Giving something back

Executive assistant, Julie Monkley, reflects on the achievements of Smart Solutions staff as it nears its fundraising target of £21,000 for The NSPCC.

Fundraising for charity is now a fundamental principle in many modern businesses. Research suggests that the more SMEs give to charity, the better the business performs through profits, company reputation and staff recruitment and retention. [1] More importantly, charitable fundraising is a significant element of a business’ corporate social responsibility.

Smart Solutions is committed to playing its part in supporting charities close to the hearts of its staff. Having raised £21,000 in 2015 for Bobath Cymru, the children’s therapy centre, our chief executive, Nathan Bowles, set the business another ambitious target of £21,000 in early 2017 – this time for the NSPCC.

We wanted to support this very deserving charity, which provides support for children who have been abused or neglected by helping them to recover. It is difficult to comprehend that children and young people can experience such circumstances, but with the NSPCC’s many services – including Childline, the NSPCC helpline and therapeutic support – they have somewhere to turn for help.

Smart Solutions is nearing its £21,000 target and support from staff towards the fundraising has been the pinnacle of its success. From dress-down days to bake-off days, raffles to sweepstakes and Easter bonnet competitions to Halloween buffets, the effort of staff in each of our offices has been unwavering.

There has been no shortage of endurance challenges, either. Some staff have tackled half marathons, while others have taken on 5K and 10K obstacle challenge courses – the latter, dubbed the ‘Total Warrior’, was completed alongside former military personnel, a testament to its difficulty.

In perhaps the most gruelling feat of all, 16 members of staff undertook the Yorkshire three peaks challenge, climbing the highest peaks in the county – Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough – covering a total walking distance of 24 miles and including an ascent of 5,200 feet. Though undoubtedly physically demanding, staff were thrilled to raise just shy of £2,000.

On reaching £7,750, Smart Solutions’ executive board matched the funds already raised, taking the total amount to £15,500.

Meanwhile, staff and guests at our 10-year ‘Grill’n’Chill’ anniversary celebrations last September also helped to raise £850 through our grand raffle on the day.

Using clients’ and staff members’ love for rugby has also drawn in substantial amounts of money. Throughout the Six Nations tournament, Smart Solutions hosted rugby afternoons at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cardiff, which raised more than £2,500.

Looking back on 18 months of hard work, it is clear that Smart Solutions staff have, once again, stepped up to the mark in the name of charity, with their innovative ideas, personal sporting challenges and digging deep into their own pockets to support the final goal.

The NSPCC is almost solely reliant on donations, a source of 92% of the charity’s income. Our staff can be proud of supporting the NSPCC to continue its good work, helping to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people across the UK.