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Charity champions: how eight advice firms are giving back

Inspired by this year’s London Marathon, which took place on 22 April, we asked advisers for their greatest good deeds of the past year.

Sloma's marathon mission

First up is 2018 London Marathon runner and Engage Financial Services managing director Sam Sloma. The firm had already exceeded its £7,500 fundraising target before the race last Sunday.

It has partnered with Grief Encounter, a charity that supports bereaved children. Sloma’s wife works for the charity, and his sister, brother-in-law and cousin are also taking on the gruelling 26.2 mile course. The group began training in January.

Sloma said: ‘It’s been a slog in what feels like the longest, wettest and coldest winter in a long time. However we’re tapering down now and ready for the race.

‘The worst part was while I was out running one day, it started snowing and then it became heavy snow. By the time I’d finished, I was soaked and the jogger’s nipple was a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.’

As you can see from the picture, Sloma made it to the race, which took place in the hottest ever conditions. 

Money raised: £4,000

Time spent: Four months

Sloma's marathon mission

First up is 2018 London Marathon runner and Engage Financial Services managing director Sam Sloma. The firm had already exceeded its £7,500 fundraising target before the race last Sunday.

It has partnered with Grief Encounter, a charity that supports bereaved children. Sloma’s wife works for the charity, and his sister, brother-in-law and cousin are also taking on the gruelling 26.2 mile course. The group began training in January.

Sloma said: ‘It’s been a slog in what feels like the longest, wettest and coldest winter in a long time. However we’re tapering down now and ready for the race.

‘The worst part was while I was out running one day, it started snowing and then it became heavy snow. By the time I’d finished, I was soaked and the jogger’s nipple was a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.’

As you can see from the picture, Sloma made it to the race, which took place in the hottest ever conditions. 

Money raised: £4,000

Time spent: Four months

Hardman aids reserve rescue

Investing Ethically cleared the team’s diary so it could take a day clearing foliage in a nearby nature reserve in February.

Lisa Hardman, director at the Norwich-based firm, said the Wheatfen reserve is home to unusual plants and rare butterflies, including the swallowtail. The environmentally minded team got muddy doing their bit to ensure the space remains a welcoming habitat.

‘We were chopping down trees and clearing old fallen down trees to make a pathway. There was a lot of mud,’ said Hardman. ‘The idea was to restore the habitat as the trees self-seed. If it is not managed, it becomes overgrown and plants that bring in butterflies and other species are crowded out.

‘Wheatfen could not afford to pay for such clearance. Like many charities and trusts it relies almost entirely on volunteers.’

Money raised: N/A

Time spent: 50 hours

Aitchison packs a punch

As a new year’s challenge to herself, Mazars’ Kate Aitchison decided to try her hand at white collar boxing in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Ultra White Collar Boxing run several events across the UK, which are among the largest fundraising sessions for Cancer Research.

‘Having done some non-contact boxing training in the past, I decided to set myself a challenge,’ said Aitchison. ‘I undertook eight weeks of official training, two evenings per week, and supplemented this with the aid of my personal trainer, Connor Hall. 

‘I fought against a much younger opponent and it was a hard fight. Unfortunately, I lost on points but it was an unforgettable experience, especially with 20 friends, family and colleagues all cheering me on.

‘Personally I raised just over £1,800 and the event as a whole raised in excess of £41,500.’

Money raised: £1,800

Time spent: Over eight weeks

 

Shah shows the way

Raj Shah, independent financial planner at Sheffield-based Blue Wealth Capital, has been changing lives in the Steel City.

Shah works with Endeavour, a charity based in Sheffield that looks after learners who have fallen through the net of the UK education system. His work involves teaching financial literacy to young people, typically 14 to 16 years old, who have either been expelled from school or do not speak English as a first language.

‘The families these children come from typically get into a lot of bad debt, so hopefully the seeds I am planting will grow into a different thought pattern,’ said Shah.

Money raised: N/A

Time spent: Two to three hours a month

 

MDG's March for Men

Milton Keynes-based Myers Davison Ginger (MDG) has raised £17,000 for Prostate Cancer UK by taking part in a seven-mile March for Men.

The firm is led by Keith Butten and son Josh. Following Keith’s prostate cancer diagnosis, and successful treatment and recovery in 2017, they have been raising public awareness of prostate cancer, which kills one man in the UK every hour.

The March for Men was organised by Keith and wife Linda, and involved a seven-mile walk from Streatley to Luton Rugby Club. More than 80 clients and friends of the family took part.

Money raised: £17,000

Time spent: 2.5 hours

Workshop aids education charity

Financial planning group NextGen Planners has launched a training workshop with a twist. Uniquely, the delegates did not pay a fee to attend the course. Instead they were asked to make a donation to The Money Charity, which offers financial education in schools.

NextGen Planners aims to raise £25,000 in the first year of its partnership with the charity, which, at £9.09 per student, will reach around 2,600 kids.

The one-day workshop, led by Personal Finance Society-accredited trainer and NextGen director Adam Owen, focuses on developing adviser skills when meeting new clients. During the first of these workshops in London last month, delegates learned how to develop initial client meetings so they focus on building trust and lasting relationships.

Supported by four coaches, the 10 delegates received intensive support and feedback as they were put through their paces.

Money raised: £25,000

Time spent: One day so far

Pool shark challenges all-comers

‘We hosted our first charity pool competition in our office last month,’ said Dan Weston, director of Mathews Comfort Financial Services.

‘One of our team is a county pool player. So other than the main competition, you could take him on for a fee and there was a prize if you beat him,’ he said. ‘He had to play wrong-handed or with just one hand.’

The firm raised money for SSNAP, a charity supporting sick and premature babies based at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Money raised: £350

Time spent: One evening

SG Wealth bag it

Norwich-based SG Wealth Management took part in a charity bag campaign that collected 40 charity bags to raise money for East Anglian Children’s Hospices (Each).

Helen Tavner, marketing manager of the IFA, said she dished out charity bags to all 40 of the firm’s staff and they had two weeks to fill them with clothes and other items which were then collected and passed on to 29 charity shops run by Each.

‘This will help towards raising the vital funds needed to continue the excellent work of Each’s family-centred, needs-led care facilities,’ Tavner added.

Amount raised: 40 charity bags

Time taken: Two weeks

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