Staff at the Lowell Group in Leeds are expecting to have red ears as well as red noses at the end of Red Nose Day on 16 March.

The company has donated its 300-strong call centre to Comic Relief for the evening and staff have volunteered to ‘man’ the phones to collect people’s pledges, as well as taking part in a host of fundraising activities of their own.

James Cornell, Lowell Group’s chief executive officer, said:

The idea to donate our call centre to Comic Relief came from our staff. We hold a number of charitable fundraising events throughout the year, which are always well-supported, so we were more than happy to put ourselves forward. As one of the UK’s leading debt purchasing companies we are used to collecting money from people but it will be a different experience having people ring us to donate it!

Staff are still planning their own fundraising activities but Lowell has already pledged to match the money they raise. And as an added incentive James Cornell and his chief operating officer Andrew Bartle have promised to carry out a series of forfeits in exchange for pledges.

James said:

If the money is right we are willing to do almost anything that is legal and decent with the exception of shaving our heads. I know we are both follically challenged already but I’m getting married shortly and my future wife would not be happy!

Red Nose Day is a UK-wide fundraising event organised by Comic Relief every two years.  In 2005 £22 million in donations was collected on the night of Red Nose Day and 21,000 volunteers took part from 170 call centre companies.