Go Green encourages businesses to connect with their community and assist their staff with volunteering. It’s been great to hear how Go Green Do It members, Phineas Group and Computershare, two local businesses have made use of their space to assist Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol with their donation collections in the last few months.
Images courtesy of Phineas Group
"The Calais Refugee Solidarity Group are doing fantastic work and the generosity of the people of Bristol is apparent from the sheer volume of donations we’ve seen arriving at our warehouse."
Bristol-based Phineas Group a specialist in footwear display solutions have donated warehousing space to Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol (CRSB), a Facebook-founded volunteer group who are collecting donations from the local area to take to the refugee camps in Calais.
After being overwhelmed with donations in the first 24 hours of their September appeal, CRSB put out a distress call on social media for help. Phineas employee, Dave Goldie, was browsing Facebook on Sunday saw that the group were looking for a large, fit-for-purpose warehouse space. His quick thinking meant that by first thing Monday, Dan Wright, Managing Director at Phineas Group, had welcomed the idea and offered the space to the volunteers free of charge. After talks with Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol member, Felicity Inkpen, it was decided that one of Phineas’ rooms at their Hengrove Headquarters would be designated for all donations to be placed together.
CRSB formed over social media to support refugees who have travelled to Europe. The increasing awareness of the millions of people displaced from their homes in the Middle East has led to a hugely positive response from the people of Bristol and large numbers of donations at designated collection points across the city. The donations have now arrived in Calais to give to refugees living in makeshift homes there, with volunteer drivers from around Bristol making the journey.
Dan Wright commented: “We’re really pleased to be able to be a part of this incredible effort to help refugees and offer them the support they need at a difficult time. The Calais Refugee Solidarity Group are doing fantastic work and the generosity of the people of Bristol is apparent from the sheer volume of donations we’ve seen arriving at our warehouse”.
“Phineas Group have saved the day,” commented CRBS co-founder, Felicity Inkpen, “We really had nowhere else to turn to so we are very grateful to Dave and Dan for their actions. We will be working hard to ensure that the donations are moved on as quickly as they can to the people who need them the most. A big thanks to the city of Bristol and Phineas Group for making this happen.”
"Helping with the refugee crisis has proven very worthwhile, and our staff members have been keen to give their time to this worthwhile cause, so if other businesses have staff members who want to become involved, they should look into what help is needed on the charity’s website"
Joe Williams from Computershare told us why they got involved. The company has a long history of helping good causes, both locally and internationally, and staff have repeatedly demonstrated their generosity and willingness to get involved with different things, whether that’s sponsored cycle rides or bake sales, raising thousands of pounds over the last year alone.
“Some of my colleagues were deeply moved by the plight of the refugees and contacted senior management to ask if there was any way we could help. The Pavilions is a great site with good access during the day and a reasonable amount of space so of course we agreed we would love to support this cause.”
Computershare is the largest employer in South Bristol with over 1,500 people based at The Pavilions (and growing), so they knew that their drop off point appeal could generate a lot of donations from staff as well as local residents and they had both the space and logistics to cope.
They had over 70 boxes of items that they have packed and sorted, as well as a number of tents. Materials that didn’t meet the donation requirements were taken to a textile and clothing recycling centre, with the money raised being passed on to the charity.
Computershare staff members did not want to add to the burden of Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol so staff volunteered to sort through the donations themselves and a Computershare van dropped them off at their warehouse.
These are just two examples of Bristol and West of England organisations collaborating to help others. How can you support positive actions in your local community? What capital, staff and storage resources do you have that others could benefit from?