Birmingham’s biggest bosses were sent to prison last month – but it was all in the name of charity!

Managers from some of the city’s leading accountancy, marketing and law firms were put behind bars after being nominated by their staff for committing ‘office crimes’.

Dubbed ‘Jail or Bail’, the event was organised by Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and saw a total of 13 bosses locked up on the day.  

City leaders from businesses such as Capita, Dains and Venn Group were all sent to The Lock-Up at Steelhouse Lane, which once housed the real life Peaky Blinders.

Upon arrival, managers had their mug shot and fingerprints taken by Victorian prison officers, before completing fundraising forfeits such as mopping floors and cleaning toilets.

Senior bosses had to rely on their generous business contacts, as well as their family and friends, to reach their £600 bail which would grant them their freedom. All bosses managed to reach their fundraising target and collectively, they raised an impressive £20,000 for the Hospice.

Richard Day – who is service director at property software provider Reapit – raised over £3k at the event. He said: “I think it’s really important that businesses support local charities and as senior managers, we have a responsibility to lead by example. So, when an opportunity comes up where being the boss can service a number of positive outcomes, I always jump at the chance – even if it means wearing an orange jumpsuit and being locked up for the day!

“I had a lot of fun taking part in Jail or Bail and although some of the prison forfeits were challenging, it was made worthwhile when I saw the money coming in for my bailout. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me on the day. Birmingham St Mary’s is a fantastic charity and it’s heartening to know that the money I raised – as well as all the other corporate prisoners – will help care for local people and their loved ones.” 

All ‘bail money’ raised will help Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice continue to provide vital care and support to local people who are living with life-limiting illness.

Pamela Hodgetts, corporate partnerships officer at the Hospice, added: “At some point or other, we’d all love to get payback on our bosses – so Jail or Bail was a really fun way of doing this whilst supporting a great local charity.

“Our corporate jailbirds really rose to the challenge and we’re delighted that they raised over £20,000 for the Hospice. It costs £8.3 million to run our vital services every year – over 60 per cent of which must come from voluntary donations – so we really do rely on the generous support of local people and businesses to enable us to continue to provide our care.”

To commemorate the event, Peaky Blinders’ official artist, Jon Jones, donated a one-of-a-kind limited edition print depicting Arthur Shelby, played by Paul Anderson in the hit BBC drama. The piece by the Birmingham-born artist, whose work is exhibited by Castle Fine Art, will be on sale on the Hospice’s eBay account and will hopefully raise even more funds for the charity.

This year, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice will be celebrating 40 years of care across Birmingham and Sandwell. When the Hospice first opened in 1979, it could care for 25 people on any given day. Four decades later and the Hospice is supporting over 400 people every day, providing care in people’s homes, in the community, at its Day Hospice facility and at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit.

Read here to find out how your business can be a corporate partner with Birmingham St Mary's Hospice.