Trading has begun in the latest initiative to raise funds for the new renal unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The Great Trade UP Game will see teams from businesses and organisations attempt to raise as much as possible for the Kidney Kids Appeal by trading up a single red balloon.
The appeal, launched last summer with BBC Radio WM, has raised more than £360,000 towards the £1.5million target through events and donations from listeners and friends of the hospital.
The game will see 17 teams, who have made a donation of £500, attempt to emulate Canadian Kyle MacDonald who famously bartered his way from a paperclip to a house.
Starting with a Birmingham Children’s Hospital red balloon, participants will seek to trade it for something of higher value and continue to trade each subsequent item until May 15 when the teams will have three weeks to realise the cash value of their latest trade with the Great Trade UP Champion crowned at a grand finale at the Bentley and Lamborghini dealership on Fort Parkway in Erdington.
Teams from a range of sectors are taking part in the event from the media to professional services to education, all looking forward to putting their negotiating and marketing skills to the test.
Trading was launched at an event at what will be the new renal unit on Thursday and the first trade took place almost immediately when the Capsticks team traded their balloon for the tie pin of the head of communications at the hospital.
Gary Hay, head of the Birmingham office for Capsticks, said: “We opened our Birmingham office in December and, as newcomers, we are delighted to be involved in this fundraiser – it’s a great opportunity to get involved in the community.
“Healthcare is at the heart of our community and after seeing the incredible work done at the hospital, we came away enthused and spent the night plotting our next trade. There was a lot of blue sky thinking at Ashers curry house!”
Senior partner, Peter Edwards, added: “It’s a fantastic idea and we’re all fired up and ready to get everyone involved. We’re a pretty competitive bunch so look out for some creative trades!”
Every Monday the Birmingham Post will be publishing the BCH “Kidney Kids Index” over the four-month trading period showing a league table of the top 10 performing companies.
The page will report the achievements of companies and analysis of the activities of the different business sectors with a “deal of the week,” based on the value of the deal or just the plain outrageous. The information will also be available at birminghampost.net.
BBC WM has already given extensive coverage to the Kidney Kids Appeal and will be looking for interesting features or quirky stories around the activities of the companies taking part. More details of the appeal can be found on at www.bbc.co.uk/wm.
Jeremy Pollock, assistant editor at BBC WM, said: “Since we launched this appeal in July we have been stunned by the reaction and generosity of our listeners. Individuals, organisations and businesses have really got into the spirit of fundraising and we are seeing cheques come in every day but I am sure the best is yet to come.”
Tracey Marsh, director of fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “Birmingham Children’s Hospital is well known as a leading, pioneering hospital and it’s important that we continue to develop the hospital environment to be able to provide the care the children deserve.
“The Great Trade UP, is also pioneering as it is the first time we have actively engaged with the business sector in an event of this type. We are really grateful to all the businesses that have joined in and thank them for giving their time, business skills and acumen to play the game over the coming months and to Trade UP from our modest red balloon to something of much greater value to help fund our brand new renal unit for our Kidney Kids.
“There is still a chance for other businesses to join in as The Great Trade UP runs until 15th May. We have big plans for developing Birmingham Children’s Hospital and need the full support of businesses and the local community to give our children the best healthcare possible.”
THE TEAMS: Shoosmiths, BAM Construction, TSB Corporate Banking, Capsticks, Virgin Media, Bentley and Lamborghini Birmingham, Synter, Shakespeare Putsman, Weightmans, Deloitte, RLF, Next Car Credit, Browne Jacobson, Barclays Wealth, Amey, Walsall Youth Services, Sutton Coldfield College, Beachcroft.
THE RULES: All trades started with single red balloon on January 15 2009.
All trading must be of at least the same value or of a higher value.
No teams must participate in illegal activity, or anything that could be deemed to put the players, traders or anyone involved in the Great Trade UP at risk.
There is no maximum size of team members and up to four members of each team are invited to attend the Grand finale on June 11.
All trades must be recorded on the record card and the full details of each trade e-mailed to the Great Trade UP master. This information will be published in the Kidney Kids Index every Monday in the Birmingham Post.
All trading must finish on 15th May whereupon the teams have three weeks to sell their final item and release its cash value.
The top three performing teams will be required to give a short presentation about their trading experience at the grand finale.
THE DATES: Jan 15 - Trading commences at the launch party.
May 15 - Trading ceases.
June 5 - Deadline for converting your final trade item into cash.
June 11 - Grand finale at the Bentley and Lamborghini Dealership, Birmingham.