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Sage staff offering their support to Barnabus

Sage staff offering their support

At Sage caring about our local community is an essential part of our culture and when volunteers from our Accountants’ Division in Manchester heard about local homeless charity Barnabus they were keen to get involved and give something back.

Technical Support Advisor Stephen O’Brien is the CSR Champion at our Manchester office. He says: “We first got involved with Barnabus two years ago when a group of us volunteered to spend time helping out at the Barnabus soup kitchen and drop in centre. We were really moved by the work of the charity and the resolve of the people it helps and we were determined to develop the relationship further.”

Barnabus helps support and care for some of society's most vulnerable people in the Manchester area, arranging shelter and referring people to hostels. It provides basic medical care and warm, nutritional meals, as well as hot showers and essentials that many of us take for granted such as clothes, blankets, toiletries, underwear and shoes.

Based in the heart of the city, the charity was set up 23 years ago and helps between 500-600 visiting homeless people every week.

Stephen says: “It’s really important that every penny raised by Barnabus goes into providing support for homeless people in the area - as it’s a vital lifeline for so many homeless people. We wanted to give everyone in our Manchester office the chance to get involved in any way they could this year and we invited them to donate everyday items - anything from food items to clothes and sleeping bags.

“Popping an extra item in the shopping trolley was a really easy, but important way to help. It meant everyone had the chance to get involved and we could donate the equivalent of a massive trolley load of goods to the charity.”

Six volunteers met people who benefit from the centre’s support as well as some of the Barnabus volunteerswhen they went along to hand over the donations at the Barnabus Centre.

Stephen says: “The team at Barnabus are brilliant and we’ve been really impressed with their dedication. They really needed help sorting out clothes, shoes, nick naks, books and other donated items so they could be given out at the drop in or if appropriate sold in the charity’s shop to raise money for their work and our team was delighted to help out - and find out about their important work at the same time.”

From the very first time our volunteers became involved in Barnabus, they’ve all beentouched by just how polite, friendly, warm and charming the homeless people are - even though many of them had been living rough for long periods of time.

Stephen says: “In particular one man called Jimmy had a profound effect when he told us he didn’t think of himself as homeless, he just thought he had limited choices.”

Getting involved has giventhe Sage volunteers a chance to give something back to their local community and helped forge strong relationships both inside and outside the company.

Carol Price, Development Manager at Barnabus says: “We’re delighted that we’ve developed a strong relationship with the team at Sage and we’ve been moved by their enthusiasm, willingness to help and their compassion for our work.

“Each time we’ve had volunteers working with us, we’ve been impressed by their approach and the fact that they’ve taken the environment of the drop-in centre in their stride. They’ve been welcoming and respectful to the guys and each team has absolutely relished every task to help.

“We’re so thankful for their on-going support and for raising awareness of our work with the homeless. This type of corporate support is a vital lifeline for our work.”

Published on Thursday 13th December 2012

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