Over the past two years, ABL Group have been engaged in corporate fundraising to support the work of a local Northern Ireland depression and mental health charity, AWARE NI. We’ve recently achieved our £10,000 fundraising target.
AWARE NI operate a network of 25 support groups across Northern Ireland to support individuals, their families and carers who are affected by depression, bipolar and mental health illnesses.
In addition to regional support groups in urban and rural areas, AWARE NI deliver outreach sessions to raise awareness of depression and their services at events across Northern Ireland, including public and community events, conferences, libraries and health fairs.
The team organise and deliver public talks to private, statutory, community and voluntary sector organisations, and deliver mental health and wellbeing programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.
AWARE also has a fundraising department which organises regular events in schools and communities throughout Northern Ireland to generate additional funds for their work.
The £10,000 raised by ABL Group employees will contribute to the costs associated with delivery of AWARE NI’s various initiatives in Northern Ireland.
ABL employees organised and delivered various fundraising events across our six Northern Ireland offices.
A number of staff took part in the AWARE Dragon Boat race held on Saturday 29 June 2019 at Cutters Wharf, Belfast. We entered 2 teams and competed against other local companies such as Randox, Mivan and First Stop Solutions NI. The boats and instructors were supplied by Bryson Lagan Sports, and hospitality including a BBQ was kindly provided by Cutters Wharf. It was a great day’s craic whilst raising vital support for AWARE.
Some team members participated in AWARE’s sponsored ‘mood walks’ in the Foyle and Belfast areas. Walking is recognised as one of the best ways to improve your mood and look after your mental health. These events are great for children, families, work and friendship groups to come together, exercise and raise awareness of ways to tackle depression and negative emotions.
A group of employees from our offices also took on Northern Ireland’s highest mountain, Slieve Donard, hiking to the top and back down again. This is an annual event hosted by AWARE NI.
Other fundraising events included Easter hamper raffles, spring coffee mornings and monthly dress down days. As we approached the end of the year, we’ve hosted a number of additional fundraisers to enable us to reach our £10,000 target. We’ve held festive coffee mornings, a raffle at our group Christmas Dinner with prizes generously sponsored by our Directors, and a Christmas Jumper Day. These events gave employees the opportunity to make additional donations, whilst enjoying the festivities together in a relaxed atmosphere.
Many employees also opted to make monthly donations from their salary to the charity.
Lesley Browne, ABL Staff Council Representative said:
“AWARE NI does great work in Northern Ireland and have been a fantastic charity for us to partner with over the last 2 years. They gave us ideas and support to run our fundraising initiatives, and also assisted with some of the practicalities.
As our time of corporate fundraising for AWARE NI comes to an end, we look forward to developing our next fundraising campaign with Friends of the Cancer Centre NI, our charity partner for 2020.”