Helping The Homeless
9th December 2019 Paul Andrews
The #FamilyBizSantaDash for 2019 has just concluded with bags full of warm clothing and blankets collected for the homeless plus over £3,000 raised for CentrepointUK too.
Family Business United once again teamed up with FBU members Plan Insurance to make a difference and support the UK's leading youth homelessness charity this Christmas and to collect warm clothing and blankets to help those on the streets too.
As Paul Andrews, founder of FBU explains, "Each year we like to try and do something to make a difference and in December and given that FBU is all about families in business with family values at the core of these businesses, we wanted to do something that resonates with who we are as an organisation. So, we have just completed our third Family Business Santa Dash, collecting warm clothes to distribute to the homeless and funds to support youth homelessness too."
Essentially the trip in a liveried and sponsored 'sleigh' takes place over a week visiting family firms who have encouraged staff and customers to donate items, including unwanted CD's and DVD's that can then be converted into cash, taking pictures en route and touring businesses at the same time.
2019 saw the trip start at New Wave Marine in Plymouth before winding its way back to London and a concluding visit to Ridgeview Winery in Sussex. Along the route the generosity of the family business community was clearly evident as the van was filled with items that will make a difference to lives this festive season. As well as encouraging donations from the firms visited on the way, family firms across the UK sent in donations of items, as well as cash that saw the total funds raised for CentrepointUK, the UK's leading youth homelessness charity exceed £3,100 too.
As Scott Georgiades, founder of Plan Insurance, a family firm in Surrey and partners on the event added, "It is always a great event to be part of. Coming from a family firm we recognise the contribution that the firms visited make to the economy on a daily basis and this is a way to engage and make a difference by giving something back. The welcome that we received along the route was fantastic and the initial concept was only to collect warm clothing and blankets which we distribute directly to those in need, with a large amount being handed out as part of the #TaxiWarmClothing appeal on The Strand. To be able to raise over £3,000 as well for CentrepointUK and the work that they do is a real bonus."
As well as the road trip regional donations to the cause were received from all over the UK including Cumbria, Glasgow and East Anglia.
As Paul adds, "This is an important campaign for us to bring the family business community together and has grown into an integral part of the FBU calendar. We could not do it without the incredible support of Plan and it is a real pleasure to work with them on the campaign each year. Our 'sleigh' sponsors were also fantastic and the family firms that we visited were so supportive, embracing the idea and welcoming us with open arms and kind hearts. It is a week away from the office but far from being a chore, it is wonderful to see the family business community pull together and collectively make such a difference. It is a shame that homelessness is such a major issue across the UK but a pleasure to do something that will undoubtedly make a small difference this Christmas."
Special thanks to our 'sleigh' sponsors:
Birketts, G Seller, Kin Alliance, Perrywood Nurseries, Littles Chauffeurs, The Victor Pizza Company, Bagnalls, Western Pension Solutions, Hawkshead Relish and Seven Investment Management.
Further thanks have to go to the family firms we visited along the way:
New Wave Marine, Hanbury-Autogil. Brewers Decorator Centres, Brend Hotels, St Bridgets Nurseries, Darts Farm, MJ Baker Foodservice, Ridgeview Winery, Wyke Farms, Pattersons, Bath Ales and St Austell Brewery.
Now attention turns to the 2020 campaign, something that hopefully will be bigger and better than 2019. Our aim is to continue to collect warm clothes and blankets on the actual dash in December but to collect DVD's and CD's throughout the year and we have set ourselves a bold target - 5,000 DVD's and CD's - so if you have any unwanted DVD's or CD's that you are able to donate please do get in touch.
Our route for 2020 will take in visits to Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Leicester and London so if you want to find out more and/or get involved please do get in touch.
As Paul concludes, "Thank you to everyone who supported the 2019 campaign. It has generated quite a collection of items and a nice donation to a charity that transforms lives and we really do appreciate all the support. Thank you. All that is left now is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a fabulous 2020."
If you wish to make a donation you can do so here
Check out the gallery of images from the week on the road on twitter here