A few months ago, one of our residents landed an interview for his dream job. He was more than qualified for the position and spent a lot of time prepping his answers with the project workers. This was his chance to elevate himself out of poverty and homelessness and he took it seriously.
The only thing holding him back was he had nothing suitable to wear for the big day! So after a frantic run around and call out on social media, our supporters kindly pulled through and managed to get him a suit and smart shoes. And guess what, he got the job of course.
After that last-minute panic, we decided CENS needed some back-up workwear on-hand for whenever residents need to be suited and booted. And what better local business to ask for donations than insurance company Hiscox. Not only did they donate lots of smart clothes and shoes, they also have kindly decided to offer their support to us throughout the year with donations and a fundraiser as one of their chosen charities.
“We always try to support local charities so we can help the community directly,” says Flic Keeble, Hiscox’s charity co-ordinator. “We thought CENS is an organization people can really get behind. I had a chat with CENS’s manager Marina and then took it the committee who all agreed that we should support you this year.”
“We chose CENS because the work you do is really amazing. It’s been a challenge getting people involved after the pandemic as most people work from home now. But we’re hoping that everyone will be supportive of our Sleeping Under the Stars campaign which we’re running in a few months. We’re encouraging staff to spend the night outside. It will enable us to get a small glimpse of what it’s like to be without a warm bed for the night. We also have a handyman who can offer his services and we would like some of our staff to help volunteering in CENS kitchen at some point as well.”
Making a difference
According to Hiscox’s Impact Report, the company has donated over $1 million world wide with their employees clocking up 2,000 hours volunteering.
“Hiscox Foundation UK give us a budget each year and support everything we do,” says Flic. “Whatever we raise throughout the year they match. It’s lovely for us to see where our donations are going.”
For more information on how you can get involved with fundraising, donating or volunteering at CENS, go to Get Involved – Colchester Engagement & Next Steps (cens4homeless.org.uk)