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Citizens Advice East Herts grateful for business support from the likes of We Create Better, HNE Media, JJD Media, Tees and Agility Life Sciences

Rachael Williamson, head of fundraising, communications and research at Citizens Advice East Herts, writes for the Indie...

As a local independent charity, we rely on community support to help us run our free advice service. Local businesses can play a key role in this, providing pro bono support, sponsorship and fundraising.

We're so grateful to the local businesses who've worked with us over the last year that we'd like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you...

We Create Better

Local design agency We Create Better, based in Takeley and headed up by Fuat Fuat and Andy Owen, has been a fantastic support in helping us redesign and then provide ongoing support for our website. We've seen a significant increase in engagement as a result.

It's also worked with us on print media, helping us to spread the word of how we can help in offline ways, and is now working with us to introduce a system of bookable appointments on our website, helping us to make our advice as accessible as possible.

Citizens Advice East Herts' Rachael Williamson with, from left, HNE Media's James Garrett and Sam Roper, Will Alderton from JJD Media and We Create Better's Andy Owen and Fuat Fuat. Picture: Vikki Lince
Citizens Advice East Herts' Rachael Williamson with, from left, HNE Media's James Garrett and Sam Roper, Will Alderton from JJD Media and We Create Better's Andy Owen and Fuat Fuat. Picture: Vikki Lince

We Create Better is now building a media hub which includes video services by HNE Media and social media support from JJD Media, both of whom have supported us in the past.

"At We Create Better we like to think of ourselves as part of the local community, working with businesses and people alike," said Fuat.

"Citizens Advice is an often forgotten-about charity, who offer free support to those who need it. We believe that they also need support, especially during such difficult times, which is why we continue to work with them to improve their services."

You can find out more about the agency at www.wecreatebetter.com.

HNE Media

Last year HNE Media, led by James Garrett and based alongside We Create Better in Takeley, worked with us to produce a number of films to tell our story.

With James' help, we interviewed a number of clients and volunteers to showcase some of our work. The company also helped us to produce a short fundraising film and bite-size advice videos which have been shared across East Herts.

JJD Media

Will Alderton of JJD Media – introduced to us by We Create Better and also leading on social media for the Bishop's Stortford BID (Business Improvement District) – worked with us recently on a project to help professionalise our social media, supporting us in extending our reach and engagement.

Tees Law

For many years now, Tees Law has been supporting us with pro bono legal support. James Dowson, a partner at the firm, has been a trustee board member since 2007.

"Being a trustee board member has given me a valuable insight into the hugely valuable work Citizens Advice does, helping people in many different ways both locally and nationally," said James.

"It is a great pleasure to be part of a team of truly committed people in a professional, well-run and forward-thinking organisation."

Tees' James Dowson (46865279)
Tees' James Dowson (46865279)

Agility Life Sciences

As part of its giving back initiative, where staff can donate 10% of their hours to assist local charities, Bishop's Stortford-based Agility Life Sciences has given communications director Claire Siegwart half a day each week to support some of our communications work. This has really helped boost capacity in our team and brought in new skills.

"We have a very strong ethos of supporting others at Agility," said Claire. "When our CEO launched the giving back scheme, I approached Bishop's Stortford BID to offer my expertise to a local charity, who then put me in touch with Rachael and Laura at Citizens Advice.

"Being fortunate to be in a secure role with a very supportive team around me, I felt assisting a local charity that provides so much free help and reassurance to people who are struggling, especially during the pandemic, was a very good fit.

"It feels great to be making a difference, even if it's just a couple of hours a week, and I would recommend it to anyone."

Some of these contacts have grown up organically while others have come through active networking via the BID or Bishop's Stortford Chamber of Commerce. We've also benefited from the support of some individuals giving us one-off pieces of coaching advice or larger businesses that have given us long-standing support but prefer to remain anonymous.

If you're a local business looking to partner with a local charity, we'd love to hear from you. Whether it's volunteer time, pro bono services or fundraising, it all helps.

And we can help you deliver on your corporate social responsibility and social value commitments too!

See www.citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk for more information or email Rachael Williamson at williamsonr@citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk for more details on becoming a partner.

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