This year we partnered with Womankind, a Bristol-based charity that offers mental health support to women. It was great to work with a charity that’s specific to our local area, and because Womankind is quite a small charity we were able to have a significant impact on them.
In total, we fundraised over £5,400 for Womankind over the course of the year. The most impactful fundraising activity was Charity Saturday, when five Ghyston developers volunteered to work on a Saturday and Ghyston donated the day rate for their work. We also had a few rounds of charity crosswords with various themes through the year – these were written by Ghyston employees and obtained in exchange for a voluntary donation.
Aside from fundraising, we were also able to help Womankind out with filming some promotional videos to help them recruit more volunteers. We ran a feature about their work on our blog, and they were kind enough to return the favour!
We supported plenty of other great causes too including; Cancer Research UK, Help Bristol’s Homeless, BRACE, Alzheimer’s Society and the British Red Cross’s Ukraine appeal. There were some creative fundraising ideas, from a World Cup sweepstakes to a sponsored Dry January! In total we donated over £4,700 to charity on top of the £5k+ donated to Womankind, our Charity of the Year.
This year we were also able to sponsor someone though the Grassroot Activators Programme, a Bristol-based programme that supports young people from marginalised communities to achieve their potential. Our CEO Emily was selected to mentor someone on the programme.
While the recruitment team at Ghyston have been working hard to improve Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within the company, we have also been finding ways to inspire young people across the Bristol area to consider a career in tech. Izzie gave a talk at Cotham School about her unexpected route into a tech career, and some others partnered with The Elephant Group for a careers Q&A with school students in Bristol.
Next year we are hoping to grow a partnership with Codebar Bristol, the local chapter of a charity that supports underrepresented groups to get into coding. A few Ghyston devs have been volunteering as coaches at their monthly meetups, but we’d like to do more with them as Ghyston rather than just as individuals in their own time. To kick this off, we are hosting a Codebar meetup at our offices in the new year, and we’re excited to see what other opportunities come up!
We are delighted that the senior leadership at Ghyston are genuinely invested in improving the environmental sustainability of the company, starting with measuring our carbon footprint and setting targets for Net Zero. We, on the CSR team, have run several events to get employees involved in the conversation too.
We organised a recipe swap during National Vegetarian Week, sharing ideas for a more sustainable diet, and people added their “veg pledge” for the week or the longer-term to the board.
We are working on reducing the amount of single-use plastic in the weekly delivery of snacks to the office – starting by buying big bags of confectionery rather than individual packets and getting a plastic-free fruit basket delivery, instead of fruit from the supermarket.
In October, seven employees headed to Avon Wildlife Trust’s Folly Farm for a day of hands-on work at the local environmental project. The team cleared scrubland so that the wild horses can roam and eat the vegetation – and learnt how to use scythes!