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Starry Award

Starry 'McStarFace' Award

Recognising outstanding staff achievements

Wellbeing and mental health support are key components to Pro2col’s values. Part of fostering a happy work culture is to recognise and reward staff achievements.

The Starry Award does just that. Each week Starry McStarFace, a star shaped trophy, is given to any colleague who demonstrates the values of honesty, excellence and teamwork.

Any staff member can nominate their work colleague. Reasons for nominations vary, from the sale of a new product to ironing three shirts for a video shoot! If you think your colleague has done a good job, shout starry!

At the end of the financial year the person with the most nominations gets a company donation to their chosen charity.

Winners of the Starry Award

Liam’s donation helped Gingerbread, a charity that is dedicated to supporting single parents. The charity provides information to help single parents support themselves and their family. They also campaign to reduce the stigma surrounding single parents and make services more accessible to all families, no matter their situation.

 Recognising and Rewarding Staff Achievements

Pro2col’s staff survey revealed that recognition was the top motivating factor. This was above other incentives such as bonuses. Colleagues are encouraged to recognise and encourage others and hence, Starry McStarFace was born and the name was collectively agreed on.

Once again, we want to congratulate both Luke and Liam on an incredible achievement.

New Forest 10K Run

New Forest 10K Run

Pro2col kickstarted their first fundraising event of the year with a very active 10k run. The chosen charity is the Bournemouth Hospital NHS charity. In particular their health and wellbeing initiatives for their staff.

Recent projects include safe spaces for staff to decompress after challenging times at work and enhanced wellbeing support. This includes a dedicated team of wellbeing practitioners who are on hand to offer individual support.

Several Pro2col staff members took part in the challenge. Matthew, Ian, Jasmina, Helen, Ben and James braved the cool April morning to run 10k.

The route was part of the New Forest Trail run series and saw our team take to the scenic Hinton Admiral Estate. Organisers of the event were given exclusive access to the unspoilt natural beauty. This certainly gave the team the extra motivation to keep going!

With the terrain being relatively flat it proved to be the perfect charity run regardless of experience or ability. Our team particularly enjoyed the vibrant coloured bracken, but were disappointed not to have seen deer grazing on the side of the trail.

There’s always next year!

“I’m incredibly proud of the team. It wasn’t the nicest of mornings but that’s what makes fundraising so important, to be able to step outside of your comfort zone. Mental health is vital. This past year has been tough and we recognise the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace. Especially for the NHS staff who have done such a great job” 

James Lewis, Managing Director at Pro2col

Thanks to the group’s effort we raised over £650 for our chosen charity. The funds will be directed towards mental health support for staff specifically on ICU.

This is only the start of Pro2col’s charity fundraising. It’s ingrained into our work culture and everyday life. Our next project will both support local businesses and the Bournemouth NHS Charity. Showcasing the best recipes from the community into one easy go-to recipe book.

Little John’s House Donation

Essential items delivered to Little John’s House in Romania

Throughout the Christmas season Pro2col have been collecting donations of items which are desperately needed by Little John’s House, a charity based in Romania providing care for children and young adults with special needs.

The organisation is in need of basic items such as toiletries, sweets, second hand clothes, toys, tooth brushes, colouring pens and pads for Christmas parcels for deprived families. The donations will be made into parcels for families with children with special needs, who still get very little support from the state or their local community. This appeal for donations is made more urgent by the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Romania and the vulnerability of those who rely on Little John’s House.

About Little John’s House

 

Little John’s House is a product of Mags Zahariah who travelled to Romania in the early 90s. She had planned to help care for children living in poor conditions in orphanages across the country, but ended up staying for ten years to set up the charity.

Situated in the heart of Transylvania, Little John’s House was established in 1993 as a secure and safe home for children and adults with special needs. Originally the property was purchased for Ionut Balan (Little John) who suffered from hydrocephalus, a condition causing excess fluids to increase pressure on the brain. He sadly passed away in 1997 but he was an inspiration to everyone who met him and his memory lives on at Little John’s house.

Six young people currently live happily full time at Little John’s house. Alongside that the charity runs outreach programmes to support children from the surrounding areas, the Romanian state-run orphanages and those in psychiatric homes.

 

This is a truly special place which inspired numerous volunteers over the years and helped many children and their families. This is also a cause especially close to Pro2col’s Ailsa Gibbs who knows Mags personally. 

“My amazing friends Mags and Liviu set up Little John’s House in Romania over 25 years ago and I have had the privilege of seeing their work in person over a couple of freezing Christmas visits.  Nobody leaves Little John’s House untouched by the love and kindness shown to children and young people who have had the toughest of starts.  Like so many charities, they have really struggled with fundraising this year so I am delighted by the response from the Pro2col team and our local community”. 

At such a difficult time for many, the Pro2col team wanted to make this donation as easy as possible and thanks to a generous discount from FAR logistics, the palette of donations (pictured) will soon be arriving at Little John’s House.

Team Willow

Virtual Marathon 2020 raises £1,893 for the Willow Foundation

On a very windy and rainy Sunday in October Pro2col MD James ran the London marathon for the Willow Foundation, although the race was very different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Participants were invited to run, jog or walk from anywhere in the UK and record their times virtually having 24 hours to race the 26.2 miles.

This year has been tough for many people, but particularly for charities who have seen repeated disruption to their normal schedule of fundraising, having a knock-on effect for those who rely on them. This makes the amazing total of £1,893 raised by James especially important.

About the Willow Foundation

The Willow Foundation is the only national charity who have been working with seriously ill 16-40-year olds to provide uplifting Special Days. Since 1999 Willow have facilitated more than 17,000 of these special days which include day trips to the zoo, hotels, rugby matches and afternoon tea in London.

Often it is not the activity itself which makes these days so memorable, it is a chance to return to normal life, even if it’s just for a day, and for others it is their last chance to fulfil a dream. No matter the person’s condition special days aim to lift the spirits of ill young people and their loved ones, and be a source of much-needed strength in difficult times.

However due to the pandemic and related restrictions, over 700 young people have had their special days postponed. However, in the meantime special positivity packs have been given to those who missed out, providing a source of happiness even in such uncertain times. That is why the fundraising gained through the marathon is especially needed now to keep putting a smile on the faces of people who have had it particularly tough this year.

 

Food Bank

Huge food bank donation from the Pro2col team

Throughout October the Pro2col team and neighbouring businesses collected supplies for the food banks St Joseph’s Church in Christchurch and Immanuel Church in Southbourne.

Both food banks are passionate about helping people at crisis point in their lives and supporting them through to the other side.

Many food banks across the UK are expecting an increase in demand so Pro2col decided to chip in and help those in need. Ailsa Gibbs, who drove this donation initiative said:

“The team at Pro2col were inspired by the example of Marcus Rashford to ensure that no child goes hungry during these difficult times. More families are reliant on foodbanks as a result of the pandemic and going hungry doesn’t just impact children’s welfare today, it can affect their long-term welfare and future prospects”.

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Pictured: Pro2col’s food bank collection 

As harvest festivals are cancelled and older volunteers are placed in the at-risk category, food banks face shortages in donations and manpower. This is especially concerning given that statistics from The Trussell Trust which show food banks were already experiencing increased usage, even before the pandemic. They’re now predicting a 61% increase in demand for food parcels across the UK.  Pro2col wants to support the work many organisations and individuals are doing to prevent people from going hungry.

Ailsa said: The team all recognise how fortunate we are to have security in these difficult times and have pulled together and donated so generously to support our local community”.

The Dorset Hillfort Ultra Challenge

Team Nadia: The Dorset Hillfort Ultra Challenge

This weekend, Jasmina Chehlarova and Pro2col colleagues Daisy Shaw, Benjamin Smith and Helen Gilbert, tackled the Dorset Hillfort Ultra Challenge. As ‘Team Nadia’ they have raised almost £500 to support Nadia Dafova in her fight against stage 4 melanoma and the search for alternative therapies.

The Challenge

 

This really was an ultra challenge. Beginning in Cattistock, the 57km route took participants through a demanding course around some of the highest points of West Dorset. But Team Nadia put in months of training for this extremely worthy cause, and together completed all 57km in just under eight hours. Team Nadia is especially important to Jasmina who has known Nadia for over 20 years.

Jasmina said: “Nadia is a really admirable person. She started fresh in the UK after moving from Bulgaria, and she cares for young adults with autism as a frontline healthcare worker”.

 

In March this year, Nadia received the devastating news that she had a recurrence of melanoma, which she beat almost 10 years previously. There is no treatment available and the NHS does not provide support for alternative therapies. So Nadia and her family began their search for different options elsewhere, leaving no stone unturned. Spurred on by the stories of survivors in similar situations who have overcome this terrible disease, Nadia’s story has reached far and wide, receiving support from those inspired by her strength and positivity in such difficult times. 

Jasmina said: “That’s the brilliant thing about working at Pro2col, people are willing to get involved. Your struggles and the things you fight for are heard. Everyone put in a fantastic effort to complete this challenge and make a real difference in Nadia’s fight”.

You can follow Nadia and her stepping stones at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teamnadia and https://gf.me/u/yybixa . 

It’s not too late to contribute and every pound makes a difference.

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