As Gloucestershire Young Carers marks 30 years of life-changing work supporting youngsters across the county, operations manager Ele Semadeni reflects on the businesses boosting morale and team spirit through charitable giving — proving it's a positive relationship that works both ways.
SoGlos finds out more about the benefits of the enlivening relationship between business and charity.
What does Gloucestershire Young Carers do — and how does charitable giving help it do that?
Gloucestershire Young Carers is a dynamic charity that is constantly growing and developing to meet the ever-changing needs of young carers in the county. It champions the vision to help all young carers to enjoy their childhood and experience a positive transition to adulthood. Its mission is to support and enable young carers to build on their strengths and achieve their aspirations.
Charitable giving supports Gloucestershire Young Carers with much-needed funds to help these courageous young people.
All charities need to have a diverse fundraising pot to maintain financial stability. Our challenge events are always particularly popular, we get great enthusiasm for things like sky diving and fire walking and these are great opportunities for corporate teams to get involved in a creative way.
Events like these enable our charity to reach a wide selection of participants — for example, those companies taking part in our fire walk this November and Midcounties Co-operative, which did skydiving on our behalf in previous years.
Many grants are time-limited or have changing priorities, so the ongoing support of companies can bridge those more vulnerable 'in between' periods.
Charitable giving also establishes links with the community and charities benefit from ‘in kind’ giving, too, such as Midcounties Co-operative providing food for young carer groups.
Then volunteering opportunities help us with activities and widen the awareness of the work we do within the community — for instance, volunteers from St James's Place recently helped at our sports day, sparking lots of lively conversations on a fun day for everyone.
We find charitable giving also creates opportunities for team building for corporate partners, particularly through volunteering. It was great to partner with GE Aviation to enable their apprentices to facilitate a residential for young adult carers.
What difference does it make to the charity and its users?
Charitable giving expands what we are able to deliver and opens up opportunities for young carers. Our partnership work has enabled us to make links for young carers to take up work experience or apprenticeships, which has boosted their confidence and given them vital experience.
Corporate staff volunteering can foster a super range of skills which benefit both young carers and teams of staff, too.
What are the benefits to your corporate partners?
We establish and nurture partnerships with the corporate businesses we engage with, which makes it a positive experience for both parties. Corporate groups always enjoy their engagement with us and have lots of fun, which is important, too.
The feedback we often receive is that the participants who meet our carers are blown away by them and also really inspired by them too.
How important is charitable giving to your fundraising strategy?
It is an essential part of our fundraising strategy. Whilst we have statutory funding, the funds from corporate giving allow us to go over and beyond in supporting these inspiring young people.
The link into the wider community allows for further awareness raising and wider opportunities for young carers.
The complex funding that charities have to navigate to survive means that much of our funding is restricted to a particular project, whereas corporate funding can enable us to be flexible and innovative.
This year we're aiming to raise £30,000 to mark 30 years of Gloucestershire Young Carers, with fundraisers challenging themselves to build 30 into a variety of creative challenges. Our development manager is swimming 30km in 30 locations in three months and one of our trustees is walking 30 miles along the Thames Way.
Why would you encourage other corporate partners to support Gloucestershire Young Carers?
Partnering with charities is a two-way process that benefits both the charity and the corporate partner. Corporate companies tell us that charity days can help to bring the team together and build team connectiveness.
And while the funds we receive are, of course, beneficial, raising awareness of the work we do is also a benefit, both for the charity itself and the cause we are supporting. Much of our work is around ensuring young carers are identified, so they can be supported — and raising awareness in all settings is vital.
We work alongside our corporate partners to ensure it is a meaningful relationship, which is often so rewarding that it develops into longer term partnerships.
Our next charity challenge is a fire and ice walk at Brickhampton Court Golf Complex on Friday 10 November 2023 at 5.30pm.
To find out more, or register to take part, visit glosyoungcarers.org.uk/event/fire-and-ice-walk-2023.