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Direct2U are walking for dreams!

Posted on: June 26th, 2017 by Nikki Rowley

Direct2U is a network of specialists providing tailored solutions for every office requirement. Based in Stourbridge, they have been a huge supporter of ours for several years now, donating £1 from every order placed through their Lockers Direct2U and Wheelie Bins Direct2U websites. So far this has raised over £8000 for our charity, an amazing amount of money that has made a huge different to the work that we do here at Promise Dreams. To put it into perspective, £8000 has allowed us to help between 5 and 8 more families to have their lives changed for the better. Not only have Direct2U offered us phenomenal support through their company, but the staff have chosen to support us outside of work too through a variety of fundraising events. Last year five members of staff took on the Coast 2 Coast Cycle challenge and raised over £1200, the team regularly hold bake sales and an annual Christmas Jumper competition, and this October Leah Pargeter, Digital Marketing Coordinator, will be conquering Mount Everest and asking for donations to Promise Dreams for her bravery and determination.

Each year the team also take part in Walk for Dreams, our annual sponsored walk. We asked them to explain what supporting Promise Dreams means to them and why they choose to continue their association with our charity year after year.

“We’ve been supporting Promise Dreams at Direct2U for several years now and this will be the fourth walk that we’ll be involved in. And we can’t wait! Promise Dreams asked us why we took part in the walk each year. The answer was simple – it’s good fun, makes you feel good about yourself whilst helping a fantastic charity and it is definitely a good team building exercise.

As a local business, we support Promise Dreams by donating £1 from every order placed through our Lockers and Wheelie Bin websites. £1 is a small amount but for busy websites like ours these donations soon mount up, and from a business point of view this is an easy way to make a difference for our chosen charity. Alongside these donations we like to do some community events through the workplace whether it’s a bake sale, our football competition or taking on the Coast 2 Coast challenge. But most of all we love to take part Promise Dream’s biggest event of the year – Walk for Dreams.

When the walk is on the horizon, it’s great how everyone comes together and wants to take part in some way. For us this can be walking, sponsoring or being a marshal. When is gets close to the walk we make a start by putting up the posters around the offices and the factory and go spread the word that Walk for Dreams is back.

Two years ago we had a very kind visit from Steve Bull who came to rally the troops. As a business based in the West Midlands the atmosphere in the offices and factory was electric that day. Even the West Brom fans were kind. He took time to have photos and signed one person’s personalised Wolves sack truck! Signing a sack truck was a first I think, but certainly made a memorable moment. This was really a high point across the 4 years and he helped us get a great team to walk together and raise sponsors and awareness of the charity through the workplace.

When we began drafting ideas for this post we started by looking through some photographs and boy did they unearth some memories. Here are some of our favourite moments along with some quotes from a few employees who have taken part in Walk for Dreams.

 Meeting Poppet for the first time on our very first walk with a team from Direct2U back in 2014.

“It’s for a great cause and when you see everyone there as well as the children who have been helped by the charity taking part it gives you the motivation you need to get to the end” – Leah Pargeter

Meeting a family who came to tell us about the amazing work that Promise Dreams does at the end of Walk for Dreams 2015.

“What struck me most when I took part in Walk for Dreams was the overwhelming sense of togetherness. As people took on a challenge to raise money for this great charity.” – Greg Higgitt

Some fun at the end of Walk for Dreams 2014 – even after the walk there was still some energy to see who was king of gladiators!

“I’ve taken part in Walk for Dreams a few times now and every year the atmosphere is fantastic. It’s such a family day, filled with laughter and plenty of smiles. It really is a delight to take part and help raise money for Promise Dreams.” – Fiona Higgitt

 In 2016 we decided to help out as marshals – it was a tad chilly and wet that day but it certainly didn’t dampen anyone’s spirit.

“I have walked a few times and marshalled Walk for Dreams. It’s a great day where you get to meet lots of new people and all for an amazing charity”. – Paul Mainprice

“There is always such a fantastic atmosphere on the day, the walk is enjoyable but feels even more special as you know you are raising money for such a great cause. It’s wonderful to see how many people get involved each year!” – Ben Jeavons

 Becky and Ben with Poppet as they started their Walk for Dreams 2016.

“Last year was my first time of joining the Promise Dreams Walk and it was a fab experience. That much I’ve signed up again for this year!! It’s for such a good cause and so inspiring to see the walkers out in force, you don’t mind a little leg ache the next day!!” – Rebecca Watson

Here at Direct 2U we are really proud to be taking part in Walk for Dreams for the fourth year in a row, and we’re looking forward to seeing the finish line again this year. It’s a very family orientated day, so you can join in whatever your age or fitness and become part of the Promise Dreams family. See you there!”

 

To sign up for this year’s walk please visit www.walkfordreams.co.uk/register. Thank you in advance for your support 🙂

Help! Voting now open for Sainsbury’s local charity of the year

Posted on: June 22nd, 2017 by Nikki Rowley

Every April Sainsbury’s nominate three charities, of which the general public choose one, for the store to fundraise for during the next financial year. Last year we were contacted by both the Oldbury store on Fleeth Street and the Blackheath store on Halesowen Street, whose staff had both shortlisted our tiny charity. We were thrilled! We set about asking all of our supporters to vote, vote, vote! for us to win via the Sainsbury’s Local Charity website and in store. We spoke to Louise Sullivan, PR Ambassador at Sainsbury’s Oldbury who explained the reasons why they decided to nominate Promise Dreams.

“We hadn’t heard of Promise Dreams before but as soon as we visited your website we fell in love with the work that you do. Helping children is something that tugs on everyone’s heart strings and we instantly recognised the importance of your charity and were keen to spread the word about you ourselves. As soon as we found out that Promise Dreams had won as our nominated charity of the year the whole staff team got on board straight away. We organised bake sales, home-made curry lunches, and everyone started bringing in prizes for a tombola. We started planning a whole range of fundraising events throughout the year including Christmas bag packs, raffles, and in-store tombolas. The staff wanted to take part in the charity’s annual Walk for Dreams fundraising event but they weren’t able to make the date due to work commitments, so they organised their own walk for a different date. They went over and above and walked 20 miles from the store in Oldbury to Birmingham City Centre and back and raised over £1000 in sponsorship from family and friends. This was one of the best fundraisers of the whole year and we were really proud of our staff for taking it on themselves.”

As part of their year of fundraising, Sainsbury’s hold three weekends throughout the year where their chosen charity is welcome to have a huge presence in-store and can hold as many fundraising events as they would like. Staff and volunteers from Promise Dreams joined the Sainsbury’s staff at both stores to spread the word about the work that we do, raise money, sell raffle tickets and pack shoppers’ bags – sometimes in Promise Dreams t-shirts, other times in Santa Hats!

Fundraising from both stores over the past year has raised a staggering £17,000 which will make a huge difference to a charity like ours and help us to change another 8 to 12 families’ lives for the better. Not only that, but this partnership has also given us the opportunity to promote the charity to thousands of new people who may not only go on to support our charity in future but might also know a family who can benefit from applying to us.

This year we have been nominated as the charity partner at two different stores, Wolverhampton St Marks and Walsall Reedswood. Voting is open now and will close on Sunday 25th June. Follow this link to vote and help us make even more dreams come true this year! https://www.sainsburyslocalcharity.co.uk/

Next Door Bar take on their next challenge!

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by Nikki Rowley

It’s only one week until the team at Next Door Bar in Albrighton walk 42 miles in one day to raise money for Promise Dreams! We are delighted that the team have chosen to support us again this year after raising over £12,000 over the last two years for our small charity.

Sally Hall, owner of Next Door Bar, first contacted Promise Dreams back in 2015 ahead of the mini-festival ‘Party In The Yard’ that she and the team organise in the grounds of the bar every September. The event features live music from midday and the party goes on until late, with BBQ food and drinks available and the chance to take part in a raffle. She knew about the work that Promise Dreams do and she wanted to support us by donating every penny made on the day to us. The bar donate all of the food, beverages, and staff time to put the event on so that the maximum amount possible can be given directly to the charity. The events over the past two years have raised over £12000 for Promise Dreams and the team didn’t want to stop there!

However, this year they wanted to do something a little different. They decided to sign up for the ‘Across Wales Walk’, taking on the huge physical challenge of walking 41.4 miles in one day!

Not a challenge to be taken lightly, the team have been training hard. Although it will be tough, the whole team agreed that the thought of making a very real and significant difference to the life of a poorly child is getting them through.

Last week we took Harry Morgan, along with his twin sister Seren and their parents Liz and Simon, to meet the team and wish them luck before their challenge next week. Harry is 6 years old and has cerebral palsy. He couldn’t walk or stand independently, so last year he travelled to America to have an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. This involves cutting the nerves in his spinal cord followed by intensive physiotherapy for years, which Promise Dreams has helped to fund, so that he can stand up and walk! Harry met Sally, Pete, Tom, Shell and the rest of the team at Next Door Bar, and he even had a surprise visit from our mascot Poppett while he was there!

 

Sally commented on how nice it was to meet a family who had directly benefited from the work that Promise Dreams do. It was particularly moving for them to watch Harry walk around the bar knowing that a year ago he wouldn’t have been able to do it, and that in effect the fundraising that her and her team have worked so hard for over the past few years has helped him to be able to do just that.

If you would like to show your support to this amazing team for once again choosing to support Promise Dreams by taking on this huge physical challenge, please visit their fundraising page by clicking here and make a donation. Thank you so much in advance for your support!

Tim’s dedication to dream-making!

Posted on: June 15th, 2017 by Nikki Rowley

Altodigital is one of the largest, independent suppliers of digital print and document solutions in the UK. They have been a supporter of Promise Dreams for over five years after our patrons Steve Bull and Don Goodman and Suresh Bawa, our trustee, invited Tim Hubbard, Group Business Development Director at the company, to our winter ball. Tim was instantly moved by the amazing work Promise Dreams do.

Since that event Tim has inspired other Alto team members to support us. Scores of Altodigital employees have raised money through cake sales and sporting events. James Abrahart, CEO, has attended many of our events, and in recent Christmases he has arranged for each and every child we have helped that year to receive a toy, sent directly to their homes. Stewart Abrahart, Trainee Business Manager, has recently taken part in a half marathon to raise money and Leah Astley, Business Development Executive, has become one of our most valued volunteers. Martin Chamberlain, MIS Director, even donated all the money he received for his 50th birthday!

Tim will be taking part in Walk For Dreams 2017 on Sunday 16th July. Though raising money for Promise Dreams is incredibly important to Tim, the walk is also a personal challenge. When he was younger, Tim injured his leg playing football, and though a surgeon promised he would make a full recovery, 12 operations later it was only getting worse. At the age of 28 he had to have a knee transplant, which vastly improved the movement in his leg and worked extremely well for 14 years. However, things went downhill when, during his second knee replacement, the doctors found an infection. It was an extremely dangerous situation – if the infection had spread any further, it could have entered his blood stream, which would have been fatal. This complication has had a lasting effect, he is unable to walk for long distances and at some point in the near future, Tim will have to have his leg amputated.

Tim said: ‘Although Walk for Dreams is ten miles – a huge challenge for me – I have been training hard, walking 3 miles each day at the weekend. I am going to try and walk as much of it unaided as I can, and then I am going to have to rely on crutches.
I am really proud to be raising more money for such an amazing charity. I’ve seen their work in action and seeing the difference they make to children’s lives really tugs on your heart strings. If anyone has any spare money, no matter how small, I would really appreciate it if you could donate to this remarkable charity.

People have been really kind to me throughout my illness and I have received so much support from family, friends, colleagues and hospital staff, so I really want to give back and show people how much I appreciate it.’

Nikki Rowley, our Dream Coordinator and Communications Officer, said: ‘Altodigital’s enthusiasm and support over the last 5 years has been incredible. Without their support, we simply would not be able to help as many children. Not only do they support us through donations, they also volunteer at our events and provide us with all our print services, at a highly discounted rate. This means they’re not just helping the children have a good Christmas, they’re helping maintain the organisation’s infrastructure and ensuring we can continue our work for years to come.’

If you would like to show your support by donating, please visit Tim’s justgiving page, or visit www.walkfordreams.co.uk/register to take part yourself.

Promise Post April 2017

Posted on: May 9th, 2017 by Nikki Rowley

Check out what we got up to in April by clicking the link below!

 

PD Bulletin April 2017

Promise Post March 2017

Posted on: April 26th, 2017 by Nikki Rowley

Check out what we got up to in March by clicking the link below!

PD Bulletin March 2017