New for 2022, the Charity of the Year award at the Gloucestershire Live Business Awards is looking to recognise our truly outstanding Gloucestershire charities. And there are so many which deserve recognition after a challenging couple of years.
At Randall & Payne we experienced first-hand the difficulties the pandemic presented for charities, cancelling all our plans for fundraisers from March 2020.
Despite these difficulties, after a longer period of fundraising, we were overjoyed to have raised over £18,000 for Scoo-B-Doo to buy an incubator for the neonatal unit at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. This is the largest amount we have ever raised for our corporate charity and is the result of a lot of hard work after our face-to-face fundraisers had to be cancelled, meaning we had to get creative!
Managing Partner, Tim Watkins commented “Randall & Payne have thoroughly enjoyed fundraising for Scoo-B-Doo, a small local charity which was already close to the hearts of a few of our staff who learnt of the support the charity gives to the Neonatal unit at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, having had first-hand experience, but which has been embraced by the whole firm. The statistics suggest that 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely worldwide, which is reflected in the numbers of our staff who have been affected by prematurity too.”
Staff and their families really threw themselves into the various fundraising activities which initially included a walk to the hospital, a Family Fun Day, Quiz Night, and many smaller fundraisers such as dress down days, breakfast butties for the office, cake sales, a staff Fantasy Football league, and an office second-hand book shop. But when Covid hit and everyone had to work from home, like many other businesses, we had to completely change our approach. So our fundraising continued via fitness challenges during lockdown, including walking, running, cycling and even skipping, taking part in virtual events and creating our own challenges. 20% of the total we raised was during the 18 months when we couldn’t do anything in person.
The fact that the remaining 80% was raised by face-to-face activities in a similar time frame demonstrates the major impact the pandemic had on charities during this time, which is one of the factors considered when the organisers were creating the new awards category. Half of this 80% came from the generosity of the local business community attending the Gloucestershire Live Business Awards in 2019 and again in 2021, with donations made using the table envelopes and silent auctions. Interestingly, with more than 500 people in the room the stats suggest that 50 people will have been directly affected by the charity’s work and we were surprised to discover that one of our clients who joined us as our guest had had a baby which spent time in neonatal care.
2022 is a landmark year for Scoo-B-Doo as they are celebrating 40 years since being established by a small group of grateful parents, doctors and nurses. Today it is still run entirely by volunteers who actively fundraise to provide equipment and essential items. Over 80% of the equipment used on the ward every day has been funded by Scoo-B-Doo, helping to ensure the babies are given the best possible care. 100% of every donation goes to help the wards tiny patients and their families.
The medical staff and parents who make up the committee have been a joy to work with and have got involved with our fundraisers wherever possible. It’s been important for us to help raise the profile of the charity, which we will continue to do beyond our partnership in order to help them keep the support of other businesses in Gloucestershire, and so that they can continue to give those tiny babies the best start in life.
If you are a charity or a supporter, why not celebrate your remarkable story and take the opportunity to showcase your charity by entering the new Charity of the Year category and we can celebrate how you tackled the challenge of the pandemic?