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Sawbridgeworth video production company HNE Media and Takeley communications firm We Create Better give their support to Citizens Advice East Herts

Businesses are rallying round to give valuable support to Citizens Advice East Herts in order to help the independent charity keep making a difference to people's lives.

Sawbridgeworth-based video production company HNE Media and communications and branding firm We Create Better, from Takeley, have partnered up with Citizens Advice East Herts after learning more at a Bishop's Stortford Chamber of Commerce event where the charity's head of communications and fundraising, Rachael Williamson, gave a presentation to guests.

Citizens Advice East Herts relies on funding and pro bono support from local partners. It has a team of over 70 volunteers who collectively give over 19,000 hours throughout the year to support the local community with free, impartial and independent advice on a range of issues.

HNE Media managing director James Garrett filming for Citizens Advice East Herts (36386472)
HNE Media managing director James Garrett filming for Citizens Advice East Herts (36386472)

During lockdown, the charity has helped over 1,800 people with advice and referrals for practical support. It is currently crowdfunding to help cover some of the costs of its Covid-19 response.

HNE Media, which is based at Allen House Business Centre at The Maltings in Sawbridgeworth, offered its skills in the form of filming and editing. The business was established in 2016 and is a supporter of the annual Indies awards.

Managing director James Garrett and video production assistant Sam Roper have given Citizens Advice the benefit of their expertise which has been used for major international companies such as AXA in a project with Liverpool FC's women's team.

"When I discovered how reliant they were on volunteers and fundraising to support their invaluable work, I knew instantly that I would like to help," said James.

"Within a few weeks we were planning a promotional video which has now been published and is getting some great feedback.

"Each year we partner with a local charity or not-for-profit and gift a promotional video to the organisation so they can benefit from the marketing power of video, without having to use up valuable funds which can be used elsewhere to deliver the great work they do."

Takeley firm We Create Better was founded in July 2019 and is based at The Old Farmhouse in Stansted Courtyard, Parsonage Road. It has done work for businesses across the region as well as branding work for Channel 4 programme Educating Essex.

Directors Fuat Fuat and Andy Owen offered to rebuild the charity's website to make it more impactful. Fuat said that it was the drive to offer something back to the community as a new business which gave him the idea to support the charity.

Zoom meeting with We Create Better (36386474)
Zoom meeting with We Create Better (36386474)

"As a new business, we decided to attend Bishop's Stortford Chamber of Commerce's breakfast network meeting. Rachael's presentation made us realise how much the local community needs Citizens Advice," said Fuat.

"We offered our help to rebuild the charity's website so that it is more user friendly and easy to navigate. The website is now live and will hopefully help with their continued efforts to support the local community."

The charity's chief executive Laura Hyde said: "We are so grateful for the support of HNE Media and We Create Better who have helped us to communicate how we can help the local community.

"Such support speaks volumes about the strength of the local community which we serve."

Find out more about the charity at www.citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk.

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