Whether you're a big corporation with an ambitious corporate social responsibility (CRS) agenda, or a one-man-band that wants to make a big difference, Gloucestershire is home to so many incredible charities that improve the lives of people and animals all over the county which would be well-deserving of your support.
In this hot list, SoGlos rounds up 19 worthy causes which businesses can support through fundraising, sponsorship, volunteering and corporate partnerships, with benefits for everyone involved.
Gloucestershire Young Carers
Optimising IT is proud to support Gloucestershire Young Carers as its charity partner — and it encourages businesses of all sizes to follow its example and help young carers in the county achieve their own aspirations and enjoy fun activities, like the unforgettable trip to Cheltenham Town Football Club that Optimising IT facilitated earlier this year.
Businesses can choose to fundraise in their workplace; take part in a challenge; become a sponsor; or even appoint Gloucestershire Young Carers as their Charity of the Year, creating a tailor-made partnership which makes a huge difference to the charity, meets the business's CSR objectives and boosts staff engagement and morale, too.
Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice
SoGlos's Charity of the Year 2023, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, is a cause close to many people's hearts, as it's the only inpatient unit for specialist palliative care in the county. Providing expert end-of-life care to patients, as well as bereavement support to their families and friends, the charity also works with employers to support staff members who have lost loved ones — and campaigns for statutory bereavement leave, too.
The charity says its corporate partners play a key role in enabling it to continue providing this vital support. With options from volunteering and event sponsorship to payroll giving, Sue Ryder is also able to create strategic partnerships with corporate sponsors to create something that works for everyone involved.
Hollie Gazzard Trust
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2024, the Hollie Gazzard Trust has been working to raise awareness and reduce incidents of domestic violence for a decade, in memory of 20-year-old Gloucester girl, Hollie Gazzard. Run by Hollie's father, Nick Gazzard, the charity works with schools to help educate youngsters on what healthy relationships look like and the dangers of knife crime; provides training to businesses on how to spot the signs of domestic abuse and what they can do to help staff who might be suffering; and has created its unique HollieGuard app to help keep people safe.
As well as organising fundraisers for the charity, corporate sponsors can get involved with its Walk4Hollie; Purple HollieDay event; charity dinner; or annual golf day, with sponsorship packages starting from as little as £150. Businesses can also get the HollieGuard app for their staff, to help them feel safe at home, at work and out and about, while raising awareness of the issues around domestic violence.
Youth homelessness charity, Gloucestershire Nightstop, is on a mission to end homelessness for young people in the county — and works hard to provide not just safe places to sleep, but wraparound services to end the cycle of homelessness and help people build a life and a future for themselves.
Gloucestershire businesses can fundraise for the charity and make donations, or get creative following Stagecoach West's example, with the bus company providing free transport for all users of Gloucestershire Nightstop's emergency accommodation — with the initiative being shortlisted for the Community Award at the UK Bus Awards in 2023.
Emily's Gift is a special appeal from Gloucestershire charity, the Pied Piper Appeal, to fund a psychologist on the Emily Kent Unit of Gloucester Royal Hospital for 10 years, so children being treated for cancer and their families can receive professional emotional support through this exceptionally tough time.
Headed up by the inspirational Julie Kent MBE, the appeal aims to raise £500,000 and is encouraging businesses to sign up to its £2k Challenge, pledging to raise £2,000 by March 2024 — or to go one step further and make Emily’s Gift your business's designated charity for 2024.
Cheltenham Animal Shelter
Cheltenham Animal Shelter is a wonderful cause to support if you have a team of animal lovers. Businesses have a variety of ways to support the charity, from sponsoring a pet pen, team volunteer days where staff can assist the shelter with a project, to 'Paws at Work' visits where shelter animals take a trip to your workplace to boost morale in the office and give the animals a chance to experience a new environment.
The shelter also offers a corporate partnership package, where businesses receive benefits like fundraising packs, social media coverage and a shelter experience day for staff, all while giving them that warm, fuzzy feeling from supporting a charity that does so much for animals in the county.
As well as being one of the county's most iconic places, Gloucester Cathedral is also a charity — and local businesses can become a corporate partner to help preserve this spectacular building for generations to come.
Corporate partners benefit from exclusive access to the cathedral's hidden spaces; behind-the-scenes tours; opportunities to attend special events; discounts in the gift shop and The Monk's Kitchen; volunteering opportunities; and even complimentary hire of the cathedral's dedicated event spaces, as well as the chance to support one of Gloucestershire's most important architectural and spiritual venues.
The Family Haven
The Family Haven is a charity based in Gloucester which provides non-judgemental support and services to disadvantaged families with pre-school children — such as homeless families; refugees and asylum seekers; and those with additional needs. As well as subsidised professional childcare which allows partners to attend important appointments, it also provides a safe space for parents who need a break, emotional support and a chance to make friends, with the aim of supporting the whole family unit.
Becoming a corporate partner can help make a huge difference to this independent local charity, with partners receiving a tailored plan including fundraising ideas, invites to events and rewarding volunteering opportunities for staff. With no marketing, HR or IT department in-house, it's a great way for companies with these kinds of specialist skills to share their expertise with a deserving charity, too.
Cotswold Riding for the Disabled
Cotswold Riding for the Disabled provides unique opportunities for people with disabilities to discover the joy of horse riding, with a wide range of horse-based activities tailored to the individual access needs of the people taking part — including exclusive sessions where a disabled person or someone with dementia can spend one-on-one time with one of its ponies, to small group riding lessons for those with a similar level of ability.
Businesses can support the charity through volunteering, fundraising, payroll giving, sponsoring a pony, or sponsoring an individual project, such as its new winter warm space, which is estimated to cost an additional £200,000 on top of its regular running costs.
Cheltenham Festivals is one of the county's best-loved charities and one of the world's leading event organisers, responsible for hosting the spectacular Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival and Cheltenham Literature Festival every year. As well as bringing an incredibly diverse line-up of musicians, authors, celebrities and scientists to Gloucestershire each year, it also provides unrivalled opportunities for schoolchildren to engage with music, literature and science; gives free tickets to those in need to help make culture accessible for all; and provides talent development opportunities for new and emerging artists, musicians, poets, writers and more.
Corporate partners will not only benefit from on-site branding and marketing through Cheltenham Festivals' wide-reaching online platforms, they'll also receive exclusive sampling opportunities; hospitality experiences for staff with the chance to meet stars; the chance to network with the charity's regional and national partners; and the opportunity to fund key learning and participation projects to achieve your business's CSR objectives.
Pride in Gloucestershire
Leading LGBTQ+ charity, Pride in Gloucestershire, champions Gloucestershire's diverse LGBTQ+ community, raises awareness of the issues they face and helps local LGBTQ+ people reach their full potential through resources, education and entertainment. It's also proud to host Pride marches all over the county, bringing a rainbow of colour, music and fun to Gloucestershire each summer.
Businesses which share its passion and values can apply to become a corporate sponsor to support the charity's important work. Sponsors who want to apply will need to show evidence of their support for the LGBTQ+ community and share their equality policies to be considered for corporate partnership, ensuring that sponsors share the same commitment to equality and respect that the charity does.
Public Hearts Cheltenham
The brainchild of Clare Seed, who runs first aid training provider Tidal Training Direct, Cheltenham's Public Hearts Defibrillator Campaign is responsible for the installation of 60 public access defibrillators across Cheltenham in the last five years — with an overall mission to have a defibrillator every 200 metres along the High Street and surrounding areas.
Back in 2018, when Seed founded the campaign, there were no public access defibrillators in Cheltenham town centre, despite their lifesaving potential for anyone who goes into cardiac arrest, but its dedicated team of individuals and businesses, including Cheltenham BID and Spirax Sarco, teamed up to change that. Businesses who want to support the ongoing campaign can donate money to its Crowdfunder to pay for defibrillators, cabinets, replacement pads and battery packs — or donate an entire defibrillator and cabinet to be installed.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust offers six wonderful ways businesses can support the charity's work protecting Gloucestershire's native wildlife, flora and fauna for generations to come.
Options include collecting donations from visitors to your business; sponsoring an individual project for a particular species or landscape, such as recovering the adder population at the Cotswold escarpment; taking part in a Wild Work Day, where staff can volunteer; donating one per cent of the company's annual profits to the charity; becoming a guardian for one of Gloucestershire's 46 nature reserves; or going all in and committing to becoming a Wilder Business with a bronze, silver or gold membership, to help drive ongoing change and keep Gloucestershire's wildlife thriving.
Supporting children and young people with additional needs across Gloucestershire, Allsorts provides youth clubs, play sessions, extra-curricular activities and even a toy library, where families can borrow toys and specialist equipment in the same way you'd borrow books from a regular library. Businesses can support Allsorts in a number of ways, like donating a percentage of sales; taking parts in events and challenges; or providing matched giving for staff taking part in a charity event.
Or, they can sign up to the Allsorts 5 for 5 campaign, where businesses pledge to donate £500 each year for five years through a variety of fundraising events like bake sales, fun runs, quiz nights and half marathons. The Allsorts team can even deliver sponsored events for the entire company, with creative ideas like virtual balloon races, gameathons and lots more designed to raise £500 in no time.
Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity is part of the 999 response service providing lifesaving care to people in emergency situations, but is actually a charity funded entirely by donations from the public and local businesses.
Companies which want to support this vital service can do so in a number of ways, from sponsoring fundraising events, or taking part in them; allowing staff time to volunteer for the charity; donating gifts in kind, such as products and services to help the charity complete its important work and save money; or even create bespoke cause related marketing, such as limited-edition products which provide a donation to the charity with every sale.
James Hopkins Trust
The James Hopkins Trust supports over 100 children and babies in Gloucestershire who have life-limiting conditions, with free respite care at home or in its purpose-built multi-sensory centre.
The charity's fundraising team can create bespoke packages for businesses, from one-off events and sponsorships, volunteering opportunities, specific appeals to long-term partnerships, with payroll-giving available, too.
Formerly known as the St Vincent's and St George's Association, AimUp supports adults with disabilities, complex needs and mental health conditions to live the life they want, with a range of specialist support services available. The charity is currently fundraising to build its very own hub in Cheltenham, where it aims to offer learning, leisure and community activities to its service users.
Corporate partners can organise a tailored package which is mutually beneficial, involving everything from staff engagement and volunteer days to help with team building, to sponsoring or taking part in events to raise awareness and profile.
Caring for Communities and People
Working hard to prevent the causes and reduce the effects of homelessness, family breakdown and exclusion on people in Gloucestershire, Caring for Communities and People has a multitude of ways corporate partners can support its important work.
From completing a home and garden makeover for a deprived family, taking part in The Big Sleep Out, marshalling at the annual Cheltenham Challenge, to supporting a specific appeal like the Christmas Hamper Scamper, businesses can work with CCP's corporate partnerships manager to devise a package that's right for them, with ongoing support from their business relationship manager throughout their partnership.
As well as fundraising for the charity, LINC — the Leukaemia and Intensive Chemotherapy Fund — runs a diverse programme of events throughout the year which businesses can get on board to sponsor, either financially or in kind.
Events include the Cheltenham Triathlon; the charity's annual golf day; a polo day; and even the Grand Coronation Ball. With sponsorship covering the event costs, it enables LINC to fundraise far more effectively and bring in more money to support cancer patients across the county.