Two Birmingham construction companies have row, row, rowed their way to success for Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, after entering teams in the charity’s annual Dragon Boat Race. 

Contractors, Business Services Now Group (BSN) and Construction Consultancy firm, JRA, who both also sponsored the event, chose to support the charity as they both admire the great work the both hospitals do. BSN is the main contractor working on Birmingham Women’s Hospital’s new standalone bereavement centre, Woodland House, for parents experiencing pregnancy or baby loss. The building is currently under construction, after £3m was raised following a charity appeal. JRA, meanwhile, acted as the electrical and plumbing systems consultants on the project. So, when the opportunity arose to sponsor and take part in the charity’s third annual Dragon Boat Race, both companies jumped at the chance.  

The race took place across two days along the canal at the Mailbox Birmingham and saw 49 teams from the local business community come together to raise money for the two hospitals. BSN and JRA both put together a team of 16 rowers and a drummer. The race saw each team battle it out through three heats of 200m races with each day culminating in major and minor finals to determine the day’s top four teams. One final race then crowned the overall winners, as well as those finishing in silver and bronze position.  

Despite their best efforts, BSN and JRA both finished middle of the table, however their fundraising got top marks. These funds, when added to the money raised from the 47 other teams who took part, means a phenomenal £265,000 was raised for Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity. 

Darren Perry, construction director at BSN, said: “We have been supporters of the charity for a few years now, having worked on projects at both hospitals. Seeing the amazing work undertaken by the staff – their dedication and passion – it naturally rubs off onto our site teams and we get sucked into helping the charity at every opportunity. 

“The Dragon Boat Race was a wonderful event, for a great cause, but the team building opportunity it provided did wonders in boosting morale within BSN too.” 

Niki Nicklin, Finance and Office manager at JRA, added: “We wanted to give something back to the community, and the hospitals support so many people across the city and beyond. It was a great experience for us as a team, working together and having a bit of friendly competition with other teams. Although we got a little wet and were all bit tired by the end of the day, it was fantastic to be part of such an amazing event.” 

Helen Miles, head of corporate partnerships at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We’re so thankful to BSN and JRA – and all the businesses who took part – for going above and beyond for our patients. This was our third Dragon Boat Race, and every year we are blown away by the efforts and enthusiasm shown by all the teams. 

 “The incredible amount raised will make a world of difference to the experience we can offer our patients. We hope to see both teams back out on the water next year too!”