Community initiatives and charitable support programmes are needed more than ever now.
As we all know, many businesses and individuals are facing a whole range of challenges during this time. Not only have we all had to adapt to new ways of working, but have done so in an incredibly short space of time. In this whirlwind, Paris Smith have been fortunate enough to be able to continue its community and charitable support programmes; we also wanted to give our 267 strong team the time, flexibility and support to help in their own communities, and support each other too. From virtual fundraisers to chocolate bunny donations, take a look at our recent community involvement:
Below are the community initiatives that Paris Smith is currently involved with.
The PS Community Hub
The PS Community Hub is a free resource for everyone to take, share and contribute ideas to support each other’s physical and mental wellbeing. The hub contains lots of useful tips and websites to help people in these uncertain times. Among the categories covered are:
- Physical well-being
- mental well-being
- remote working
- Educating children
- Family fun
- business leadership
- community information
Our Managing Partner, Peter Taylor, said: “We are in unprecedented times and not surprisingly some of us, as well as our colleagues, family and wider community are finding it challenging, feeling anxious or isolated. We recognise that to perform at one’s best it is important to be healthy, both in body and mind and so we hoped that by offering advice in one place it may be of support to our community.”
Normally our charity committee would be working hard on fundraising events and bake sales as part of our community initiatives, but are now getting creative to continue to fundraise virtually and ensure we offer some financial support to our local hospitals and NHS services.
With our staff working remotely over the bank holiday, we were unable to give our usual Easter chocolate gift to staff, so decided to donate our 267 chocolate bunnies to Winchester Hospital Neonatal unit. We also held our first ever virtual coffee morning which raised over £700 for Southampton Hospital Charity, and we will take part in the Comic Relief Big Night In.
Staff have also been encouraged to volunteer with Age UK, a former charity of the year for us.
Some of our staff have been telling us about the volunteering opportunities they have been involved with during the Coronavirus lockdown. Read about them below.
Read our staff stories
Michelle Medley, Secretary, Dispute Resolution
“For me personally, I have been offering help to my elderly neighbours who have been struggling; a husband and wife who I have known them for 28 years. They have no children, or any family that live nearby.
Over the last few years they have faced a decline in their health, and taken a few tumbles. We have been on the end of the phone for them day and night and I have been doing their shopping for them online, but it has been very difficult to get a slot, sometimes waiting for 2 ½ weeks to get a delivery, so I have been going shopping for them before I start work. When we suffered a power cut, I made sure they were OK and took round a flask of hot water so they could have a cup of tea.
They are always very grateful for what we do for them, and have said to us on numerous occasions “we don’t know what we would do without you”.”
Sandy Waters, Website & CRM Manager
“I have found local Facebook groups a great place to offer help. I am part of a community group called Waterside Self-Isolation Support Group; We have a contact email and phone number for people isolated, that need shopping, prescriptions or transportation. It’s very busy but we have about 200 volunteers so the work gets spread out quite well. It’s great that support from the firm allows me to take part and help people around my day job.”
Naomi Williams, Team Leader, Property Finance
“I have loved being a part of a group called Mother Hub on Facebook aimed at all mums to share advice and a group to support each other on anything from home schooling to time management and nutrition.
I get a lot of support from the firm with constant contact and have found it brilliant how we have had to adapt our working methods. I have children at home and have been isolated for 12 weeks because I am at risk. Support from my team at work has been so important for me.”
Eugenie Taylor, Family
“I am a governor at a local school and since the lockdown, the school has been supporting families in need by sending out food parcels on a weekly basis. Members of staff and governors have rallied round to assist these families in a whole-school effort. What started off as a small initiative has resulted in an amazing response, with the latest total for donations being £1290! I think this sums up the character of our school community. We have received so many positive comments from the parents and it is hard to capture the gratitude of these families.”