Marie Curie's penguin problem solved by Alconbury transport firm

Benchmark Services aids Marie Curie penguin appeal

Claire Morris from Marie Curie and Benchmark Services' Mark Cole - Credit: Marie Curie

Transport firm Benchmark Services has played a key part in making sure a fundraiser by end of life charity Marie Curie was able to get off the ground according to plan - by picking up 1,000 stuffed penguins.

The soft toys were to be sent to nurseries and community groups taking part in Marie Curie’s Penguin Parade event but had been stuck in Yorkshire as a result of national transport and delivery problems.

Benchmark Services, based at Alconbury Weald, collected the penguins from Yorkshire and took them to the charity’s centre in Kent for distribution to groups taking part in the fundraising appeal.

Marie Curie, which supports families affected by terminal illness, was worried that the penguins would not be in place for the start of the Penguin Parade.

The parade, part of the charity’s Christmas fundraising programme, will see youngsters from nurseries and primary schools waddling penguin-style to raise money.

Penelope the Penguin is the mascot for the campaign and the first 1,000 groups to sign up will receive a soft toy Penelope of their own.

Marie Curie said that although the parade would have been able to go ahead without the toys it would not have been same if the participants did not have the penguins.

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Claire Morris, head of community fundraising east said: “We’re so grateful to Benchmark for stepping in to help us and we are excited to be launching this brand-new fundraising event and hope our young supporters enjoy stretching their legs and going for a little waddle with Penelope.

“This will be fabulous fun for children aged 1-6 and everything you need is available on the Marie Curie website.”

Claire said added:  “By taking part in the Penguin Parade, you can help us continue to be there for everyone who will need us now and in the future.”

Mark Cole, operations director at Benchmark Services said: “We always try and go the extra mile and when we heard about the plight of the penguins, we were happy to help.”

More information on the Penguin Parade and how to sign up is available from Penguin Parade 2021 ( or from community fundraiser, Peter Sara on: 07887 625449.