Charity secures business help thanks to new matching service

Photo shows: Simon Godfrey,, Anna Jones & Mechelle Harris The Hummingbird Centre
Simon Social Media in first match with The Hummingbird Centre

The Local Business Charity Awards (Oxfordshire) are celebrating a first successful match between a local business and a charity.

The new initiative, which was launched as part of the 2018 Local Business Charity Awards (Oxfordshire) sponsored by insurance brokers Jelf and A-Plan, aims to match Oxfordshire charities, with Oxfordshire businesses wanting to help.

Based on principle behind internet dating, ‘Support A Local Charity’ asks local charities to submit a list of ‘needs’ which then appear on the website; requests can range from looking for new trustees, to help with fundraising, volunteering, accounts, marketing, PR, social media, HR etc.

Similarly businesses submit a list of what they are willing to offer; from sharing the firm’s core skills at no charge to the charity, to becoming a trustee, lending the charity office space, taking on a charity of the year or more general fundraising and volunteering support.

Both forms are then posted online   Charities and businesses browse each other’s lists until they see a potential ‘match’, at which point they contact with each other.

The first full match in Oxfordshire has been made between social media firm Simon Social Media and cancer support and therapy centre, The Hummingbird Centre in Bicester.

Simon Social Media had offered to help any Oxfordshire charity with their social media; they received a call from The Hummingbird Centre, asking for help to launch their first twitter account.

Simon Godfrey, owner of Simon Social Media said: “It was a pleasure to help The Hummingbird Centre and I think we all had a fun couple of hours. The charity has meaning to me due to personal circumstances and that made it even more of a privilege to help them with their social media presence. I provided Mechelle and Anna with an overview of Twitter and explained how, as a charity, they could use the platform to connect and engage with other local businesses and organisations. Once I’d given them an overview of the platform, I helped them setup their new account and demonstrated all of the key features and gave them an idea of where to get started. I’ll catch up with them in a few weeks to see how they’re getting on and maybe cover some more advanced topics. They’ve also got my email if they need more help at any stage.’

Mechelle Harris , founder of The Hummingbird Centre said: “Simon was so easy to work with, he really understood how we wanted to use Twitter and what we wanted to achieve. He spent time with us setting up the account, as well as explaining the advantages of reaching out to the business network, whilst maintaining a professional approach. Simon also offered to come back in a couple of months time to see how we are getting on. We had a great afternoon.”

Carl Shuker, CEO, A-Plan Holdings  and joint sponsor of The Local Business Charity Awards and  Support a Local Charity said: “Support A Local Charity’ underlines our commitment as local employers, to support those within our community, who need it the most and we are delighted that we’ve been able to successfully bring a business and a charity together in  this first match. We know there are many other businesses across Oxfordshire who would be happy to help a and we would urge them to sign up and be part of this brand new initiative that, as has been demonstrated today, can mean a huge amount to a local charity.”