Looking Back On A Year With Greater Change, Our Charity Of The Year
We look back at our work with G-Research’s first ever Charity of the Year and ahead to our new partnerships for 2020/21.
In November 2019, G-Research announced their very first Charity of the Year: homelessness charity Greater Change. Chosen by G-Research employees, our goal was to work closely with an organisation where our support and donations would make a real difference to their work. As a relatively young but fast-growing charity which was already making a real difference to the issue of homelessness, Greater Change was a perfect fit.
We kicked off the partnership in November 2019 with Make a Difference Month: a series of fundraising events where money donated by the G-Research team was triple-matched by the company. We were absolutely delighted that, in no small part down to some heroic efforts from our employees, we were able to raise almost a quarter of a million pounds. This fundraising springboard enabled G-Research to support Greater Change extensively throughout the 12 months of working together.
One aspect of Greater Change’s work that resonated strongly with G-Research staff is its commitment to outcome-focused and data-driven action, with a particular focus on addressing gaps in existing support that prevent individuals from overcoming structural homelessness.
For example, an individual might be working well to overcome an addiction but not able to raise funds for a deposit on a property that would enable them to move into a safe environment and further progress with their recovery. Greater Change works closely with other charities and local authorities to identify such cases and provide specific, targeted support to overcome these embedded barriers. This approach, coupled with close monitoring of outcomes, has enabled Greater Change to have an outsized impact relative to their size and scale of support: 75% of their clients remaining in stable, long-term tenancies after their intervention (well above the sector average).
The funds raised by G-Research have enabled Greater Change to scale their work rapidly. Having helped 47 people overcome homelessness in 2018/19 (their first year of operation), the charity were able to almost triple their number of clients, reaching 135 people (so far) in 2019/20. The level of fundraising from our Charity of the Year partnership means that G-Research’s financial support will allow Greater Change to continue to help many more people yet.
Beating homelessness, however, is not just about numbers. Each number is a life changed. Here are just two of the stories of people that Greater Change have been able to help as a result of the partnership with G-Research.
Mohamed first came to the UK as an asylum seeker, hoping to start a new chapter in his life and find employment. He had previously worked as a carpet fitter, painter and decorator, but life didn’t go to plan and soon he fell into problems with alcohol and drugs. Incredibly, despite sleeping rough, Mohamed was able to get clean and stay sober for two years as well as engaging with support workers to learn employment skills and improve his confidence.
Despite his incredible progress, Mohamed had been trying and failing to gain accommodation for 15 months. Because of his asylum background, he was unable to prove a local connection to the council so was denied access to any support services. In order to gain full-time employment, he needed to secure accommodation, but in order to afford accommodation he needed employment.
With funds donated by G-Research, Greater Change funded Mohamed’s rent deposit, enabling him to break this vicious circle and move into his own home. He has been able to maintain his accommodation for almost one year and this stability has led to him recently securing an offer of employment.
Derrick worked as a support worker and carer until November 2019, when a series of personal hardships caused him to lose his job. He had been living in a privately rented flat but was swiftly evicted. Derrick suddenly found himself homeless.
One of Greater Change’s partner charities were able to house Derrick in a temporary accommodation shelter and thankfully Derrick was able to celebrate Christmas with them and with a roof over his head.
This was a shot-term fix, however, and it was crucial that Derrick was able to return to find a permanent home to enable him to get his life back on track. His support worker summed up his situation:
“Derrick is an extremely hard-working and very grateful man. If he were to be given this chance, it would change his life in so many positive ways.”
Greater Change funded Derrick’s rent deposit with donations from G-Research so that he could move into his own accommodation and he is doing well. Derrick recently shared the impact of Greater Change’s support on his life:
“I now feel I actually have a home, I don’t have to find another one in a year. It’s just part of feeling safe and some sense of security, that sense of wellbeing and comfort that you may not be able to put your finger on exactly but you’ve got your own space and you decide who comes in and out and I can arrange things the way I want. This will be my home, there’s no threat in the back of my mind, unspoken.
“I started to contact people I had fallen out of contact with and make phone calls. My daughter is going to visit, hopefully this weekend and that hasn’t happened for a year. Over a year. I’ve got a home and a base and that sense of safety. I now feel I want to almost rebuild that part of my life again, the fractured pieces if you like. It’s the start of something much better for me.”
Derrick and Mohamed are just two examples of the way Greater Change are able to turn lives around. G-Research have been delighted to work closely with them over the past year and look forward to continuing to support the charity as they grow.
Charities of the Year 2020/21
The conclusion of our year’s work with Greater Change also marks the start of 2020’s Make a Difference Month and the announcement of our new charity partners. This year, every division within the business has nominated a charity to support and each one has personal significance for G-Research employees. We are delighted to announce that our 2020/21 Charities of the Year are:
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide. Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives and 75% of all UK suicides are male.
Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) aims to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD). They support young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions. Our dear colleague Bilal Khan sadly passed away this time last year from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) at a young age. Bilal’s family praised CRY for their bereavement support, especially facilitating sessions with others affected by cardiac
This small, independent Essex based hospice is of personal significance to a colleague. Their team of health and social care professionals provide care and support to individuals with a life-limiting illness, as well as to their carers and family members.
One of G-Research’s volunteering partnerships, Spear is a small, local, educational charity that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds find employment.
For over 50 years, St Mungo’s has been at the forefront of efforts to tackle homelessness. Each night 17 outreach teams go out to help people sleeping rough to move away from the streets, and provide a bed and support to over 2,850 people.
As with last year, Make a Difference Month will involve G-Research employees undertaking a range of challenges (ranging from silly to incredible feats of endurance) to raise money for our partner charities. Despite having to move all our activities from in-person to remote, we are hopeful our enterprising team can beat last year’s total of £207,658.
We look forward to providing the grand total – and report back on some of the heroic fundraising efforts from our team – in a month’s time.