Supporting the local community through fund-raising, and through volunteering our time and skills, has always been a central part of Ghyston’s ethos, and a key part of life for our employees.
This year, our charity of the year has been Emmaus Bristol.
What Emmaus Bristol does
Emmaus supports homeless people by providing a secure home, and by giving them the opportunity to help others through work – and in so doing, to allow the rediscovery of a sense of purpose in life. The stark reality is that the number of homeless people is on the rise in Bristol, and Emmaus is needed more than ever.
What we did
We had two main fund-raising events this year: the first was wing-walking, together with some of our clients and the world-famous Breitling Wingwalkers, and the second was a corporate entry in the Bristol half marathon, when over a third of our company ran. That represents a significant amount of dedication, training and resilience! With charity matching we raised £5000. Whilst this scratches the surface of the wider problem, we hope that it will contribute to the amazing work that Emmaus does.
What Emmaus did for us
We know that the work Emmaus Bristol does is invaluable, and that the money we’ve raised has gone to a fantastic cause. That was never in doubt.
What has taken us by surprise is the impact the charity has had on us – not the other way round. Simply put – we have all been really affected by learning more about the issues surrounding homelessness, and by meeting some of Emmaus’ companions. I don’t think anyone at Ghyston has been left unchallenged by this.
Supporting a local charity has meant we’ve had a much closer, more meaningful relationship than we’d expected. At the start of the year, Emmaus’ CEO Jess came in one lunchtime to talk us through exactly what Emmaus does, and what homeless people are facing. It was pretty sobering, and really gave purpose to our plans for the year. In the autumn, we had a big launch party as we rebranded as Ghyston, and Jess came, bringing with her a companion who had previously run his own company and who was very familiar with our world of software development. Hearing his story was something no one who spoke to him will forget. In November, we went to Emmaus’ headquarters in Stokes Croft to present the cheque, and met several companions and saw first-hand what the charity is doing.
Our attitudes have been challenged and shaped by our involvement with Emmaus this year. Cliché it may be, but we gained far more than we gave.
Roll on next year as we look forward to supporting our 2018 charity of the year, Young Bristol! Watch this space…