2015 saw a large number of D&Pers give their time, energy and money to charitable causes. We work with The BIG Alliance, an east London charity that helps match up willing individuals with a range of initiatives happening in the local community. In the last 12 months 65 people here took part in all sorts of projects, which ranged from loaning out their design skills, to mentoring college students, competing in a football tournament and restoring an adventure playground.
We actively encourage all our staff to spend at least a day a year on a charitable pursuit of their choice – whether that’s something organised by The BIG Alliance or something closer to home that they arrange off their own bat. It may not sound like a lot, but across a company our size we’ve found it does make a difference.
Moustaches were grown, cakes and poppies were sold – the spare change hanging around the building soon added up. Numerous grueling physical challenges were undertaken in the name of charity. 33 of us took part in July’s Great City Race, raising over £2.5k for the UK Stem Cell Foundation, others cycled a collective 4,229 miles for the London Cycle Challenge, to raise awareness of cyclists in the capital, half and full marathons were completed, as well as several sponsored cycles and walks.
As Christmas is traditionally a time for giving, we have various activities happening over the festive period to reflect this: we’re donating the funds we’ve saved by not printing a Christmas card to four different local organisations; instead of doing Secret Santa this year we collected toys and presents for underprivileged children and teenagers in Islington; and our Christmas bake sale will be raising money for the homeless charity Crisis.
Most of these activities have been really fun (OK, maybe not everyone enjoyed that 5k run). They’ve been a great way to spend time with colleagues in a totally different environment from the day-to-day and connect with the community we spend so much time in.
We’re looking forward to raising money and awareness for many more great causes in 2016.
Highlights included seeing familiar faces at the regular events we help run at the Claremont Project, and the brilliant ‘Elderly Neighbour Studio Visit’.