A wealth of ideas and employees’ personal motivation enriches Bechtle’s social commitment. A good example of this is the creative fundraising initiatives dreamed up by employees at Bechtle direct Ltd., Chippenham, England.
Lightsabres at the ready! Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul and Mace Windu welcome visitors to the reception of the Chippenham branch of Bechtle direct UK, located in Wiltshire in the South of England. But there’s no fighting happening here. On the contrary, everybody’s having a great time. Carnival? No chance—it’s celebrated in summer in the UK! Behind the Star Wars masks are colleagues doing their bit to raise money for charity using humour and fun—something that’s not unusual at this branch of Bechtle. A look back reveals more of Bechtle Chippenham’s charity work: everyone donning the “wrong trousers” for the Wallace and Gromit inspired Grand Appeal to raise funds for the Bristol Children’s Hospital, and Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save the Children.
Bechtle direct UK strives to be a reliable partner, not just for its customers, but also in its social commitment. Instead of thinking up lots of little one-off events, as in the past, in summer 2017 the British Bechtle decided to choose a charity project to support over the course of 12 months—and something close to home. They collected ideas and held a vote, with the winner being the life-saving charity, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, financed almost exclusively by donations. Bechtle direct UK’s charity year began on 1 July 2017 and was an absolute success. £2,536.42 (approx. €2,800) was raised over the 12 months, running until 30 June 2018.
“Bechtle UK are proud to support such a worthy, local cause. The Wiltshire Air Ambulance do a phenomenal job day to day in our community and provide a life-saving service, they are there for everybody. The team at Bechtle UK have really got behind this cause, raising a large sum of money. We believe that this is not only due to the great work that the Wiltshire Air Ambulance do, but also the fact that they were chosen as our charity of the year via a company-wide vote,” says James Napp, Managing Director, Bechtle UK. And because the charity year was such a success, it’s being done a second time. “We are extremely proud of the achievements of the first 12 months of fundraising and are excited for another year of fun,” he continues.
Charity bake sales are very popular. So far there have been “ghoulishly tasty” muffins for Halloween and a “Bake-off for Lift Off” week in September 2018. Every day, employees baked various cakes and brought them in to the office to sell. But involvement with the charity isn’t just one-sided. “They are the unsung heroes, who I would trust with my life or those of my loved ones without a second thought. They want and need our support to raise the funds. They don’t just give you a charity box to put money in. They have shown us around their base and helped to organise charity nights—you are not left on your own. If you need the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to help with ideas, they are always willing to contribute. They have visited our office and seen what we do and regularly thank us for the help we are providing them. They have also joined in with some of the fun activities we have done,” says Chris Lockwood, responsible for controlling at Bechtle direct UK.
Many charity events took place with the support of other organisations, including customers who went without Christmas freebies and donated to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance instead while vendors and local companies donated prizes to an Easter Eggstravaganza and Christmas Balloon Room tombolas. And Wincanton, the air ambulance’s neighbour on the Methuen Park industrial estate helped organise a joint football tournament and a quiz night to strengthen ties. Beth Tomlins is the marketing assistant who manages all contact to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and coordinates the initiatives: “I love the fact that Bechtle UK supports the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. It makes sense to support them, they provide a priceless service and can be the difference between life and death.” In just the first half of the second charity year, £3,000 (approx. €3,340) was raised for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance from July to December 2018.