal was to bring as much as we could for charity – we know they’re struggling.”

Family Centre joined the Bermuda Zoological Society, Vision Bermuda, the Garden Club of Bermuda in reaping the rewards, at a ceremony held on Thursday night at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel.

Each charity received $25,000.

Sandy De Silva, executive director at Family Centre, said the Covid-19 crisis had made it “a difficult year” with heightened need across the community and reduced revenues.

The charity, based at Sunshine House on King Street on the edge of Hamilton, had to move its programmes off-site from March 20 for months under Covid-19 safety restrictions.

Family Centre’s youth summer programme in July was the first back in the building.

Ms De Silva said: “The smiles on the young people just getting to see another human being were fantastic.”

As of September 1, Family Centre’s teams were back full-time.

Ms De Silva said the End-to-End donation would go directly to Family Centre’s family support groups, which have “never had such a high attendance rate”.

The support groups, run off different topics that are relevant at the time, are given at no cost to the families who take part.

She added: “Right now, we’re running a ten-week group on stress management and parent-child bonding post lockdown.

“It’s about connecting with other parents and getting to normality again.”

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Published November 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Updated November 19, 2020 at 5:20 pm)

AXA End to End gives charities $25,000 boost

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