Jo Whyley at a glance
I sometimes find myself baking cakes at 1 in the morning
Jo Whyley is a fundraising Superstar, who has co-ordinated the contribution of over £20,000 to charity over a period of two years by organizing several charitable events along with her project team.
Throughout her TCS career, Jo has enjoyed getting colleagues together for charity events, choosing charities to support and recruiting charity champions. She has always dabbled in charity events herself. Whether it means talking to co-workers at coffee breaks about good cause or creating goodies at wee hours for the next day, she was always at the forefront!
This is Jo’s story: when I started working at TCS, I had the opportunity of raising funds by choosing a charity of the month and organising various fundraising events. For instance, we have limited car parking spaces at the office so we charged just £15 per month for a space. We earmarked this amount for charity; and for our colleagues, it was much cheaper than using the local car park. Starting from this small gesture, our initiatives have grown and in about two years, we were able to collect around £20,000 for charity.
“My satisfaction comes from seeing people taking a few minutes off from their daily routine to support a good cause. Of course, I’m also thrilled to see the amount collected at the end of each campaign!”
In our account, we choose a different charity every month and raise funds for a chosen organization. We ask those who closely identify with a particular charity to be the ‘Charity Champion’ – giving them an enhanced position in championing the cause and leading fund-raising. Having ‘Charity Champions’ backing a cause also strikes a chord within the team, making it resonate closely with colleagues.
We contribute to a range of charities but I find that children’s charities are particularly popular. In January, it was a crossword competition and ‘Cake Bake’ for the Amelia-Mae Foundation, an organization supporting families battling the aggressive childhood cancer Neuroblastoma. In February, it was for Comic Relief through the ‘Red Nose’ cake competition and ‘Wear it Red’ day.
Amelia-Mae Foundation, Comic Relief, MS, St. John’s, the Nepal Earthquake...
March stood for the Multiple Sclerosis Society where the ‘Charity Champion’ ran a cross-country 5km race and we did other activities like a ‘Raffle’ to supplement the effort. April was for St. John’s Ambulance where I did a traditional ‘Tea Trolley’ and pushed around tea, coffee, cakes and savouries for sale in the office. Colleagues really appreciated having coffee and tea at their desks and supported us generously!
We made loads of food for a ‘Big Indian Breakfast’ in May to raise funds for the victims of the Nepal earthquake, a cause close to everybody’s hearts here. A colleague nominated Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital next, as her baby was cared for there. We supported them with a Craft & Gift Sale and Foosball tournament. Bloomin Arts is a local charity helping disadvantaged children develop skills and perform in arts, which we supported in July-August with an “Anything Bake” day and a Mini-Olympics for the office.
I must admit that it’s not always simple to raise funds. It does take a lot of effort to sustain the momentum. We do events such as tea-trolleys, cake bakes, games and other fun activities. People do chip in with the baking and organizing but occasionally, I find myself baking cakes at one in the morning for the next day!
A superstar’s message to us all:
My aim is to figure out what more we can do and how our efforts can make an impact in our society.
Jo Whyley worked for TCS from 2013 to 2016