RECRUITMENT staff who are more used to filling vacancies found themselves filling cake tins when they took part in a bake-off challenge to help keep older people warm this winter.
Staff from Holt Recruitment Group, in Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, used the competition to raise money for Dorset Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter appeal. The appeal gives grants to older and those with disabilities living in fuel poverty in Dorset to help with their heating bills. Over the last five years an average of 590 people a year has died of cold-related illness in the county.
The community foundation works with Citizens Advice to identify older people and those aged 50 and over who meet the winter fuel poverty criteria, which includes significant health conditions, being on the highest level of benefits or having little current chance of improving their life circumstances.
Holt Recruitment marketing manager Michelle Joubert-Martin said she and colleagues organised the fundraiser after seeing a story about Surviving Winter on the Dorset Biz website.
She said: “It started as a challenge between two colleagues about who could bake the best brownies. It soon spiralled out of control and became an office bake-off.
“We had seen an article on the Dorset Biz website about the Surviving Winter appeal and thought it would be good to combine the two and do something to support the campaign. It’s a great cause and so relevant at the moment. We always try to do things for charities, usually one or two bigger campaigns but also like to throw in a few smaller office-based activities that are fun for the team and raise some money.”
We all enjoyed it and we hope it encourages other firms to support Surviving Winter too, we need to get the word out about these good causes
Ten team members from the workforce of more than 40 took part in the challenge. Staff baked their entries at home and colleagues donated to try them and vote for a winner.
“We had a few men taking part, some of them were better than others. It was quite competitive but a lot of fun,” said Michelle.
Staff Samantha Green and Sarah Piggot were voted the winners for their macaroons and Australian delicacy lamingtons. “Their bakes were both lovely,” said Michelle. “We all enjoyed it and we hope it encourages other firms to support Surviving Winter too, we need to get the word out about these good causes.”
Earlier this year 18 runners from the company, whose three divisions specialise in automotive, engineering and executive recruitment, held a 24-hour ‘mile an hour’ marathon, to raise £3,800 for Hope For Food in Bournemouth.
“We want to support local charities as much as possible,” said Michelle. “These events keep a nice light atmosphere in the office and everyone enjoys taking part so there’s a feelgood factor for everyone, especially at this time of year.”
Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said: “We are very thankful to all of the team at Holt Recruitment who took part in the challenge and donated. It is brilliant that community-minded companies who are so busy can take time out to think of other people like this.
“We hope they enjoyed it and also that other companies might consider doing something similar. It’s a great way to give staff some fun while helping others.”
Donate to the appeal here.