In this weeks Leading the Way blog, we review a recent volunteering activity by Bristow & Sutor staff, who volunteered their time to help Birmingham Mind tidy up an overgrown garden at the Beechcroft Day Centre.
Bristow & Sutor has a long history of successfully supporting vulnerable people in conjunction with both the Debt Advice sector and Local Authorities. Our EAs are often the first to identify a vulnerable person when they pay a visit, so we recognise the impact of mental health on our industry. This can affect those who might be struggling to pay debts but also has an impact on our own members of staff, who are sometimes tasked with facing or handling challenging cases.
As part of our ongoing support of our client Birmingham City Council, we have chosen to volunteer some employee time to Birmingham Mind and conduct activities that will help the charity continue to provide helpful and important services to people in our local community. Birmingham Mind is the largest independent mental health charity providing services in and beyond the City of Birmingham’s boundaries. The charity promotes wellbeing and recovery, providing high-quality support and challenging the stigma of mental distress.
What did we achieve?
Due to the lockdowns and restriction of the past year, the gardens at the Beechcroft Centre had not been tended to beyond grass cutting for 18months. This meant a range of jobs desperately needed volunteers’ attention; from weeding, litter-picking, restoring planters, hanging baskets and putting up, painting and wood-preserving fences. A pond also needed to be uncovered, vegetable patches had to be cleared and paths needed to be swept and tidied.
Over two days in June, 9 members of staff from Bristow & Sutor attended and worked tirelessly to complete as many jobs as possible and as you can see from the pictures below, the team made a huge difference. This area is used for a range of activities for the centre's service users, including group sessions and performances. It was typically boiling hot weather over the two days staff attended but that did not prevent them from working hard, having fun and improving a space which brings peace and community to people who need it.
Continued and consistent support
Eamon Reynolds, Volunteer Coordinator at Birmingham Mind said, “Just wanted to say a big thank you for your hard work over the last two days. It’s been a pleasure to have the teams here and they have worked really hard and gone the extra mile for us which is greatly appreciated. It has made a real big difference to the space and to those who use the service.”
In addition to our work with Birmingham Mind this month, we also made recent donations to Stop Domestic Abuse and Advice UK. Last year, we donated boxes of PPE equipment to employees at Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau, to help ensure debtors maintain access to impartial advice at all times. Staff took part in the Steps for StepChange initiative, raising funds and awareness during Debt Awareness Week (DAW) by walking a combined 3,761,488 steps and over Christmas, we donated £5,000 to the Trussell Trust, who support a nationwide network of over 1,200 food banks.
Economic, social and environmental well-being is a key aspect of collections and enforcement activity. At Bristow & Sutor we are always keen to support a worthy cause and remain on the lookout for charities that make an impact.
Bristow & Sutor continues to support client and customer communities, remaining fully committed to or ethos of being Cool, Calm and Collected.