Boxing Day comes early for Tom!
This year sets a new record for income raised by our little red counter-top collection boxes. The team now relies on the boxes for over 10% of its annual income. It may seem surprising that at a time of general financial recession, income from the boxes has grown.
However, this is no accident. The steady year by year growth is down to three factors: the continued generosity of local people wishing to help a local charity; generous shop keepers giving up profitable counter space; and a small team of dedicated members focusing on the management of the collection box network.
Each of the collection boxes is visited at least twice a year, some get a monthly visit to ensure that the donated cash is in the team’s bank account as soon as possible, and to reduce the impact of any potential theft. On every visit the box is exchanged for a newly painted and relabeled box so that they always appear bright, fresh and above all, noticeable.
Keeping the boxes looking attractive is a bit like painting Blackpool Tower though; as soon as you’ve finished, the job starts again. Replacing damaged boxes and providing new and extra boxes is also a demanding task. Buying ready made boxes is expensive and none on the market really meet the team’s design requirements. So, when a new batch is required all eyes turn to Deputy team leader, Malc Needham. Malc teaches construction at a local sixth form college and he has been responsible for supervising the manufacture of dozens of boxes over the years.
This year, Tom Allen, one of Malc’s construction students heard about the task and kindly offered to produce them as part of his community project. He immediately set to work with sheets of MDF, circular saw, glue and glasspaper and soon had a “mountain” of boxes ready to send off for painting. Tom said, “I’ve enjoyed making them and if they raise some extra cash for the rescue team I’ll be happy with that.”
The team is happy too, with fifty new boxes for just the cost of the materials. Thanks to Tom for his fine handycraft skills, his time and his commitment. Just one more example of the local community helping a local charity to help the community! If you know of space for a box in your local shop, pub or cafe please get in touch.
Photo: Tom at college putting the finishing touches to the latest Mountain of boxes.