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International Day of Charity

Author: Helena Bronnert, Senior Client Manager, Threefold Agency

Today marks 'International Day of Charity'. The perfect chance to take stock of whether we (the Royal 'we') are doing enough to support vital causes outside of our industry.

It's all too easy to get swept up in the whirlwind that is shopper marketing - unwavering focus on hitting deadlines, developing creative concepts and mapping shopper journeys. However, at the start of 2018, SMG employees expressed a desire to widen their corporate responsibilities to form a charitable partnership where support could be given to a nationwide charity that focused on localised projects. This desire led us to form our partnership with the Trussell Trust in April 2018, a charity focused on providing emergency food and support to people in crisis via a

network of nationwide food banks.

It wasn't long before we had set up links with local food banks in all 3 of our agency locations; London, Manchester and Liverpool, links that remain strong to this day. A number of colleagues across our agency regularly volunteer their time at their local food bank, spending the morning sorting through donated supplies and issuing them out to people attending the food bank that day. Our time becomes particularly valuable during student holidays when the food bank's usual team of student volunteers retire home for the holiday season. We've also developed strong ties with our Manchester food bank, volunteering twice a year at their Tesco Food Drives to encourage shoppers entering the store to donate a few products from their weekly shop to the cause. And if ever you frequent London Bridge, you'll find a team from our London office shaking collection buckets to raise money to help wider Trussell Trust projects.

As well as volunteering our time, SMG employees have a lot of fun raising funds for the Trussell Trust via challenging and somewhat silly initiatives! Back in March 2019 we challenged each of our agency locations to raise funds via a set of challenges, with our Liverpool office climbing a mountain and our London and Manchester offices running a 16 hour combined static bike ride. Our now 'famed' game of 'heads or tails' and company raffle at our Summer and Christmas conferences all also raise money for the charity. The company is also very supporting of individual efforts to raise money for charities too.

In addition to our customary support, we're also focused on providing support within our field of expertise, providing the Trussell Trust with resources they wouldn't otherwise have access to. Since our partnership began, we've worked with the Trussell Trust to provide 50 professional hours designing their Christmas 2018 appeal, as well as working with our media suppliers to provide media placements in the name of charity too. We’ll, naturally, be looking to make this bigger and better for the Trussell Trust in 2019.

We're therefore super proud as a company of 100 employees to have provided significant monetary, resource, knowledge and skills support to the Trussell Trust so far and we're determined to keep doing this. In fact, we’ve already got a few fundraising events coming up and have even committed to do the National 3 Peaks Challenge in 2020 (yikes!) and are currently gathering a team of willing volunteers to take part.

Here’s to more brilliant charitable efforts from all at SMG.


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