This Christmas we decided to shine a grateful spotlight on local heroes, going above and beyond to support others this holiday season. Each of these businesses is, we’re proud to say, a BizSpace customer, and has done a stellar job with spreading Christmas cheer.
After the year we’ve had, a little positivity goes a long way. So without further ado, feast your eyes on our list of Local Businesses-come-Heroes for Christmas 2020.
First, we’re heading to Bridge House, our BizSpace centre in Sunderland, where Hope 4 Kidz Charity launched their 2020 Christmas appeal with a bang. Viv Watts, CEO of the charity, has worked tirelessly this year to support disadvantaged and disabled children across the region, and this Christmas she’s gone the extra mile. Hope 4 Kidz is driven to make sure every child wakes up with something special on Christmas Day, and Viv’s door at Bridge House is always open to receive donations. Well done to Viv and the team.
Our next spotlight shines over to BizSpace Dinnington and our customer Katie Walker, who has gone above and beyond to support the Samantha Sykes Foundation this Christmas. The foundation supports children who fall victim to child sexual exploitation and helps prevent those at risk by working with specialist services to promote activities and education for young people. Katie has spent her weekends searching for toys and books she can sell to raise money for educational equipment for the vulnerable kids of Yorkshire. Katie has also been holding raffles of her own photography. Amazing work.
Another good news story comes from BizSpace Gloucester Morelands. Our customer, Jake Coles, dedicates his time to helping ex and serving soldiers. Jake is ex-army himself and runs Armoured Combat Gloucester, a dedicated training venue facilitating full-contact training with real weapons in the sport known as Historical Medieval Battle. Veterans and serving forces men and women can become members at Armoured Combat Gloucester for free. It’s Jake’s ambition to continue to keep it this way for as long as they operate. He hopes to help servicemen and women combat mental health issues endured through serving in the forces. Re-joining civilian life can be lonely, and Jake is determined to keep up this community to support those who have fought for our country - a true inspiration.
More Christmas cheer comes from BizSpace Littlehampton and our customer Tasker Insurance Group Ltd. Their inspirational employee, Martin Swann, struggled with isolation during the first lockdown, which impacted his general mental wellbeing. Luckily, Taskers are an incredibly supportive employer and provide their staff with access to helplines and services to support them. During the second lockdown, Martin wanted to support the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), which had supported him during the first lockdown. CALM is leading a movement against suicide - the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. To show his support for the charity, Martin decided to row 50,000km a week on his indoor rowing machine during the four weeks of lockdown and has raised an amazing £3,635 to date for CALM. What an achievement for a good cause.
Over to BizSpace Amber Court in Newcastle, we’re celebrating our customer Godiva Bearings, who has been going above and beyond to support Pact House, a local charity providing a one-stop-shop for those in need. Godiva Bearings have worked extremely hard to fill Christmas stockings and goodie bags to gift to those who need it the most this Christmas. We’re immensely proud of their amazing work in giving what they can to the community and, of course, to call them our customers.
Meanwhile, at London Colney, Amber Mountain Marketing run a networking group from our Hertfordshire centre and collect food parcels for the London Colney Food Bank. All the goodies the staff put together get delivered by the church to the families who need it most. A big thank you to those spreading the Christmas cheer from Amber Mountain Marketing and the food bank.
Another spotlight shines on CopMedia and Stephen Tandy at BizSpace Camberwell. This Christmas will be Stephen’s 10th year of volunteering at Crisis At Christmas. He dedicates his mornings for a week over Christmas to a Crisis homeless shelter hotel in Croydon offering food, accommodation and companionship. Stephen went even further to set up a fundraising page, raising as much cash as he can for the shelter. Through giving up his hard-earned spare time to help others less fortunate, Stephen is a real inspiration this Christmas.
BizSpace Didcot is helping out a local charity, allowing them to use an empty office for storage. Secret Santa 365 is a charity set up by Courtney Hughes when she was just 12 years old. Her Grandma was in hospital during the festive season and unable to attend Christmas at home, so Courtney decided to bring Christmas to the hospital, giving donated gifts to those who were unwell at Christmas time. Ten years later Courtney has continued to collect donations and as of 2020, now supports the homeless, the hospital, the underprivileged and local families that have struggled with the effects of COVID-19. Courtney is a full-time nursing assistant and works so hard to help who she can with Secret Santa 365 - amazing dedication.
Lastly, we’re shining the spotlight on one of our customers from our centre in Hemel Hempstead. Chan Dabare, of DCV Technologies, is determined to increase awareness around homelessness. Each year, Chan purchases a bunch of winter jackets, gift wraps them and then gives them out to the homeless on Christmas Day. A truly practical way to spread Christmas cheer at a critical time for those in need.
Thank you to all BizSpace customers and the wider local communities for working hard to make Christmas 2020 a positive experience!