Businesses care about the health of their local communities.

Often they’d like to “give back” to the places that support them. They look for ways to use their resources or to harness their staff’s enthusiasm, maybe to build staff morale and promote individual development.

Wycombe Homeless Connection (WHC) is an award-winning local registered charity that tackles homelessness in Wycombe – a visible and growing issue in these hard times. WHC is a small, lean charity for which a business can make a real difference. WHC can offer a variety of CSR benefits to the businesses that support it.

What we need

WHC welcomes various types of help towards our goal – for example, financial support, training for our staff, or volunteer effort.

Financially, it takes about £190,000 every year to employ WHC staff and keep the lights on. You can see how we use funds here. We look for:

  • One-off or regular donations – regular giving helps us with financial planning
  • Sponsorship for one of our activities or cost items (night shelter food; drop-in sessions; office furniture/supplies; office space; volunteer training; heating and lighting etc)
  • Staff involvement (to volunteer with our activities or organise fundraising events – see below).

What we can give back

We want to build a relationship with local businesses so that when they give us crucial support we can also give some things back:

  • Achievement of a Corporate Social Responsibility objective
  • The knowledge that their company has made a real difference to a local charity, boosting staff morale
  • Volunteering opportunities for their staff: companies have found these are good for team-building, or for improving communications between people from different departments. Volunteering also fits the bill if they have community service as a development objective for their employees, or give time off for a community service activity. See below.
  • Inspiring speakers for team-building days, conferences, etc. We can supply folk who have been homeless in the past, living at rock-bottom, and who have now rebuilt their lives
  • Use of the “WHC Supporter” or “WHC Partner” logo on their letterhead etc
  • PR visibility: we have regular coverage in the local press; hundreds follow us on social media; and our 400-strong volunteer force is a significant audience too.

Volunteering opportunities

Front-line volunteering roles at WHC require significant training and are not suitable for one-off helpers. These roles are, however, sometimes taken by individuals who have been given regular time off by their employer to volunteer for a sustained period. One-off volunteering opportunities arise from time to time, and these tend to be associated with fundraising, either through taking part as a team or through assisting with roles like stewarding.

Fundraising for WHC

Company teams organise or take part in events on their own initiative and donate the proceeds to us. Some fundraising ideas with a WHC twist are here. The Charity Challenge site provides plenty of further inspiration hereThese files are in Adobe pdf format. If you need a reader, you can download one free here.

We value help with our presence at community events when we sometimes have a stall or sell produce. Keep an eye on our news items for details of these.

We organise some fundraising events ourselves, such as an annual sleepout, and these are usually opportunities to raise funds through securing sponsorship. We also often need help with stewarding. Keep an eye on our news items for details of these.

The value of partnering with WHC

Every two years John Lewis High Wycombe chooses a charity to support. After their period supporting WHC, Dawn Stokoe, Community Liaison Officer, said:

“Having WHC as our branch charity has greatly raised the awareness of homelessness in our local community and challenged our stereotypes of the typical homeless person. As they have arranged fundraising events or worked with WHC on specific projects, our Partners have had varied opportunities to develop their personal, technical and managerial skills. Our partnership together has been a win-win for both parties and one which we have both enjoyed and valued.”

To explore how to support WHC as a company, contact the WHC office to ask for the details of our business contact, Heather Morley.

Transmitting funds to WHC

Cheques should be made payable to Wycombe Homeless Connection and mailed to the WHC office at the address below with a note of how the donation should be acknowledged.

Details of WHC’s bank account can be had by contacting the WHC office (details below).