As an independent local charity, Citizens Advice East Herts relies on funding from the county council and other national and local foundations in order to provide our core service. We have a wonderful team of volunteers who collectively give over 21,000 hours throughout the year to support the local community with free, impartial and independent advice on a range of issues. The majority of our funding goes toward providing this core advice service, which means that we have less time and resources for digital and marketing projects.
Enter a few local ‘heroes’ who have lent their expertise and time to working with us. After a presentation from Head of Communications and Fundraising Rachael Williamson at the Bishop’s Stortford Chamber of Commerce in December 2019 where she explained what a difference our support can make to individuals across the region we received some great feedback and two concrete offers of help.
HNE Media, based in Sawbridgeworth, offered their skills in the form of filming and editing. James Garrett, Managing Director, said:
“When I discovered how reliant they were on volunteers and fundraising to support their invaluable work, I knew instantly that I would like to help. I spoke with Rachael at the event, and within a few weeks we were planning a promotional video for the CAB… Each year we partner with a local charity or not for profit and gift a promotional video to the organisation so they can benefit from the marketing power of video, without having to use up valuable funds which can be used elsewhere to deliver the great work they do.”
James alongside his Production Assistant, Sam Roper, gave us the benefit of their expertise which has been used for major international companies such as AXA in their ‘Know You Can’ campaign alongside the Liverpool Women’s Football team. After a day on set with James, Sam set about working his magic to create a truly impressive film which is as much a testament to our charity as it is to their capabilities. We are excited to be releasing these films slowly but surely in the coming weeks and months.
The second concrete offer came from We Create Better, a communications and branding company based in Takeley. Fuat and Andy offered to rebuild our website with users as the focus, making it easier to navigate and reducing the burden on our volunteers. Fuat told us that it was the drive to offer something back to the community as a new business which gave him the idea to support us:
“Rachael’s presentation made us realise how much the local community needed Citizens Advice and that without the support of volunteers, they would not be there to help. We approached Rachael on the day and offered our help to rebuild the Citizens Advice East Herts website so that it is more user friendly and easy to navigate.”
When you look at the work they had already done on different websites for successful businesses across the region, and the branding work they produced for Channel 4’s ‘Educating Essex’ then we knew we were on for a winning formula. The finishing touches are being put on the website, and we look forward to launching it in the coming weeks.
We are fortunate to have these companies that are so successful on a national level in the local area, and to have them looking to give back to local residents in this way just goes to show the strength of the community throughout East Herts.
The final touches are now being put on both projects and we look forward to sharing them soon.