Why do you, or your team, support a charity?

Ever since starting my own business, I’ve tried to be charitable in my approach. I honestly feel it’s good too to let people see that you recognise the importance of social responsibility.

Owning and running a business isn’t just about me, it is also about being able to give back to the community. My community, Wiltshire or The Cotswolds, supports me, supports my income and I care about that.

How do you show you truly care about that other than simply ‘saying’ you do?

Charities always need publicity, so by businesses aligning themselves with charities, when you may have more access to PR and marketing, the charity reaps the rewards too.

Giving is as good as receiving though those rewards are not always immediate for both parties. Also the act of giving itself can create an inner feeling of wellbeing, which should not ever be underestimated.

Charities, community projects and community interest companies have been struggling over the last two years, so they all need our support more than ever before. Many rely on events to generate a significant portion of their income and many people will not invest in attending ‘virtual’ events. This has had a massive impact on third sector organisations.

I’ve got to a stage in my life where I want to be able to give more – give back to the community.  I’m very fortunate in my life, we have a lovely home, car, a good life-style, and can afford the holidays and things we want.

Many people are not so lucky, especially when we hear all of the many tragedies around the world, and locally, here in the UK. I don’t believe in judging others for their difficult circumstances, often it’s due to factors outside of their control.

When it is down to factors which are in their control, I believe you can never know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of another person.

 

Portsmouth Spinnaker on a blue sky day

Why I chose my charity:

For the last few years I had been looking for the right charity to support. Then I met Val Huxley, the CEO and co-founder of Business Against Poverty, at a networking event.  Afterwards, we had a one to one, and after a further chat I chose to sign up as a member.

The reason I chose them was because of some of the projects they were working on.  One project Val told me about was where the charity was helping people to set up their own business and make money by making clothes. The charity provided them with sewing machines, and helped them to learn how to make clothes.

As business owner, this resonated with me, because as a teen, at school I loved needlework, and in fact it was the only O level I passed first time around!

My parents bought my very own machine when I was 18, and I spent many happy hours sewing. However, although I still have the machine, I now longer use it.

My business, Helen Richmond Photography has already donated £200 for a sewing machine, and I was very excited when I received a message and video, from Memory, the girl in Malawi who I have supported. The sewing machine project is called the Dignity project.

I have also donated £200 for buying white goods for families in the UK, who don’t have a fridge or freezer, and hopefully will be donating another £400 after I have completed my charity abseil in a couple of weeks.

What I particularly like, is that Business Against Poverty work in the UK, not just abroad – and they are also helping with the Ukraine effort.

Helen and Paul absail down Portsmouth spinnaker

Business Against Poverty

Business Against Poverty, a registered charity, and has been a membership community since 2009, where members use their businesses to take action and make a difference.

The charity directly supports projects worldwide, in Haiti, India, Malawi, Tanzania, Romania and Nepal, and also, importantly in the UK, impacting positively on lives of those they work with.

Business against Poverty are committed to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

https://businessagainstpoverty.com/about-us/

Woman waving while absailing down Portsmouth Spinnaker

And guess what? I abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower to raise funds for this charity! 

You are probably asking why on earth I abseiled and did not do something a little more grounded or safe?

Well, I took this challenge, for two main reasons.

  1. To raise money for Business Against Poverty with several other people, including my friend Mike Land of Nickel Design.
  2. I want to show my two boys (aged 12 and 17), that I’m not just their mum. I don’t spend my time sitting behind a computer screen, reading books or doing a bit of gardening here and there. I don’t like to be underestimated, I want to surprise them. I can do something challenging and ‘out there’. It’s a matter of feel the fear and do it anyway.

The Spinnaker Tower is the centrepiece of the new Portsmouth Harbour. It is a 170-metre landmark, observation tower.

I abseiled down the whole thing, I abseiled down 100 metres…  still very, very high!

I felt a mixture of nerves and excitement, trying not to think about the actual height, too much.

I exceeded my target of £400, raising £660. Yay!

Sometimes I feel life is bigger than me. I live a comfortable, fortunate life. We don’t choose where or who we are born to – not everyone’s life is equal.

I thought I’d share a quote from my favourite book, which say’s it all:

 “I’m so small” said the mole.

“Yes,” said the boy, “but you make a huge difference.”

 From ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ by Charlie Mackesy.

 

Woman leaning on Cotswolds wall wearing rose coloured jumper