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15 July 2022
by Leanne Davy

Five ways to fifty thousand – Fundraising at ForrestBrown

Chris race photo

ForrestBrown are big on looking after its people – but we are also very big on looking after our world and the people within it. Making a positive contribution towards the communities we work and live in is just part of our culture and what we do. What we WANT to do.

Over the past 5 years we have teamed up with some amazing charities and because of a truly dedicated charity committee, a bunch of enthusiastic people, supportive friends and families, we have managed to raise a whopping £50,000 for our chosen charities. And we are not stopping there!

“How did you do it?” we hear you ask… allow us to let you in on a few secrets.

Get everyone involved

Choosing our charity to support each year is not a decision that is made overnight. We ask for nominations across the entire business and put the nominated charities to a vote. We have all been introduced to so many important charities over the last five years, with some incredibly touching stories attached to them and why they were nominated. Knowing that these charities have touched the lives of people we know personally, it only makes us want to work harder to support them.

Once a charity is chosen, we put pedal to the metal and crack on with not a minute to waste! We like to invite the charity representative along to one of our “Beer O’clock” sessions on a Friday to introduce themselves and the charity. We always find this to be a great way to get the ball rolling and to really get motivation levels up within the team.

This year our charity committee is led by Director, Leanne Davy who nominated the British Heart Foundation.

Dragon boat race for BHF

Challenge ourselves and each other

We have always been the type of team to enjoy a challenge. Challenging ourselves for charity just makes it even more worthwhile.

Even when COVID struck and remote working became mandatory, we were still finding ways to fundraise for our partnered charities. Whether that was through virtual pub quizzes or the introduction of “Bake Around Bristol” (think of it as a Bristol-wide remote bake sale…), we were sure to keep the pennies coming in during a time when so many charities were really struggling to see through the storm.

Whilst we had to take a good chunk of our fundraising outdoors to be safe, we did not let any cold winds or bad weather stop us. Our wonderful cycling team took to their bikes, our marathon runners took to the streets of Bristol and one of our Associate Directors who also happens to be a bit of a fitness fanatic, Chris Alderson, raised of £1,400 in 24 hours by taking on the Fellsman challenge (look it up – not for the faint hearted!).

Give back to the community

Over the last five years we have been lucky to work with some great local charities. As well as being the hometown for the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and many Banksy pieces, Bristol is also the birthplace of ForrestBrown. We love our city and love to support what’s going on within its walls. Supporting local charities has always been very important to us – it has been lovely being able to visit these charities and to have them visit our head office on Temple back. Meeting the people and hearing their stories only strengthens an already strong relationship. Besides all of this, we just love having visitors.

Whilst we understand the value of raising funds for these wonderful organisations, being local to our charity partnerships means we are also able to help in other ways too. We have helped pitch in at garden clean ups at the Penny Brohn centre in Pill (our 2020 charity partner) and we have hosted Jessie May (our 2021 charity partner) a number of times when they’ve been looking to get together for important group meetings. Having just a small space in Kingswood, Jessie May struggle to get together as a full team regularly given the capacity restrictions. Being able to offer up our space to them over the last year has been wonderful, knowing that we’re helping them in more ways than one.

Share the word, share the love

Our team do an amazing job at raising those much-needed funds for our chosen charities. However, the support goes far beyond our ForrestBrown walls. We are so lucky to have such supportive friends, families, and clients that like getting involved too! A great example of this was our “Not-a-pub quiz” quiz which was hosted at Circomedia in Bristol. We had some tremendous auction prizes donated by local businesses, as well as an amazing show of support from our clients and close connections who attended the event.

Sharing the word is so important for so many local charities. Not only will it encourage others in the community to show up and support them, but by sharing their messaging and raising awareness we could help reach someone in need. Someone that could be struggling and perhaps didn’t know these helplines existed until you shared that social media post. There’s nothing more important than that.

ForrestBrown not-a-pub pub quiz

Make an impact

The best reason for having a charity partnership? It’s a partnership. A new group of people to get to know, a whole new community to understand and work alongside. The best thing you can do to support your chosen charity is to simply give them time and get to know them.

Once you get to know more about your charity partner, the more time you’ll want to invest and the more effort you’ll want to make. Is your chosen charity looking to fundraise for a certain piece of equipment? Are they looking to expand into another location? Understand what their priorities are and the costs associated with those wishes. Having something to aim for makes the fundraising even sweeter!

One of our earlier charity partnerships was with a charity called Headlight, who were looking to raise money for a sensory calm-down room at Elizabeth Casson House at Callington Road Hospital in Bristol. Being part of their journey to raise these funds (via the Max McGhee memorial fund) became so important to us and made it even more rewarding knowing that we had contributed to something that meant so much.

£50,000 down and still as determined as ever

Our journey to fundraising £50,000 has been a fun one. But we’re not done yet! We managed to raise £10,731 for our 2021 chosen charity, Jessie May, over the last year. Let’s see what this next year has in store!

Interested in supporting our current efforts? We’re supporting the British Heart Foundation throughout 2022. More information can be found on our JustGiving page.

Get involved

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