Community Champions

Celebrating charity work and good deeds in the Wiltshire and Swindon business community.

Techies take to two wheels for charity

Written by Peter Davison.

Helpdesk technician Jack Hayward and account manager Mark Salen Staff from Bradford-on-Avon-based IT support firm Systemagic are getting on their bikes to raise money for the charity Designability.

The team aim to raise £4,750 over the next 12 months so they can sponsor a Wizzybug, an innovative powered wheelchair designed specifically for children under five who, due to their medical condition, are unable to walk or who can only walk with difficulty.

The team will be gearing up two static bikes as they attempt to cover 1,000 kilometres a month travelling the distance from their headquarters in Bradford-on-Avon to their furthest afield customer in Hong Kong, a total of 4,934 miles.

All funds raised across the next year will go towards helping a child enjoy the freedom and fun of being a toddler by providing them with their own wizzy-bug.

Marketing manager Becky Land said: "The team are super excited to start the challenge, we'll be inviting clients to not only sponsor us but to come to our office and help us get the miles in and reach our target.

"The fundraising will not only be a great way to keep fit but also raise awareness of the fantastic work the team at Designability do.

"We're looking forward to seeing what other fundraising activities we can throw in throughout the next year too."

Accountancy firm counts up another successful year of fundraising

Written by Peter Davison.

Staff at the Swindon office of chartered accountancy firm MHA Monahans have celebrated another successful year of fundraising by presenting cheques to their four 2017/2018 charities: Prospect Hospice, Macmillan, the Dove Specialist Cancer Unit at the Great Western Hospital, and The Anthony Nolan Trust.

Every year, each MHA Monahans office selects a local charity to raise money for, through a variety of different activities such as quizzes, bake sales and dress-down days, and the Swindon office has raised a total of £5,000 which will be split between the charities.

The cheque presentation coincided with MHA Monahans’ Swindon quiz, where teams from the firm’s Swindon, Bath and Chippenham offices went head to head in a battle of brains.

The office’s new charity for 2018/2019 was also announced as Brighter Futures, the charity for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Staff will be raising money for two of the charity’s appeals – the Radiotherapy Appeal which is raising £2.9 million to build a new radiotherapy satellite centre; and the Special Care Baby Unit Incubator Appeal to raise £175,000 to purchase five state-of-the-art neonatal incubators.

These incubators will help to deliver care over and above the existing NHS budget by creating a seamless, healing micro environment for the 450 babies born at GWH who each year need additional support in the first few days and weeks of their life, often weighing less than a bag of sugar and small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.

Craig Hatherall, business services manager at MHA Monahans, in Trowbridge and Holly Ayton, business services manager in Swindon, organise social and charitable activities in Swindon.

However, this was their last year before handing over to Leanne Anderson. Craig said: “Every year the office chooses charities that are close to our hearts. Last year MHA Monahans chose cancer-related charities as the whole office was touched by the disease and we’re proud to have been able to raise this money and give something back to charities which make such a big difference to people’s lives.

“This year we’ve chosen Brighter Futures and all money raised this year will be split between Brighter Future’s radiotherapy appeal and Special Care Baby Unit.”

Solicitors brave the heat to run, swim, and cycle

Written by Peter Davison.

Josh Taylor, Maxine Hobbs and Oliver PriceSuper-fit solicitors from Devizes law firm Wansbroughs braved searing heat to run, cycle and swim in one of the UK’s top five triathlons.

Runner Josh Taylor, cyclist Maxine Hobbs, and swimmer Oliver Price represented the firm at the JLL Property Triathlon at Dorney Lake, Eton.

The relay triathlon sees one team member swimming 750m, a second compete in a 21.2k bike ride, and a third run 5k.

Held on a hot June 29, Wansbroughs came 52nd out of a field of 250 teams.

Over the past 12 years the event has raised in excess of £18m for charities.

IT firm managers run miles for Mind

Written by Peter Davison.

Managers at Bradford-on-Avon based IT support firm Systemagic have been raising money for mental health charity Mind and raising workplace awareness of mental health issues.

Managing director James Eades, chairman Martin Spiller, operations manager Harriet Brooks, and account manager Mark Salen set the bar by dusting off their running gear and completing Miles For Mind, a virtual run that covered 50 miles in aid of Mind.

The leadership team all did their bit to individually cover 50 miles and documenting their runs with thousands of other participants across the country.

"Miles for Mind has been a fantastic way to encourage staff to get active and work together while promoting health and wellbeing in our workplace," said James.

"We're really pleased that the team have supported such a brilliant cause and if it gets people talking more about mental health it's certainly worthwhile."

Wiltshire businesses recognised for going above and beyond for unpaid carers

Written by Peter Davison.

Chris Perry Celia Duggan and Sandy Corby with Catharine Hurford and Claire Perry MPWiltshire businesses Corsham Print and Dorothy House have been recognised by Carer Support Wiltshire for their ongoing commitment to carers with a Working for Carers outstanding employer accreditation

The awards, given to organisations who have gone the extra mile to identify and support carers in their workforce were presented by Devizes MP and patron of Carer Support Wiltshire, Claire Perry at the recent Working for Carers network lunch.

Chris Perry, managing director of Corsham Print, who collected the award, said: “Our employees are our most valuable resource and ensuring that we have the mechanisms in place to support them if they are caring for someone is very important for our business.

"We are very proud to have achieved the Outstanding Employer Accreditation and the process has already helped us identify members of staff who care for a loved one."

Celia Duggan, HR business partner at Dorothy House Hospice Care, said: "My colleague Sandy Corbyn and I were delighted to receive the Working for Carers Outstanding Employer Award from Carer Support Wiltshire, on behalf of Dorothy House.

"The award recognises the hospice for its commitment to the wellbeing of our staff who are also carers. It also reflects our efforts to be a compassionate employer at a time when the government is increasing their investment in helping carers return to the workplace.

"It was interesting to join and meet with other local organisations at the Network Lunch on Friday 15th June and to learn about other work being done locally and explore opportunities to work collaboratively".

Working for Carers was set up three years ago by Carer Support Wiltshire to highlight the increasing number of carers among the county’s workforce and to encourage and help employers support those who juggle their work commitments with a caring role.

The programme’s success has meant expansion with Worcestershire Association of Carers and Forward Carers in Birmingham to engage with employers in the Midlands.

CSW will also be launching the scheme in Gloucestershire later this year in association with Carers Gloucestershire.

Carer Support Wiltshire chief executive, Catharine Hurford said: “Building trust and confidence in the employer employee relationship makes sense at personal, organisational and community levels.

"These two organisations are beacons of outstanding good practice in identifying and recognising carers in the workplace. Our wholehearted congratulations to them.

"We are delighted that our innovative Working for Carers scheme is being adopted elsewhere in the country, providing local solutions for carers and employers, as industry minister and Devizes MP Claire Perry highlighted in her powerful speech.”

To find out more about working for carers, visit https://workingforcarers.co.uk/

Law firm's sponsorship bowls over cricketers

Written by Peter Davison.

Beehive Southwick Cricket ClubCricketers from Southwick will be going into bat with the support of Trowbridge law firm Forrester Sylvester Mackett behind them – and the firm's name emblazoned on their arms.

The law firm has sponsored Beehive Southwick Cricket Club as part of its 'What matters to you, matters to us' initiative.

Having moved to a new home in Southwick, the ambitious club is currently playing in the Wiltshire County Cricket League, with teams in Division 2 and 7.

Founded in 1999, the club has progressed every year and is now looking to improve its facilities to move further up the leagues.

Copier firm sponsors printing for parenting charity

Written by Peter Davison.

Nikki CooperDocument management company UTAX is supporting the UK's largest charity for parents through its community print project.

Already this year, 27 of the National Childbirth Trust's 332 branches have benefited from the Swindon-based company’s CSR project.

The partnership with NCT gives the opportunity for three local branches to be chosen to receive complimentary printing every month, offering the ability to produce literature in a variety of sizes and styles to assist with the promotion of branch events and general information.

Nikki Cooper, partnerships manager at the NCT, which offers information and support in pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood, said: "It’s great to have practical help for our vast volunteer network who are working to support new parents.”

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