AN architectural design company is building links with its local community.
One17 Design, based at Armitage Bridge, has supported a number of charities over many years through fundraising events, sponsorship and donations.
Since December, 2010, the company has taken its efforts a step further with the One17 Design Charitable Trust, which aims to improve the lives of people in need and enhance educational opportunities for children, mainly in the local area.
Education co-ordinator Caroline Lee said: “From the outset, we were keen to become more aware of the needs of our wider community, to play an active role in providing relief to those in need and to help inspire and enthuse young people.
“To this end we don’t just give financial support, we also offer ‘in-kind’ business support and have established formal links with a number of schools – providing bursaries, workshops and awards among other initiatives.”
Regular donations are made to the trust from constituent One17 group companies – making up 95% of the trust’s income. Donations also come from clients.
Said Caroline: “Traditionally, the first appointment with a new client seeking professional advice was free of charge. We now ask for a donation to the charitable trust and have been delighted at the enthusiastic response we have had from potential clients to this initiative.”
She added: “We are committed to supporting our employees in fundraising activities for charities of their choice and as such match-fund money that they raise.
“We are delighted to say that our staff have embraced the aims of the charitable trust wholeheartedly – whether it’s by doing charity runs and challenges, running workshops with young people, providing business support, finding out about groups and people in need, supporting specific fundraising events or volunteering; everybody plays their part.”
Applications to the trust are kept as simple and paper-free as possible, said Caroline. “We particularly like to support keen and enthusiastic volunteers within our community and did not want to make the application process too onerous.
“Wherever possible, we visit people to establish what is needed and how we can help. This process not only improves our awareness, but also helps us to foster long-term relationships.”