Corporate Social Responsibility is a very serious aspect of running a business and at Patricia J Arnold & Co Ltd, contributing to our community is part of our daily life and adds an element of fun to the sometimes taxing work of an accountant.
Tricia believes that being in business gives her a unique opportunity to help others - hence the practice supports many local projects, and raises funds for charities whenever it can.
For 2018 (see Community News 2018 tab below for reports), we have chosen to concentrate on The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS). This very well-known regional charity operates three helicopters, 365 days a year, across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. GNAAS crews respond to around 1,000 call-outs each year and, on board their aircraft, are specialist trauma doctors and paramedics who bring accident and emergency expertise to the scene.
We have visited their base in Penrith to see first-hand how they operate. We are looking to raise a substantial sum for them supporting them with several events throughout the year. PJA donated a major Auction prize for their key fund-raising ‘Air Angels’ Ball, in June. In addition, we will continue to make use of their recycling trading arm to help raise more funds: our staff members here were each challenged to fill FIVE bags with old clothes, toys, books, curtains etc. In the first three collections, staff have filled 198 bags of recyling!!
Patricia J Arnold & Co Ltd was once again a main sponsor of the Tynedale Beer and Cider Festival in June. Patricia is a card-carrying member of CAMRA, making this a highlight of the year. This three-day event brings thousands of visitors to the area and raises funds for local charities. We have been a major sponsor since 2009.
2018 has seen continued support of the renowned Hexham Book Festival in April and May with sponsorship of two authors (Jeremy Vine and Jenni Murray); and of the hugely popular Hexham Abbey Music Festival in September. We have also supported Hexham & District Music Society, and The Queens Hall Arts Centre, Hexham, which provides such a varied and interesting calendar of cultural events. This year, the Corbridge Chamber Music Festival has been celebrating its 20th anniversary.
We continue to be a Business Partner of Beamish, the open air museum depicting life in North East England during the 1820s, 1900s & 1940s. The various local branches of the Rotary Club benefit from our sponsorship as does the Red Cross, especially with its wonderful annual Christmas Fair, and now the opera at Kirklinton. We have again supported some Community Foundation events this year.
Another big local event is the Belsay Horse Trials, where once more we sponsored a cross-country jump. We were delighted to support individual local sports teams, including the U11 Hexham Hawks Football team and County teams for U15 & U18 Northumberland Girls Rugby at the start of this year. We supported the Hexham Half-Marathon, bringing many runners and their families into our historic market town.
Over the past few years (see Community News tabs for highlights from the different years below) we have raised significant funds for Calvert Trust Kielder (our Charity of the Year in 2017); and also for Macmillan and Tynedale Hospice at Home, both organisations which helped enormously when Patricia lost her mother to cancer in 2008.
We support several other charities, including the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus charity, SHINE. We regularly sponsor their balloon races. SHINE is a charity close to Patricia’s heart, as she has two friends, from university days who have Spina Bifida.
The practice first started in Warden and we still support that parish by advertising in The Stanegate magazine. We also regularly advertise in other local magazines such as the Hexhamshire Magazine, rural show programmes and local school performance programmes, the most recent being the Christmas production of Little Shop of Horrors by the Youth Theatre at QEHS.
Closer to home we try to make sure people working here can achieve a good home/work balance. For instance, we have a number of staff who work non-standard hours to juggle their children’s needs / aged parents / university / charity work and other commitments