Jane Murray, lead CR Champion in our Thames Valley really liked the idea of organising a charity fair that would enable colleagues to find out a little more about the work of various charities and to help inform who would be chosen as the new office charity partner for 2018/2019.
Such a fair has now been organised in our Birmingham office for the last two years and Jane and the Community Investment Programme/Social Committee were keen to adopt a similar approach in Reading.
Jane approached a number of charities who came along during the lunch period on Monday 25 June 2018. Colleagues got the chance to talk to each charity, find out about the programmes underway locally in an informal setting over lunch. In our break out area we hosted representation from nine charities namely:
- RACT – Reading Area Charities Together a consortium of five Reading based charities that work together to support each other in raising funds for projects;
- Guide Dogs which helps blind and partially sighted people across the UK;
- St Mungo’s which directly works with people who are sleeping rough, in hostels and at risk of becoming homeless, supporting people away from rough sleeping, through to helping them to rebuild their lives;
- No. 5 Young People provides confidential listening to support children, young people and those around them.
- ABC to Read – Assisting Berkshire Children to Read helping to transform the lives of children who are struggling to read at primary school across Berkshirel
- Smart Works Reading provides high quality, work appropriate outfits, styling advice and interview coaching to help women to feel confident, look fabulous, succeed at their job interview and move on with their life;
- Camp Mohawk is a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs and their families set in five acres of beautiful countryside just outside Wargrave;
- Launchpad provides three key services (drop in, housing with support and supporting people to stay in their own homes by helping with landlord issues, which help prevent homelessness and support people individually; and
- Challengers which provides exciting, challenging inclusive play and leisure activities for disabled children and young people.
Colleagues appreciated the opportunity to talk to both some of the familiar charities, such as Guide Dogs and Launchpad who have been Shoosmiths office charity partners in the past and Camp Mohawk which for instance our corporate colleagues volunteer at each year. It was also the chance to be introduced to less familiar charities or with whom individual colleagues had been involved – such as Smart Works who we have recently collected work clothes for. Our head of office, Jonathan Naylor also extended his appreciation to all the charities for taking part in the day and meeting our colleagues
After the fair there was a staff vote and we were delighted to select our next charity partner No % Young People. We look forward to working with the charity, not only to fundraise but to find ways of raising the charity’s profile, not least by considering how the charity is progressing no 3 of the global 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3) which is to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. which is addressing health and wellbeing.