Always cautious before making any charitable donation, Greystone Director Simon Lomas (pictured left) asked to see a set of Forever Manchester’s accounts in advance of meeting their Director of Business Philanthropy, Ged Murray. Simon, with his experience of being a trustee of a charity, is always keen to ensure Greystone supports charities that spends most of the money it raises on good causes, as opposed to costs.
“Having looked at their accounts and listened to Ged I was not disappointed”, said Simon, “Our charity team and staff were most impressed to hear that over 80p in every pound donated goes directly to help local community activity.
“Ged did a tremendous job of explaining exactly how Forever Manchester help those in our local community. He explained that 80% of money raised by Greater Mancunians for charity leaves our region, and although these were for excellent causes, it was important to them that all money donated to Forever Manchester stays within the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester ‘to help local people do extraordinary things to improve our region’.”
An independent survey, carried out by the Centre for Local Economic Studies, evaluated the donations made by Forever Manchester and discovered that for every pound donated to the charity, it delivered £4.11 of social return. This was measured on the cost of anti-social behaviour such as vandalism, reduction in NHS expenditure, people going back into employment, etc, and all as a result of people getting involved in local community activity.
After hearing Ged speak Fran and Clare, two of Greystone’s champion fund raisers, have decided to donate all the money they raise participating in the 10K Wild Mud Run next month to this great charity. Fran explained:
“We chose to use our Wild Mud Run to support Forever Manchester because we were impressed by their set up and by the fact that we, as a company, can choose the particular causes we wish to support, within all boroughs of Manchester.
We do make a point of being involved with fundraising on set days throughout the year like most of the country does, supporting the associated charities which we will of course continue to do, however our Wild Mud Run next month isn’t in association with a charity therefore we felt it would be a perfect opportunity to raise funds for our local communities instead.”
Ged Murray, Director of Business Philanthropy at Forever Manchester, said:
“It was a pleasure to meet with the team at Greystone Financial Services. As an organisation they clearly recognise their Corporate Social Responsibility and take action to help improve the communities and lives of local people. I’m looking forward to working with them over the coming months.”
Greystone has local charity at its heart and passionately believes in giving back to its community. They have been supporting another local charity, Home-Start Trafford and Salford (HSTS), for a number of years and after donating a further £1,500 in December last year, their Vice Chairman, Rob Harwood told us:
“HSTS continues to grow thanks to the support received from organisations like Greystones Financial Services. Last year our charity supported 158 families going through difficult times using its network of 65 volunteers who provide weekly home visits. Our aim is to increase the wellbeing of both parents and children. We know how much our work is valued by all those who use our services. One parent reiterated this recently saying:
‘The support has been brilliant, I couldn't have got through everything without Homestart’.”
A further £1,500 was donated in December to a small Leigh charity, the Crossroad Carers Support Group, which is staffed and run by volunteer carers who understand the difficulties and isolation that caring for someone can bring.
Chairperson, Jean Atherton, commented:
“We are a charity supported by Wigan Council, but run on a purely voluntary basis and any financial help we receive is most welcome. This enables us not just to host coffee mornings, where those who need our assistance or friendship can come along, but also to arrange regular day trips and weekends away to enable those who are caring for others the opportunity to take a break. We are very grateful for Greystone’s support – it means a great deal to all of us.”
Greystone staff are big on fund raising with Fran and Clare leading campaigns such as KEY103 Mission Christmas Appeal, Genes for Jeans, etc, and Nicola, renowned for her baking, galvanising staff into action to both donate and buy cakes to support the local and national causes their teams feel passionately about.
The December donations were the result of an idea raised by Simon:
"Let's offer two local charities the same amount that the company spends on the staff Christmas Party."
This is part of the firm’s philanthropic philosophy of also contributing the equivalent of all monies raised by their staff each year, 50% of which goes to the designated charity, and 50% to a central charity fund with staff members nominating where this donated. It was from this pot that the £2,700 was contributed to Forever Manchester.
Caption: L to R Simon Lomas, Ged Murray, Fran Leslie, Clare Hamilton
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