Eight-five supporters of St Basils from Corporate Businesses or Local Trusts attended a ‘Thank you Lunch’ held on Tuesday 27th October hosted with the help of KPMG at their offices at One Snowhill.
This was our chance to acknowledge the contributions from our long-time Trust funders and Business supporters who have taken part in sponsored fundraising events including walking 13 or 26 miles as part of St Basils Annual Walk or have slept outside overnight at the BIG SleepOut to raise funds, or have contributed in other ways through donating time, skills or pro-bono support.
Nick Venning Marketing Director at PwC, St Basils Fundraising Committee Chair and Co-Founder of Birmingham's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) network Thrive acted as Compere at the event. He spoke about first what attracted him to supporting St Basils over 20 years ago. He said St Basils emphasis on preventing homelessness was a big draw for him particularly with regards to getting young people back into society and work. He added CSR is about thinking what kind of society you want to be a part of and what you feel is important to see happen in your city.
The 'Thank You' event also provided a chance to hear from some of our former young residents including 'Alan' (please see buttons at the bottom of the page) who is now studying at University and also 'Beth' who now has her own house, her own business and is a published poet. She read out a poem she had written at the event.
Our Chief Executive Jean Templeton explained the impact those in the room have made to our young people as general donations go towards our Learning, Skills and Work programmes. She emphasised how going forwards getting young people into education, training and employment pathways will become increasingly cruicial to ensuring they can escape homelessness.
The event was also a chance to hear from the companies who have chosen us as their 'charity of the year' this year. Rob Bridghouse from Chiltern Railways explained the support they have given to St Basils this year including the sponsored SleepOut they did earlier in the year, whilst Nicky Welch from KPMG explained more about the pro-bono support she has given to St Basils as well as a number of internal fundraising intiatives for St Basils. At the end of her talk she presented a cheque to St Basils.
Finally Barrie Hodge, Head of Fundraising at St Basils spoke about a number of upcoming events and initiatives including our stall at the German market gifted to us by WiIlmott Dixon, a way companies can help us raise awareness through 'donate your HOMEpage' early next year and the 'make it a home for Christmas' campaign from the Birmingham Mail which Dixons are also assisting us with.
Look out in the enewsletter for more details of all these intiatives nearer the time.
"I know what it’s like to stay in random places
Trying to avoid the heart ache and same old faces
I know what it’s like to take drugs to numb the pain
To look in the mirror and always feel plain
Being homeless made me feel like I couldn’t respect myself
Depression and clouded judgement making me neglect myself
Feeling dirty and when you wash yourself you still feel unclean
Crying and hurting but no shoulder for you to lean
Having a broken heart and a mashed up head
Living on a diet of dried milk noodles and bread
A young mind searching for answers
Police cells alarm bells new and fresh disasters
When I was younger I wanted to be a midnight raver
On most typical days though I couldn’t even afford a day saver
Worrying about gas and electric
My life turning out that way I didn’t expect it
I vowed to move away from my 16th birthday
I heard that hostels were bad from experience’s and hearsay
I didn’t want to live on the streets I couldn’t possibly stay at home
When I left home I had no material possessions to take with me like a tv, dvd bedsheets or a phone
So I’m going to tell you about the dangers and the consequences
How vital them 20ps become and those 50 pences
Each letter you get sent is a bill
Making you ill
But sometimes you have to hit rock bottom so you can turn your life back around
Let out those tears when no one’s around
Be brave be strong don’t be afraid to ask for help
Only you can change your life no one else
Homelessness is painful homelessness is real
It can be a really lonely place I get to express how I feel
So never judge the cover of an unread book
You can turn your life around I did take a look"
Copyright Beth Abbott