Hi! Jane and Lily here, Community Liaisons at Aico. Our role is to oversee and coordinate all of Aico’s Corporate Social Responsibility activities throughout the year in core areas: Charity, Volunteering, Business Enterprise and Education.
Aico have provided ongoing support to charities for many years, this includes donations, staff fundraising as well as volunteering opportunities for all Aico colleagues, giving our time to support charities in need.
2020 has been a turbulent and challenging year for all, especially for charities and organisations that rely on support from the community, with fundraising activities cancelled due to the pandemic. Here at Aico, we have done all we can to support those struggling this year.
Since 2017, we have chosen a Charity of the Year and this year was no different, our Charity of the Year for 2020 has been Everything Shropshire, working with the High Sheriff of Shropshire, Mrs Dean Harris. The focus of Everything Shropshire is to give support to organisations dealing with addiction, poverty, domestic abuse, and child deprivation.
Our donations, staff fundraising, and volunteering our time throughout this year has been shared between various charities, such as Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service, West Mercia Women’s Aid, and the Shrewsbury Food Hub.
One organisation we have been able to support through Everything Shropshire is Willowdene, a Rehabilitation Centre in Shropshire. Colleagues have offered their time to complete volunteering opportunities at the Centre which has included painting, general farm maintenance, helping with the farm animals, and clearing overgrown spaces. A £100,000 donation from Aico has enabled Willowdene to build a pioneering family centre, supporting women to help build relationships with their families. It has been great getting to know those at Willowdene and helping to transform the space for the students; a really rewarding partnership and one that will continue into 2021.
During lockdown, we participated in the UK 2.6 Challenge, raising funds for The Movement Centre, a charity dedicated to supporting children and their families with movement disabilities. Every colleague took part in this challenge, whether it was completing workouts, playing tennis or baking cakes, it was great to have the whole company involved for such a good cause. Fundraising amounted to a fantastic £2,900 for the charity.
Covid-19 also gave us the opportunity to start working with OsNosh, a local food recycle kitchen, combating food waste. Colleagues have been helping out by picking up donated leftover food from supermarkets, preparing the meals in their community kitchen as well as delivering the food to those within our community.
As part of our commitment to supporting charities, all colleagues are encouraged to get involved and help with fundraising. Throughout the year we have taken part in staff charity quiz nights, a limerick competition, dress-down days, and Movember in support of Everything Shropshire, Breast Cancer Now, Children in Need, Save the Children, and Pancreatic Cancer UK.
In 2020, the total colleagues have raised for charity is almost £8,000!
We are looking forward to a busy 2021, jam-packed with activities, fundraising and volunteering – watch this space!