News from the Buckinghamshire business community

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B P Collins’ donations to local charities reach £100,000

B P Collins has donated another £10,000 to causes in Buckinghamshire through its Heart of Bucks’ stewardship fund. Now in its tenth year, the firm has now donated £100,000 in total to Buckinghamshire charities.

All staff at B P Collins were asked to choose their favourite charity from the five shortlisted, which aim to build stronger communities, provide better futures or create safer lives in the county – values that are embedded into the firm’s corporate social responsibilities (CSR). The chosen organisations are:

  • Red Balloon Educational Trust (RBET), which provides a full-time educational and therapeutic recovery programme for young people (aged 11-18) unable to attend mainstream school due to bullying, mental ill-health and/or special educational needs. It receives £3,000.
  • The Theatre Shed, which receives £2,000, is an inclusive arts charity based in the heart of Chesham and Amersham. Its inclusivity offers an inspiring alternative theatre representing young performers from different backgrounds, with different needs and disabilities. Through member-led performance opportunities, every young person develops social skills, builds self-esteem, gains knowledge and grows confidence in sharing their ideas.
  • Wednesday Club Waddesdon, which provides a unique wellbeing contribution to the lives of the elderly in the community, their families, volunteers and staff. It meets every Wednesday to welcome older people for a day of companionship, mental and physical stimulation, good food, friendship and support. It receives £1,750.
  • Talkback, which receives £1,250, provide opportunities for autistic individuals and people with a learning disability. Its goal is to support and empower individuals to experience personal growth, contribute to their local community, and live fulfilling lives.
  • Heart and Soul Hub, which helps adults with mental health illness back into the community and coaches them to gain employment, receives £1,000.

Gina Connell, B P Collins’ chief marketing officer, says: “These charities do a tremendous amount of work in helping to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities. We couldn’t be happier that our donations are going to these deserving charities and knowing the impact they will make.”

Henry Allmand, Chief Executive of Heart of Bucks says: “It's been Heart of Bucks’ honour to continue supporting the philanthropic efforts of B P Collins and its staff this year. Over the last 10 years, £100,000 has been awarded to local Buckinghamshire charities and community groups thanks to the B P Collins Fund. At a time when demand for support is greater than ever, this funding has ensured many essential services and programmes have been able to continue changing the lives of people across Buckinghamshire.”

Multiple wins for Global Infusion Group / Eat to the Beat

Global Infusion Group had plenty to celebrate after a triumphant evening at the Festival Supplier Awards 2024 in January. On the night, the team took home two awards, with GIG winning Best VIP/Backstage Supplier for its work at the Ryder Cup in 2023, and Eat to the Beat securing the highly sought-after Supplier Team of the Year accolade.

Mary Shelley-Smith, Eat to the Beat’s business director, said: “What a brilliant way to kick start our 2024 and 40th birthday celebrations. Winning the Supplier Team of the Year award is fantastic recognition for our team and crew who work incredibly hard to deliver for crew and artists on site."

Then in February, at the Event Production Awards, the AAA Legend Award was presented to Eat to the Beat owners Bonnie May and Mary Shelley-Smith.

Saffery’s Luke Hanratty appointed as High Wycombe BIDCo’s Vice Chair

Luke Hanratty, Partner at Saffery in High Wycombe, has been appointed Vice Chair of High Wycombe Business Improvement District Company (HWBIDCo), after joining the organisation’s governance board just over 12 months ago.

In his new role, Luke’s key responsibility is to ensure oversight of the responsible spending of the BID’s income, worth over £1.8 million, for the benefit of 700 businesses operating within High Wycombe’s town centre.

Luke’s voluntary role in the organisation is fully supported by Saffery as the firm is not only located in High Wycombe’s town centre but is also fully committed to responsible business practices in order to encourage sustainable success and long-term stability – objectives shared by HWBIDCo.

Citizens Advice Bucks urges local people to seek advice on debts this #DebtAwareBucks week

Citizens Advice Bucks is calling on everyone in Buckinghamshire to join them as they launch their new #DebtAwareBucks week from April 8th-14th.

They want to shine a spotlight on not only the reason people may find themselves in debt and the issues clients are facing, but how help can be accessed. In order to help people in Bucks who are struggling with debt, it is crucial that everyone comes together to raise awareness of the advice that is available to help them.

Camilla Smith-Hammock, Communications Manager at the charity says: "Whilst we took part in and supported the national debt awareness campaign, it struck us that the information and advice our clients want and need had to be more relevant to them and the area they live. Given the amount of people we are seeing with debt issues, we thought it needed another week of focus so that people who are struggling know that quality, confidential help is available on their doorstep and that they will not be judged for seeking it out."

Sadly, more and more people are falling into debt as their income falls below the cost of covering essential costs, like housing, energy and food. Unfortunately, many people still don’t know where to turn for help, particularly if they have never struggled with their finances before. There are also a number of unknowns and myths around debt which the charity hopes to break down.

Citizens Advice Bucks want to ensure that by the end of the week people are more aware of what debt advice is and are less worried about seeking help, with it being seen as less of a taboo subject. The charity wants everyone to be aware of the different ways to access help from not only them but other local charities and organisations too.

They also want to break down certain myths, such as that getting debt advice may negatively affect your credit score, to show they are not true, so people aren’t put off seeking advice based on incorrect information.

Craig Glynn, Interim CEO for Citizens Advice Bucks, says: "There's a strong stress component to experiencing a financial problem such as debt and there's unfortunately stigma and shame that surrounds it. If you feel ashamed that you have a financial problem at the moment and you feel alone, there's a couple of thousand people that we've talked to this year so far who are in exactly the same position. It's not uncommon, it's increasingly common, there is no shame in it, and support is out there."

Find support on the Citizens Advice Bucks website. Discover their free Money Matters course that can help with budgeting and taking a practical approach to finances.

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