January 4th, 2023
When you think of brands that take action for their audience, you can’t help but include charities, the original responsible brand. Not for profit, being of benefit, making a difference, helping others, giving without expecting anything in return, the list of why charities are the OG of responsibility is endless, and what would we do without them?
The charity sector is large and is playing an ever increasingly essential role in society. A new survey found that 98% of UK households have used a charity’s service, with 51% turning to a charity for advice.
Charities are there to answer very real needs. Often those who are most in need are the most overlooked and society and governments aren’t equipped to protect everyone that needs it. So whether it’s delivering services that had traditionally been provided by the public sector or to raise awareness of issues, charities provide dedicated resources, taking responsibility to help the most vulnerable and meet support needs.
The coronavirus pandemic and the long term effects of that, as well as the cost of living crisis have concentrated public attention on the importance of charities and the ways in which they have responded in times of crisis to provide support. From supporting those living in food poverty and carrying out medical research, to being there for vulnerable people at the end of their lives with hospice care. Charities are ingrained into our lives, providing access to something that wouldn’t otherwise be available, fighting for rights and really and truly caring – something that today’s consumer holds in high regard, and brands are recognising this.
Consumer expectations for brands to do more in terms of their stance on what they are doing for people, the planet and the community is dramatically increasing. With customers willing to spend more on a brand that is responsible, it’s no wonder that brands are looking at charities for inspiration on how they too can be more responsible. From building on their corporate social responsibility or forming partnerships and collaborations with trusts and charities, a brand that is taking some form of responsibility is integral in trying to meet their customers’ needs and ultimately make the world a better place.
Forming a collaboration doesn’t just benefit the brand. A collaboration will increase donations and raise awareness of the charity directly into public consciousness, in turn, attracting new audiences and donors.
This increased awareness is vital for charities, as more and more are becoming key to our day to day lives without us even realising.
But what is it actually like on the frontline of a charity?
At Hatched (the agency behind Responsible Brands) one of our charity partners is Hospices of Hope. Last summer we were lucky enough to speak to Daniel, one of their volunteers that we had sponsored, to get an idea on what it is actually like – to show the real effort and effect that a charity may give on a daily basis.
Hospices of Hope was founded 31 years ago by Graham Perolls, after sadly losing both of his parents to cancer and seeing firsthand the difference hospice care makes to a patient and their family.
On a trip to Romania in the 90s, he visited a state hospital and was shocked to see the conditions patients were in, with no pain medication and being sent home to die without access to any support. Discovering that there was no funding for end of life care across the country and that 92% of terminally ill patients across Europe still do not receive any hospice based care, Graham established Hospices of Hope – the only UK charity focused on developing hospice care in South East Europe. The charity believes that everyone deserves to live and die with dignity and without pain, no matter where you live.
Passionate about caring for children and making a difference to vulnerable people’s lives, Daniel, a dedicated volunteer, first found out about Hospices of Hope in 2018, and was immediately impacted by what they were doing. When the opportunity to volunteer at a summer camp arose, he didn’t think twice.
Daniel arrived in Copaceni in Romania, on the frontline of what the charity does, at the Charity’s Seaside Club, a centre for children living with rare or life-limiting illness. The aim of this centre is to host fun activities for the children and their families and provide the opportunity for parents to get some rest. Daniel explained to us the day-to-day running of the centre and how he was helping.
“Each day we would enjoy three meals together, as well as a variety of activities, such as UK volunteers entertaining the kids with a show, games, sport, bonfires, film nights, parties and more. We also enjoyed a trip to the zoo, which was followed by delicious pizza in Bucharest. As a volunteer, I was responsible for supporting the children and parents, ensuring they could enjoy each and every part of the day to the maximum. The duties included setting up the dining hall for meals, organising activities, supporting and supervising the children during activities and games, and assisting them throughout the day in whatever was needed.”
Seeing firsthand how the charity runs is something that Daniel will forever appreciate, taking learnings forward from the trip.
“The joy, resilience and simple appreciation for life the children and their families transmit are very infectious and I feel extremely inspired by them. I also feel very inspired by the staff members of the centre/charity and the work they are doing with these children and their families.”
Through his experience, Daniel explains why it is so important to support charities like Hospices of Hope, “the benefits of supporting this amazing charity are enormous, particularly for the children and their families, of course. It is a precious opportunity they have to escape their incredibly adverse circumstances and to enjoy a week filled with joy, laughter, connection, belonging and friendships. The impact is so visible, that some of the children (and their parents) are almost unrecognisable by the end of the week… You can see on their faces how much they benefit from the experience, and the support to make it happen is certainly vital in order to ensure that!”
The work that charities like Hospices of Hope do is invaluable and the ethics that are at the heart of what they do should act as inspiration to all of us. If every brand in a small way was more like a charity, these small acts of responsibility and progress would build up. Each small change can add up to big results and the more responsible a brand can be, the better this is for people, the planet and the community.
“Charities are the eyes, ears and conscience of society. They mobilise, they provide, they inspire, they advocate and they unite.” Just imagine a world where every brand did that…
If you would like to support Hospices of Hope via a donation or get involved with volunteering please visit:
Written by Daisy Rogers.
In partnership with Hospices of Hope
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