Charity has always been something close to my heart, but I’ve always felt very proud to work for a company that is so committed to helping to support important causes, not just within our own community, but across the UK.
It has become very much a part of Highlander’s culture and in some ways our charitable work has taken on a life of its own – pioneered by staff and management alike. We like to think of ourselves as one big family and looking out for each other is central to that. If someone within the team wants to support a cause that’s important to them, we’re all willing to get stuck in and help out however we can.
This year we were looking to offer more support than ever for a host of good causes, but as you can all appreciate, unfortunate events have seen that some of our plans have been shelved for the time being.
That said, through this difficult year we felt it was important to do what we could to contribute to as many worthy causes as possible, and we are all proud of what we have achieved.
A UK-wide charity, Support Dogs does invaluable work to help those living with autism, epilepsy, and a host of other physical conditions and disabilities.
By training and supporting specialist assistance dogs, they help those faced with additional day-to-day challenges enjoy a greater level of confidence, independence, and reassurance, as well as a much-improved quality of life. Not to mention the companionship of a furry friend!
In October, we donated a brand-new Chromebook to help their team keep track of important training notes and key client information digitally, something that is invaluable with the 24/7 support they deliver.
A month later, the Highlander team decided to #StepUpForSupportDogs as we attempted to walk, run, or cycle the combined distance between Dundee and Plymouth (their two most distant centres) to help this vital service. Plenty of miles were covered and we raised over £1,000.
No one should be forced to live without a roof over their head, but it’s something that is sadly a reality for many, including in our home City of Sheffield. Cathedral Archer Project is committed to supporting vulnerable people who unfortunately find themselves living on the streets. They provide temporary accommodation to the homeless, as well as teaching important skills to help them work towards a better life.
2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the charity’s launch, and with the impact of a global pandemic delaying best laid fundraising plans, they reached out to local businesses to supply 30 new sleeping bags to support those in need.
We were happy to help, and joined a host of brilliant local organisations in donating a brand new sleeping bag to help Cathedral Archer achieve its goal.
One of the unfortunate consequences of the increased pressure on key workers and emergency services has been the interruption of treatment for those living with cancer. That makes the hard work of organisations such as Cavendish Cancer Care even more important. Throughout the year, they’ve continued to offer vital assistance for families living with cancer. Everything from emotional and physical support, to professional treatment from qualified therapists.
In July, we were delighted to be able to donate two brand new Chromebooks for their incredible team. The first of these devices was earmarked for Cavendish’s crucial Young People’s Service which delivers remote therapy for both young people aged between 3 and 18 living with cancer, while the second was delivered to the Cancer Information Hub, where important information is collected, with additional resources made available for those supported by the charity.
Additionally, with Christmas fast approaching, we purchased a number of tickets for Cavendish’s Christmas Cracker raffle, where a host of amazing prizes were on offer!
As Weston Park Cancer Charity prepared to celebrate its 50th anniversary, we were looking forward to attending the much-anticipated anniversary ball this summer, but this has now been rearranged.
We’ll have to make do with getting all dressed up next year, but we still wanted to do something to help show our support for such an important charity. To that end, we donated some brand-new devices to help Weston Park’s team continue supporting those living with cancer.
It’s been a tough year for those working within the creative arts. At a time when we could all use some light-hearted entertainment Sheffield Theatres was unable to open its doors and put on high-quality musicals, stage shows, and events for a grateful audience.
Instead, they launched the Free Cheers for Sheffield programme designed to spread a little cheer across the City by making a library of brilliant, pre-recorded performances available online.
Thanks to our cash donation, Sheffield Theatres was able to continue delivering great content to lift spirits throughout the city.
Looking towards the New Year, we’re hoping our charitable endeavours will be bigger and better than ever.
As a team we’ve really missed out on some of the activities we’d typically undertake, including the internal events we’d host within the office – a bit of fun that goes a long way to helping those in need.
There’s lots of different events that have been rearranged, and we’ve got our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to attend and continue showing support.
Equally, I know the team have plenty of their own ideas for what we might be able to do over the next 12 months, so I’m excited to see those plans come together.
In the meantime, as we look forward to a break with family and friends, we’ll return in 2021 with a renewed enthusiasm to continue helping those less fortunate.