There are many great charities in Exeter including InFocus, which empowers children, young people and adults with visual impairment and complex needs to live fulfilling lives. Laurence Blyth who is the charity’s Director of Income Generation and Business Development shares how local companies can get involved as part of their CSR programme.
In Focus is a charity that is based in Exeter, but its supports people from all across the country. This includes young adults (16 to late 20s, early 30s) who have complex needs and disability that can include visual impairment. It could also be a learning disability, autism or cerebral palsy. Sadly, some of the young people InFocus supports have a life-limiting health condition like motor neurone Disease, which is why the need all the help they can get.
According to Laurence, adults with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have serious sight problems. This is why the work of InFocus is so important in complementing the many Exeter charities that do such good work in the community. InFocus aims to equip people live as independently as possible, thereby changing their lives. This can be facilitated by amazing technology that can help people adapt to daily living, for example talking microwaves or adaptive vehicles.
Why should local businesses support charities in Exeter like InFocus?
“If you’re a business, supporting a charity is good for building your reputation and brand awareness,” says Laurence Blyth. “It also makes it easier to communicate with your audience as you share how you are making a difference by supporting good causes. Local companies that support Exeter charities will also know that this is good for customer and staff retention and we have many ways you can get involved and meet your CSR aims.
“Sometimes people think that to support the charity, it’s all about money. While money is really great, there’s only so much of it going around. There are so many other things you can do. For example, introduce a client or a customer to InFocus; hold a fundraiser, for example a charity skydive; make a tax efficient gift from your company; invite your team to volunteer; and support our charity shops. Of course It takes a lot of bags of clothes to be able to raise enough money to buy a talking microwave but it all helps.
“At InFocus Charity we are ideally looking for business donors who have high customer footfall, or are front-facing that could host one of our contactless donation points. These have lovely pictures and donors can see where their donations is going. The points are set by default to £5 and can bring in more funds than emptying your house of unwanted stuff. This helps when you consider how much it costs for a hoist so that someone in a wheelchair can have a bath. Depending on the size of the bathroom and the size of the hoist, you are probably looking at about £7,500.”
InFocus Charity currently has five, soon to be six charity shops in Exeter and they also sell on eBay. While personal or business donations are welcome, they are ideally looking for businesses who can contribute stock on a regular basis or in bulk. Also, solicitors, accountants and other professional firms or organisations with large teams tend to adopt a Charity of the Year. If that is you, perhaps you would consider InFocus Charity. Contact Laurence Blyth to find out more.
In conclusion, InFocus Charity Exeter is a fantastic organisation that provides much-needed support to young adults with complex disabilities. Businesses can support the charity in a variety of ways, including making donations, volunteering, and raising awareness. By doing so, they can help to make a positive difference in the lives of others while also building their brand and improving reputation.
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