Local business supports Pilgrims Hospices with ‘25 acts of giving’

To celebrate its 25 year anniversary, Ramsgate-based company Business Computer Solutions Ltd. (BCS) is encouraging staff to volunteer for local causes in a ‘25 acts of giving’ initiative. Helen Bradley, Sales Administrator, from Broadstairs and Khan Tomlinson, Systems Administrator, from Ramsgate chose to volunteer for Pilgrims Hospices. They each wanted to give back to the hospice charity that serves their local community.

Helen’s hand-crafted decorative bottles

On 24 June 2021, Helen and Khan gave up their time to volunteer at Pilgrims’ Broadstairs shop. In addition, they donated several items to sell in the shop including jigsaws, photo frames, a desk tidy, books, an armchair rest organiser and a room diffuser. Helen also contributed decorative bottles that she made using new, empty wine bottles with lights inside.

Helen said: “I love a good charity shop, and this one is my favourite in Broadstairs; the staff and volunteers are so friendly. I wanted to get involved and interact with the local public.”

Khan added: “It’s been really fun meeting customers and so interesting to see exactly what goes into managing a charity shop. The volunteers work so hard, and I was surprised how much stock gets donated and processed behind the scenes.”

Mandy Hawkett, Retail Area Manager at Pilgrims, said: “I’d like to thank Helen and Khan for supporting Pilgrims as their chosen charity. I am really proud of Pilgrims’ retail stores and our dedicated shop teams, so I was delighted when Helen approached us regarding the ‘25 acts of giving’ project and her wish to spend the day in our lovely Broadstairs store. The team take pride in their store, creating a fabulous atmosphere to shop and volunteer in.

“It was such a lovely day. Khan worked on the till delivering excellent customer service, and Helen put out new items of stock, ensuring the displays were looking their best throughout the day; both were supported by the experts, our wonderful volunteers.”

Tim Stewart, Retail Business Development Manager at Pilgrims, added: “It’s so important to us that local businesses like BCS support us in what we do. It’s great that their staff came to our Broadstairs shop to see first-hand just how hard our staff and volunteers work to get the most out of the donations we receive. There is a perception that charity shops are simple and straightforward to operate, but I’m sure Helen and Khan can now confirm that there is so much work that goes into getting donated stock ready for sale!

“BCS staff donated so much lovely stock to us on the day, and they were able to Gift Aid it which made the donations 25% more valuable. We’re really pleased that Helen and Khan chose us as their preferred charity, and even better that they took the time out of their busy schedules to come into the shop and help run it for the day; I’m sure they went home exhausted but feeling very fulfilled.”

Other BCS employees are volunteering across Thanet in several capacities, getting involved with beach cleaning, community gardening projects and girl guiding.

Martin Hynes, Managing Director at BCS, said: “At BCS we have always felt businesses should play a role in helping their local communities. We have embraced this philosophy over the last 25 years, which has seen us support various local charities and good causes, including with our most recent ‘25 acts of giving’ where the entire BCS team participated in helping local causes, to celebrate our 25 years in business. We would like to thank Pilgrims for helping make this possible; our team have gained a great deal out of the experience, and we hope to have inspired other local businesses and residents to do the same.”

Inspired to become a Pilgrims’ volunteer?

Visit pilgrimshospices.org/volunteer to find out more and check out the latest opportunities, including at Pilgrims’ shops.

Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,500 people in east Kent who are coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity support patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.