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Corporate partnerships: a blog from PwC Scotland

For our final corporate partner blog post of 2021, we're delighted to feature PwC Scotland. Senior Associate, Jemma Doherty explains why matching values and reaching children with life shortening conditions and their families throughout Scotland was the perfect fit for their organisation.

For PwC Scotland’s charity of the year, we were looking for a charity that was really making a difference locally throughout Scotland and that aligned with our values as a firm. CHAS was the perfect fit.

Through our partnership with CHAS, many of our 1,000+ staff across our three Scottish offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen have had the opportunity to work with some truly wonderful and inspiring people at CHAS. We have learned new skills and gained a wider perspective from observing and helping them in the amazing work that they do. One of my personal highlights has been visiting Rachel House with a team of colleagues to volunteer with gardening work - that really brought to life just how vital the hospices are for the families who use them. CHAS has regularly provided us with updates on the impact of our fundraising and have truly made us feel like a part of their achievements over the last few years.

At PwC, we have 5 key business values; Make A Difference, Act With Integrity, Care, Work Together and Reimagine The Possible. Our values are about making a difference in society, working together as a team to achieve the best possible outcomes, taking the time to understand each individual situation and provide something that is suited and to dare to challenge the norm and be innovative in what we can offer. CHAS has achieved all of this in what it offers to children and families in Scotland, no more so than this year. With no real prior warning, CHAS has changed their entire offering in response to the pandemic to ensure that families still receive the help and support they need at a time when they need it most. The launch of their virtual hospice this year has been amazing, allowing them to reach even more families and keep everyone safe. It has been an honour to be partnered with CHAS as they have introduced this incredible new service.

At the beginning of this year, our fundraising representatives from each of the PwC Scotland offices held a meeting to set out our fundraising and volunteering calendar for the year. By the end of the meeting we left the room on such a high with a plan for a year filled with a fabulous variety of fundraising events and volunteering opportunities and we were all so excited to get started. Then, as everyone is only too aware, the year took a turn that no one had predicted, and the restrictions introduced on our lives by the COVID-19 pandemic meant that our plans were put on hold. With the realisation that life may not return to “normal” as soon as we had expected we moved to a virtual fundraising world.

Our first virtual event was our summer CHAS 5K challenge. You may be familiar with the concept as there were a few similar events doing the rounds over the summer months where the challenge is to run, jog or walk 5K, donate £5 to charity (in our case CHAS) and then nominate 5 others to do the same. When we started this I don’t think we could have imagined the success it would have with around 200 partners and staff taking part across the regions, this challenge in combination with our CHAS quiz raised £2,400 for CHAS over just a couple of weeks. Our next big Scotland-wide fundraiser has come in the form our Merry CHASmas Challenge. Over the last few weeks, everyone across our PwC Scotland offices have been taking part in a number of festive challenges and fundraising activities in their cross-office/line-of-service teams in support of CHAS. Again, this challenge has exceeded the success we thought it would bring. It has been so wonderful to see so many people get involved and all of the creative fundraising ideas have been amazing. With just over a week still to go, we’re excited to see just how much of a success it will be!

To have a partnership with CHAS over the last two years has been an honour. Every member of the CHAS team we have worked with both on fundraising and volunteering opportunities have been wonderful and we’ve felt like we’re really part of their team, even if our contributions to the amazing work they do are small. For any potential future partners, please engage with this amazing partnership as much as you possibly can. From our experience it is such a rewarding opportunity as CHAS truly is an incredible charity who do outstanding work. The benefits are certainly two ways too, the experiences and opportunities that our staff have had have been great and the stories you hear about the impact CHAS is able to make are so uplifting. CHAS has adapted incredibly in an unprecedented year and have completely changed their offering to ensure they are still supporting families during this difficult time. CHAS already has some great ideas on how to continue to grow and expand their offering to families across Scotland and it will be any future partners should feel honoured to play even a small part in their journey.

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