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Believe with The Botanist

Release Date: 10 Feb 2017

A restaurant group has raised more than 43,500 to support Barnardo’s work with vulnerable children.

Staff members at The Botanist restaurants in locations around the UK carried out a number of fundraising events and challenges in aid of Barnardo’s, as well as donating funds from the sale of specially blended ‘The Believer’ cocktail and contributions from customers.

The campaign has also seen many events for young carers, including Christmas parties and cookery courses, pop up around the country’s Botanist sites, organised with a view to providing much needed respite for these children, and delivering hours of fun and games.

A large number of Botanist staff have also become involved in volunteering and mentoring roles to continue supporting the charity, as the company reaches its aim of 1500 hours of team time pledged towards Barnardo’s projects and initiatives.

The award-winning Botanist pub company set sail on their ‘Believe with The Botanist’ campaign at the end of last year, to support Barnardo’s in its 150th year. They have since smashed their £35k fundraising target, hitting £43,594 in just two months of fundraising.

Barnardo’s will be using the money raised to make a difference to some of the UK’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable children, concentrating on the local areas they came from. But the campaign does not stop at fundraising, in fact it is arguable that the involvement of the teams with Barnardo’s services is just as valuable as the fundraising itself.

Nationally, The Botanist pledged 1500 hours of team time towards Barnardo’s projects and initiatives to celebrate the milestone 150th anniversary. The teams are well on their way to completing this and the hours have been spent in numerous ways, including some exhilarating challenges; such as members completing the National Three Peaks Challenge and skydiving.

One amazing project developed by the chefs in The Botanist Newcastle, saw ten families invited to learn about eating healthily and cooking as a family over the six-week course. The healthy eating programme was developed in partnership with Newcastle Young Carers Service, with a community food grant from Food Nation, which is managed by Newcastle Public Health. The successful cookery course is set to be rolled out to a London Barnardo’s centre later this year.

One family from Newcastle who took part were mum and dad, Stuart and Sarah Peacock, and their three girls, Aimee (13), Katie (10) and Abbie (4). Stuart said: “It gave us some much needed time as a family away from the stresses of life and a whole new spin on food, showing us the fun as a family we can have while preparing food, especially on healthy eating.”

The longevity of the Botanist’s campaign will come through the involvement of nearly 30 team members who have signed up to Barnardo’s mentoring schemes, predominantly supporting care leavers. These young adults are often forced to become independent much younger than other children and as they move out of care, it’s vital that they get the best possible start to adult life. Volunteer mentors give these young people invaluable support in their transition to adulthood, providing them with emotional and more practical support in their everyday lives.

Chris Hill, Chief Executive Officer for New World Trading Company said:

“We are very proud of our first national charity campaign, the total amount raised is phenomenal in a fairly short space of time. But the beauty of this campaign is the involvement in projects with young Barnardo’s people, using the strengths of our incredible employees to make a difference - now that’s special.”

Jane Harries, Regional Fundraising Manager for Barnardo’s said:

“We have been blown away by the enthusiasm and generosity of the teams at The Botanist. Not only have staff members gone above and beyond in work and as individuals in completing challenge events to raise money for Barnardo’s, but they have also put on amazing events for our young people, some of whom will never forget the special opportunities they were given. “We are also very grateful to The Botanist staff now volunteering as mentors with some of the vulnerable children we work with – their time is truly invaluable and will make a huge difference to the lives of these young people.”

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