Applause IT help businesses grow their IT teams by finding them the best talent in the market . They’re also one of the Hospice’s corporate supporters. Below, they share their story about how they were inspired to become involved in the Hospice community, and hope that their efforts will encourage others to start their own corporate relationship with the charity.

We first got involved with Birmingham St Mary’s at the start of this year. Our Director Mike Scotney had first heard of the organisation through his involvement with the Bournville Harriers running club. After spending the last couple of years getting involved with the nationwide charity events run by Macmillan and Save the Children, we felt it our duty as a Birmingham-based business to give something back to this wonderful community.

We got in contact with Corporate Partnerships Co-ordinator, Abigail Coulson, who drafted a bespoke partnership agreement for us. The partnership to date has been a fantastic experience and we’re excited for what’s to come.

Our bespoke agreement means that from each placement we make, we donate £50 to the Hospice, this is our primary fundraising strategy. We also run internal events, these have included sporting event sweepstakes, cycling challenges and taking part in the Corporate Big Drop, abseiling down the Wesleyan building!

To date, the most successful fundraiser we have organised is a charity auction following our office move. We gave our employees and neighbouring companies the opportunity to bid on the office items that we couldn’t bring across with us for the move. These included a bespoke pool table, Chesterton sofas, old cameras and a number of items straight out of the 1950s and 60s. With all proceeds going towards the Hospice we were able to raise an impressive £450 through the event, which doubled that of our previous best fundraiser. Amazingly, everything sold!

Our employees who are taking part in the Corporate Big Drop are working their socks off to raise as much as they can, with some already doubling their target amount! Also, our director Mike is running the Great Birmingham Run in October in support of Birmingham St Mary’s.

The support from the Hospice has been amazing; Abi and the team are always very responsive to all our questions. In June, we were invited for a tour of the facilities at the Hospice, this was a wonderful experience which really opened up our eyes to the extent of care that the Hospice offers.

During our tour we discovered the place to be a lot less hospital-like than we had imagined. It was a lot more like a social club than anything else we had expected! It was especially nice to hear that those working at the Hospice view the areas as the patients’ space, to do with as they please. I just wish that we had been around when the donkey was brought into the lounge area!

One of the reasons that this partnership really works  well for us as an organisation is that the objectives of Birmingham St Mary’s align so well with our own; we both work to improve the lives of those within the local community. It enables our company to make a real impact within the city that has offered us so many opportunities in the business world.

I would, without a doubt, recommend being a corporate supporter to other companies. We have actually recommended the partnership to the businesses in our new premises, offering an introduction through a static cycle challenge in our office block gym.

Our best advice would be to stop talking about it and take action now! The Hospice made drawing up the bespoke partnership agreement as easy and simple as we could have hoped for. Before this year, we had not partnered directly with a charitable organisation and so had little to no expectation of how we would be able to work together. Knowing this, Birmingham St Mary’s generated plenty of ideas for us to choose from, allowing us to come to an arrangement that gave both parties exactly what we were looking for.

We have loved our work to date with the Hospice and are really excited to see how our collaboration progresses in the future.

Thank you, Applause IT, for sharing your story with us and for your dedication in supporting the work we do.

Here at the Hospice, we rely on corporate supporters to raise vital funds and awareness, if Applause IT have inspired you to become a corporate supporter, please visit www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/why-choose-us-as-your-workplace-charity