Meeting local needs
Over the past year we have focused on addressing homelessness – sadly, a growing problem in the communities local to many of our offices. In our Scottish offices, we have been supporting Social Bite, a charity that aims to end homelessness in Scotland. Our support has involved volunteering, financial support, pro bono legal advice and participation in Social Bite’s “Sleep in the Park” – a fundraising campaign involving a mass “sleepout” by participants to end homelessness.
‘CMS have been an integral part of our regular volunteering programme as part of our Social Suppers team across Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. As well as joining our team providing food and community to people who are homelessness, CMS have offered invaluable legal support and advice to Social Bite. Not only have CMS given their time and expertise, the provision of meeting space for our teams across Scotland has been extremely useful! Not forgetting, the green-fingered members of the CMS team who joined us in our gardening fortnight at the Social Bite Village. We have been delighted to welcome CMS as a key part of our movement to end homelessness in Scotland and are incredibly grateful for their continued support!’ Josh Littlejohn MBE, Co-founder, Social Bite
In Manchester, the Booth Centre was selected by staff as the office’s local charity partner. The Booth Centre is a day centre that offers advice, activities and support to homeless people in Manchester. The office has taken part in a “sleep out” to raise vital funds for the Booth Centre, donated food and toiletries and also volunteered in the centre itself, serving meals and getting to know the people who use the centre’s services. Since the last two winters have been particularly freezing in the Czech Republic, members of the CMS Prague office undertook an internal campaign to raise awareness of homelessness in Prague by showcasing Project Nocleženky (overnight ticket). Project Nocleženky is managed by the Czech branch of the Salvation Army, whose volunteers are able to help individual homeless people by securing them a night in a shelter with a clean bed and a warm meal.
In London we support Whitechapel Mission, a day centre in East London for people who are homeless or in need, with our flagship event, CMS Whitechapel Week, held annually in February where a team of over 100 CMS volunteers and our clients provide a week of dedicated volunteering support.
Volunteering in the community
- A Packet of Rice: The Singapore office, together with clients, family and friends, joined A Packet of Rice for the second year in a row to help distribute meals and food items to senior citizens. A Packet of Rice is a project initiated by a group of local volunteers with the aim of distributing food essentials to senior citizens, many of whom live alone and face significant challenges. We are proud to be a supporter of this important grassroots initiative and to play a small role in giving back to the local community in Singapore.
- Supporting children in hospital in Budapest: CMS Budapest worked in partnership with a local hospital in supporting children and their families who are staying in hospital. A team of volunteers put together care packages which were distributed on the psychiatry, rehabilitation and paediatric surgery wards in an effort to raise spirits and spread goodwill.
- Community support in Bucharest: CMS Romania’s annual CR Week was held in support of the charity Open Door Foundation, a charity which supports victims of human trafficking. Over the course of the week, staff in Bucharest donated their funds, time and talent in the form of bake sales, jewellery-making, football and backgammon competitions and a toy and clothing collection. Throughout the year, CMS Romania also fundraises and provides care packages for Mia’s Children, a charity designed to help children in difficulty build better lives in Romania.
- St. Luke’s Community Centre: St. Luke’s Community Centre in London offers a broad range of services and activities for people of all ages in the borough of Islington, aiming for residents to work, play and learn together for their mutual benefit and well-being. CMS has a longstanding partnership with St. Luke’s, regularly volunteering at the community centre such as providing one-to-one IT mentoring through the PC Pals Digital Inclusion programme, hosting a weekly pro bono clinic, running a monthly reading scheme with the elderly,providing groups of volunteers to assist with gardening activities to improve local amenities and also supporting the yearly Christmas Giving Campaign to benefit St. Luke’s elderly members and disadvantaged local residents.