Why did you choose Sobell House as your Charity of the Year?
We leave the selection of our charity of the year to our team. We feel that if they are involved in the process of choosing who to support, they will be more motivated to fundraise. They are invited to nominate a charity and a shortlist is then put out to the vote. I think that Sobell House won because it is such a fantastic local charity which has helped a lot of people in the county and even in our company.
How important is it to you and Finders Keepers to get involved with a local charity?
We have had a charity of the year every alternate year since 2009 (so that we are not asking our clients for donations every year) and we have supported BOB Air Ambulance and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres in the past. It’s really pleasing to support a local charity and see the difference the fundraising and volunteering makes.
What are your thoughts about Sobell House?
Sobell House Hospice is such an important place. They provide amazing care and comfort for patients and their families, and what could easily feel like a depressing space is actually incredibly bright and upbeat. It really is an uplifting place with so many people giving so much time and effort to make everything possible.
How has your team risen to the challenge and what difference does it make?
Our team has been great this year, running 5ks and half marathons, manning bucket collections, holding bake sales and gardening up at the Sobell House site. On the 9th June we had a ‘charity day’ where each office had a bake sale on the same day and we also had a static bike challenge outside of our Summertown office. It was great to have the whole company getting involved and even better to see how willing the public was to support Sobell House. With relatively minimal effort, it is possible to raise a lot of money, which will hopefully make a big difference.
Have you been particularly creative in any of your fundraising?
We are quite proud of our ‘Donate a Day’s Rent’ campaign. We came up with the idea in 2009 as an easy way for our clients to support our efforts for our charity of the year. Of course, we insist our team gets involved in lots of activities before we ask our clients to effectively ‘sponsor’ them, but it’s a great way of raising funds – and all our clients have to do is opt-in! We are lucky to have a diligent accounts team who put in a lot of work to process these donations and we are very grateful to the clients who donate…often raising thousands of pounds.
Do you think that your community driven CSR undertaking has helped to position your business more positively within Oxfordshire?
Our main driver is being a good ‘corporate citizen’ in our staff’s eyes. These days, people expect their employer to be sponsoring local causes and so do our customers.
And lastly, what message would you give to other local businesses considering forming a partnership with Sobell House?
If there are any local businesses considering having a ‘charity of the year’ we would certainly recommend Sobell House Hospice. Not only because it is such a superb organisation, but from a practical point of view they are incredibly easy to work with! We have had one point of contact throughout the year and any time we asked for supplies or help in organising an activity they were quick to assist. As one of the larger local charities, they also have their own events which they often need volunteers for so we had the opportunity to donate time as well as funds, which is very rewarding.
Sobell House, B4’s Official Charity Partner for 2017/18. We meet Sobell’s Tim Wraith, Corporate Partnership Manager
We are delighted that Sobell House have been chosen as B4’s Official Charity Partner for 2017/18. To promote this wonderful partnership B4 took time out to speak to Tim Wraith who is the Corporate Partnership Manager at Sobell House having joined the hospice 12 months ago.
Tell us about Sobell House
Sobell House cares for people at the end of their lives and supports their families, friends and carers. We have been doing this for over 41 years. Every day, our staff care for around 150 people in the Hospice, the Community and the local hospitals. Our staff accompany patients and their families on perhaps the most difficult journey they will ever make. At Sobell House we focus on quality of life, respecting each person’s dignity and uniqueness.
Our aim is to support people in living as well and as fully as possible in the time they have left. When people are dying, our staff will strive to make sure they are as calm and comfortable as possible, and offer support to their families and friends. Sobell House is a very special place.
Is there anything in particular you would like to tell our B4 members?
These are exciting times at Sobell House as we are just about to start building the new Sobell House Clinic and Garden Annex. This will enable us to provide the very best possible care to everyone in our community, for generations to come.
The Garden Annex has been specially designed to meet the needs of our frailer patients and those with complex conditions who have a high risk of falls and confusion. We are using high-tech solutions that balance people’s privacy and safety with their need for companionship and quick access to nursing staff.
The Sobell Clinic is an outpatient service for people who have a terminal illness and need specific specialist care. Many people express the wish to stay at home longer and by attending the Sobell Clinic, patients will be able to see a nurse or a doctor and receive support in so many ways.
To fund the care taking place at Sobell House you rely on the kindness and generosity of so many people and organisation. How can the Oxfordshire business community support your work?
Over the last few years we have developed wonderful partnerships with local businesses. The 40 Club gives the opportunity for businesses to engage with us over a four year period and commit to raising £10,000 over that time. This year we also have a record number of businesses that have chosen Sobell House as their Charity of the Year.
Lots of others are engaging with us in so many different ways. Supporting Sobell House is a fantastic way to engage your employees with a local highly respected charity providing outstanding care at the heart of your community.
How can people find out more?
Please do get in touch if you would like to support the care taking place here, I would love to hear from you. You can contact me below. You can also find more information on our website: www.sobellhouse.org/fundraising/companies/