Christmas 2020: Working with charities to make the holidays brighter for those in need
Throughout the past year, the Financial Options Group Charitable Foundation has worked with a number of local charities, helping to support the causes and focused initiatives which make our community a better place.
As we near Christmas, however, we believe that amid the holiday shopping, the decorating and the preparations, this really is the season for giving. And through our Charitable Foundation, that is exactly what we want to do.
At the end of a tumultuous year, the need to support the most vulnerable has grown exponentially. The pandemic is adding “layers of insecurity” onto families, with more than 3 million in the UK reported going hungry during the first lockdown. The impact on mental health has also been significant, even as the provision of mental health mental services has faced widespread interruption.
Christian Pepper, Group CEO, said: “It’s about digging deep and giving all that we can in this terribly difficult time. All of us in the Financial Options Group team have a very strong shared core value – we all want to make a difference. This year every member of the team has participated in our Dress Down Friday fundraising efforts, and with the support provided to local charities through our Foundation, we hope to make the holidays better, and ease the way for those who are struggling… whether that’s through providing basic needs such as food parcels, improving mental health through counselling or support, or helping people to grow their abilities and feel empowered through innovative skill building programmes.”
During the first lockdown 16.2 per cent of adults said they experienced food insecurity, compared with 3.8 per cent of adults in Britain believed to experience it in normal times.
About The Salvation Army, Bury & Swinton Branches
This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary as a charity partner with the Salvation Army, Bury.
Over that period, support from the Financial Options Group has contributed towards more than 15,000 Christmas presents and 2,500 food parcels being purchased and distributed to families within the Bury area. Funding has been used to support the most at-risk in our society, including those who have sought safety from oppression and anti-humanitarian acts.
We have formed a strong relationship with Salvation Army organiser Captain Michael West, who recently transferred from the Salvation Army’s Bury branch on Brookshaw Street to its Swinton branch, which is located on Station Road. Rather than transferring our funding from one branch to another, the decision was made to double the total donation, offering the same amount to both branches.
As a result, funds from the Foundation will contribute towards the building of a community extension at the Station Road site, planned as a welcome centre and place for community groups to meet.
Captain West commented: “We have worked with the Financial Options Group for 10 years now, and we have developed a friendship built on the common goal of supporting those in need. There’s a depth of understanding and mutual respect – we work from a base of faith and the Charitable Foundation are the same ilk.”
About Adam’s Activity Ark
Each year a different charity is nominated from amongst our team to be our Dress Down Fridays charity of the year. With each team member contributing a small donation each week, we collected over £400 pounds, which is a tidy sum for a year with so much remote working! This year, the decision was made to top up the team’s donations, with the eventual sum donated to Adam’s Activity Ark totalling £1,000.
The funds will be used to support Adam’s Activity Ark as it delivers inclusive skills-development projects for adults with learning difficulties, physical disabilities or mental health needs. The charity provides new opportunities and learning experiences, with diverse activities such as small and large animal care, horticulture, woodwork, healthy eating and living, as well as basic food preparation.
Working as a team, participants help on the farm, meet visitors and develop their social and problem-solving skills in a safe and friendly environment. At Adam’s Activity Ark there is an emphasis on growth through constructive and meaningful work. Members are encouraged to realise their abilities and potential at their own pace, and to develop leadership and decision-making skills through participation in a social committee.
By building members’ social skills, as well as their sense of personal achievement, Adam’s Activity Ark makes a lasting impact on the confidence and wellbeing of this very special group of people.
Other charities the Financial Options Group Charitable Foundation has supported in 2020 include: the Brandlesholme Community Centre and Food Bank; Models for Heroes; a community fund in support of Bank House Nursing Home Bury; Bury Cancer Support Centre, and more.
For more information, visit www.financialopts.co.uk/fog-foundation