Our Passage through 2017
|In April of 2017, C&C Alpha Group staff voted to support Westminster-based homeless charity The Passage as the focus of our newest CSR initiative. Six months packed with highlights and experiences has followed, with staff attending a summer party and concert, preparing a delicious meal for 150 people, and even featuring in a promotional Virtual Reality video for the charity which has been reported on in the Daily Mail and across the charity media.
Below are the thoughts of some of the people who have been involved in the partnership so far, and how the experience has impacted on each of them.
|What were your initial thoughts when you learned of C&C’s CSR partnership with the Passage? Excitement? Trepidation?
Bishu Bajracharya: I was excited at the prospect of working with a charity with such a noble objective – many people sleep rough and cannot afford to have a warm meal, and supporting these people is a very good cause.
What is one thing that a colleague has done, or that you have learned about a colleague, that has surprised you or impressed you?
Jessica Stevens: I’ve been impressed by people’s willingness to get involved. We are a multicultural company with real diversity but people from all backgrounds and faiths have come together to support The Passage, and some people have consistently supported the cause by giving up their time on a regular basis. They lead by example and make others want to join in.
Osama Shafiq: I was surprised by the generosity of my colleagues in donating large amounts of clothing, and some people even going out of their way to buy new clothes. I know how generous the people I work with are, but I was still so happy to see the effort that everybody made.
|What has been the hardest part?
Veronica Borkowska: My mother always taught me that I have two hands and that if I use one to take I have to use the other one to give. The hardest part was to realise that there is still so much to do, every little helps and we have to be united to ensure we don’t disregard poverty. We work in Westminster which is such a wealthy part of London surrounded by beautiful properties, shops and restaurants. But there are people on many corners that don’t have anything to eat, nowhere to sleep tonight and nobody to turn for help from.
Jessica Stevens: The hardest part has been seeing the amount of people who are affected by Homelessness in our area. Victoria has the highest number in the UK of rough sleepers. It is also clear that since I moved to London 10 years ago the problem has increased rapidly and it is not getting better. It makes you wonder why, and everyone should be aware of this massive issue.
How has your perceptions of homelessness changed in the last few months?
Bishu Bajracharya: The support from the Company and the involvement and enthusiasm of my colleagues has made me realise that together, as an organisation we can contribute towards resolving the homelessness issue and we can make positive impact in the life of homeless people life and put a smile on their face.
|What has been the highlight or most rewarding element for you so far?
Veronica Borkowska: To be able to do something valuable for other people and to meet volunteers at The Passage who dedicate their time and energy every day to help less privileged people.
Samantha Lee: I’ve been inspired by seeing everyone united with the shared goal of helping, giving and fundraising. The fact that everybody does so with a smile on their face makes it that bit more special.
Osama Shafiq: My personal highlight of this year’s CSR was the orchestra event hosted by the Passage. It was a perfect blend of entertainment while communicating the importance of all that they do.
What would you say to other people considering getting involved in the partnership?
Veronica Borkowska: No matter how small or big is your company is, just look around and think how you can make a difference. Don’t overthink it. There are so many ways to help: from donating your time or donating your skills – there is always somebody that can benefit nearby.
Helping people is infectious, and your colleagues will follow your lead if they see your passion and determination. Be the person that makes a difference.