For the last couple of years we’ve held a raffle at Christmas time. It’s a small but extremely exclusive affair, open only to the team staffing our Swindon office, but every year the proceeds are given to a noble cause. This year we donated the £202 we raised to SMASH – Swindon Mentoring And Self Help.

The prizes are gathered together from a variety of areas, usually from the gifts our suppliers send us and pairs of sunglasses that didn’t quite pass our exacting QA standards – so the winner could go home with a Christmas pud or a pair of wonky sunglasses.

The prizes encouraged £202 out of the hands of our hopeful staff – all of which has been donated to SMASH, a local Swindon charity that does great work in the community. Here’s what Rob Chappell, the Managing Director of SMASH, had to say:

SMASH is currently operating pretty much at full capacity and in the last year has worked with well over 100 of Swindon and the surrounding area’s most vulnerable and at-risk young people. Many of whom have gone on to achieve incredible things, from university admissions, to rebuilding relationships with parents, to moving out of foster care to live independently for the first time. Many have overcome mental health problems and social anxiety while others have broken the cycle of violence or drug abuse within their families and have gone on to get jobs and form stable relationships.

Recently one of our mentors shared the contents of a note that was sent to her by her mentee with us. I won’t quote it all but the words below illustrate just how important this is to so many children and young people:

“I didn’t know just how difficult my life had been until it started to change. You don’t see those things when they’re every day. It’s just your normal life… you have helped me to see the person I really am and who I can strive to be. Thank you for being the start of my adventure.”

Image: Having operated out of Swindon for a number of years it’s great to be able to give back to the community and help SMASH continue their great work. It looks the guys at SMASH are having a great time while they’re doing it too!