Throughout each year, Vianet gives something back in a way that has the potential to have a positive impact in the wider community. For our Giving Something Back campaign this year we have been raising funds for My Sisters Place Middlesbrough, our chosen charity, delivering fundraising and support to their cause.
Who are My Sisters Place?
My Sisters Place is an independent specialist ‘One Stop Shop’ for women aged 16 or over and have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. Established in 2002 in Middlesbrough, the charity is committed to working in partnership to tackle domestic violence.
Their approach is rooted in an understanding of the gendered nature of violence against women and girls, and recognises the way intersecting factors such as age, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability can affect women’s experiences and the journey through recovery. Women and children have a right to live free from all forms of violence and abuse, and society has a duty to recognise and defend this right. My Sister’s Place takes this responsibility seriously and works with a wide range of partners to generate the best outcomes for women and children.
Raising Funds for our Chosen Charity
So far in 2022, Vianet have held several fundraisers for the charity including voucher and ticket raffles, football sweepstakes, cake sales, and an office tuck shop. As well as these smaller fundraisers, six of our employees took part in this year’s Tough Mudder 10k race, raising a whooping £2650.
The first 3 fundraisers we carried out totalling £500 were paid to the charity during ‘The Big Give’, a fund matching initiative whereby for every pound donated, the charity will match funds through their platform for the selected cause. This has meant they received further funding to double the sum for them – add this extra £500 to the total, and we have raised £3,852.94 so far.
Giving Something Back through Community Support
My Sisters Place runs a Community Ambassador ‘Ask Me’ Scheme and they offered to deliver training to any Vianet employees interested in becoming an ambassador back in April 2022. The scheme is designed to equip everyday people with an understanding of domestic abuse and how to respond to survivors thereby enabling the community to play an active role in ending domestic abuse. 10 of Vianet’s employees volunteered to take part and during training, delegates learnt about domestic abuse, how to challenge the stereotypes surrounding it and how to listen to, believe and direct survivors to specialist support.
Following training, ambassadors are given resources and support to share what they have learned with those around them, in ways that feel most comfortable to them. They are encouraged to start conversations about domestic abuse that will help others to better understand the barriers that survivors face in speaking out. My Sisters Place will also keep in touch with opportunities and events such as meet-ups, campaigns and volunteering so that ambassadors can be involved as much or as little as they are able to commit to.
Vianet recognise the importance of having qualified Mental Health First Aiders within an organisation and as part of the support offering to My Sisters Place, they were able to deliver a Mental Health First Aid training course to 5 employees from My Sisters Place. This has given them each the FAA Level 3 award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health, equipping them with skills and knowledge to identify and deal with mental health matters that arise whilst delivering their service.
In addition to the support Vianet employees offered each other through training and giving back to the community, we have donated several computer tablets after our engineers had theirs replaced, and donated a selection of Easter eggs at Easter for families supported by the charity. Moreover, we have been able to also link them up with a local landscaping company (ATM Limited), who have completed a garden make-over for the charity, free of charge.
Over the next couple of months, Vianet will be continuing to raise funds with a Bungee Jump in Whitby on the 1st October (to support with a donation, please visit here), and a Family Quiz/Games Night for employees and their families and friends to take part in on 8th October.
Keep checking back on our social media for the latest!
As part of Vianet’s aim to ‘Give Something Back’, over the next 6 months, we are taking part in various fundraising activities for our chosen charity, PAPYRUS. A team of Vianet employees are willing to put themselves to the test to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge as our HOPEWALK for 2021.
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
At Vianet, we understand that mental health can affect people in many ways. Recognising the way in which the mental health of so many people has been affected by the pandemic, it is more important than ever to focus our efforts on well-being during this period. Vianet continues to make a real difference to others by supporting PAPYRUS, a national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. According to PAPYRUS (2021), suicide is the biggest killer of young people – male and female – under the age of 35 in the UK. PAPYRUS operates HOPELINE UK, a confidential call, text, and email helpline for young people with thoughts of suicide or those concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide.
Michelle Staniforth, Head of People & Development told us: “Our Vianet family told us they wanted to do more to ‘Give Something Back’ and whilst we’ve always regularly supported a range of charities, we felt that we could really make a meaningful difference by partnering with one charity for the year. The well-being of our people is always at the forefront of our agenda, even more so due to the pandemic, so we wanted to join forces with a charity that supports people with their mental health. PAPYRUS had previously been suggested to us by some of our employees, so they were the perfect choice for us.”
VIANET VOLUNTEERS HAVE THE STAMINA, GRIT AND DETERMINATION
A major fundraising activity on our list to raise awareness about PAPYRUS is the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. It is our organised HOPEWALK with one common goal – to smash the stigma and get conversation around suicide started. Our challenge is scheduled for Saturday 04 September 2021, just ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day. Currently, we have a team of 17 employees from across our organisation participating along with a support team consisting of 4 employees. Our volunteers will aim to tackle the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in under 12 hours, a total of 24 miles and 1585m of ascent. In preparation, our volunteers have already begun training for the challenge, taking on both local beauty spots, as well as the Yorkshire peaks themselves.
Rachel Little, Marketing Manager and Three Peaks Challenge Volunteer said:
“As well as fundraising for a fantastic cause with the team, this challenge is just what I’ve needed to motivate myself both physically and mentally as we come out of the pandemic and back into ‘reality’.
With gyms closing and restrictions in place, my daily routine has been completely shaken up over the past 18 months, as it has for many of us. This challenge not only gives me the push I’ve needed to get back into a fitness routine through training, but by giving myself a new challenge it has also been great for my mental focus and health.”
[PHOTO] Volunteer Neil Burton, Product Compliance Manager pictured in June 2021 completing a hike up Pen-Y-Ghent as part of his three peaks training.
In the upcoming months, Vianet have plans to hold other smaller scale events to raise funds for PAPYRUS, alongside the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. Recently, to kickstart the Wimbledon tournament, we held a ‘Strawberries and Cream’ event and in August we plan to have an ‘Executive Car Wash’ where members of the Exec team will wash employees’ cars, for a donation of course!
Vianet is making a difference by fundraising in aid of PAPYRUS to raise awareness and support young suicide prevention. If you would like to support our team, you can make a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/VianetYTP2021.