At JCA we are building a positive, sustainable business that contributes towards our community by creating environmental and social value, as well as contributing to the broader societies in which we work. 

Each year, our employees select two charities to support throughout the year through direct fundraising activities and collections organised internally. One of these is usually local to our head office in Stevenage and the other with a national reach.

In January 2020, our staff voted to offer fundraising to Mind UK, a national organisation providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, and Happy Days Children’s Charity, based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, providing day trips and short breaks to some of the most vulnerable families affected by mental and physical disabilities, life limiting conditions and others. A few months later, it was clear that 2020 would be a very different year in terms of direct fundraising activities. 

According to research, the devastating financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic has left two in five charities and community groups in a worsening financial situation with one in 10 charities worried they may be forced to close within a year. A recent survey carried out by Nottingham Trent University, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Sheffield Hallam University, also found that more than half (56 %) of organisations surveyed were expecting demand for services to surge as the impact of local lockdowns and rising unemployment filters down to communities. 

With this in mind, instead of choosing new charitable organisations to support in 2021, we have decided to continue to offer our direct internal fundraising support to Mind UK and Happy Days Children’s Charity and do our best to help in any way we can with a newly designed virtual fundraising plan for 2021.

To find out more about the state of the charities and voluntary sector during Covid-19, download a copy of the “Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19″ November 2020, a report prepared by Nottingham Trent University, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Sheffield Hallam University. 

To find out more about Happy Days Children’s Charity and Mind UK, we encourage you to visit their websites for more information about their work.