As some of you will have seen on our social media pages, last week we joined the Santa Dash organised by Family Business United (‘FBU’) and Plan Insurance (‘Plan’), who have put a new twist on ‘driving home for Christmas’ in an attempt to make a real difference this Christmas.
Last week the team completed an epic 1000 mile journey around the UK visiting family firms collecting clothes and raising funds for the homeless in a festively decorated van. As Paul Andrews, Founder and Managing Director of FBU explains, “For most of us Christmas revolves around the family and spending special moments together and creating memories that last a lifetime. Sadly, that is not the case for everyone and with family values at the heart of what FBU is all about we felt compelled to do something to make a difference. For those on the streets and homeless, parted from their families for various reasons, we wanted to help.”
“For the second year running we have undertaken the Family Business Santa Dash with Plan and collected warm clothing which will be distributed via a homeless crisis centre on The Strand in London direct to those in need, with other items being sent to various outlets to be sold to raise further funds to help. Funds collected during the visit are being sent to the national homeless charity, Emmaus UK, to help with the fantastic work that they do in towns and cities around the UK too.”
FBU members Plan were delighted to get involved with the campaign. As Grant Georgiades, Managing Director of Plan Insurance adds, “As a family and a family business, the plight of the homeless at this time of the year is something that we want to try and do something about and to make a difference through this campaign, however small, is something that we are passionate about. We are clear in our intentions to make a difference and the trip in the van around the UK will add some fun to the event, helping to raise awareness and provide lots of content to share on social media too. It will also ensure, through the clothing collected, that the items make an immediate difference to those on the streets at a time of year when it is most needed too.”
The journey around the UK saw the team visiting family firms to collect donations regionally, stopping off in Manchester, Carlisle, Glasgow, Leicester, Colchester, Chelmsford, Enfield, Redhill and Cobham with Grant and his brother and fellow shareholder doing the driving, at times in weather of biblical proportion! Our founder, Sue took to the road with Paul on 4th December, visiting Thomas Jardine & Co and Thomas Graham & Sons, collecting clothes for the homeless.
As Paul Andrews continues, “The weather may not always have been kind but the warmth and generosity of our family business community certainly made up for it. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness afforded to the campaign and the fact that this will make a real difference to the lives of those more vulnerable is fantastic. It was a long week on the road but one that is worth every mile covered and the fact that we were able to make it to Scotland this year was really special.”
The clothing is being distributed this week, however its not too late to support the campaign by making a donation, however small, via the Just Giving page here
As Paul concludes, “We had a fantastic trip around the UK and met some great family businesses along the way, some of them FBU members and others that are not but who were happy to be part of the event. It was a heart-warming week full of fun, laughter and insights with factory tours and stories along the way.”
Particular thanks go to: HMG Paints, JW Lees Brewery, Hawkshead Relish, Marriott UK, Bagnalls, Bruce and Lukes, Thomas Jardine & Co, Thomas Graham & Sons Ltd, Sue Howorth, Mactaggart and Mickel, Kin Alliance, Little’s Chauffeurs, John White & Sons, Western Pension Solutions, Mairi Mickel, G. Seller, Century Office, CH Lindsey, Rose Calendars, Mark O’Connor, Dean Smith, David Dickson, Potter Space, Perrywood Garden Centres, Birketts LLP, Scrutton Bland, Tradewise and Drivertax.