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SOLIDWORKS Elite Specialists

Our Charities

As Solid Solutions Group grows, our employees are proud to support charities that are very close to their hearts – this way we know we’re selecting a partner charity that will make a real difference in our community. For us, doing good isn’t just about local charities. We also help support a charity in Kenya, which was founded by one of our employees. 

Scroll down to find out more about the charities we support and our amazing people who work with them directly. 

 


 
Hearing Dogs
Volunteer: Leanne Gibbons (Assistant Management Accountant)

Charity Website: https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/ 
Charity Number: 293358

About this charity: Hearing Dogs trains clever dogs to help deaf people – they train dogs to alert deaf people to sounds they would otherwise miss – simple sounds that many people take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. Being aware of these – thanks to a hearing dog – makes a real difference to deaf people’s lives.

About the volunteer: Leanne has worked with Solid Solutions Group for nearly 5 years, originally employed by NT CAD CAM. She thinks it’s a great idea to have a day free to be able to support this charity as it helps make someone else’s life so much better and easier. Leanne’s parents are now retired and spend their spare time training hearing dogs. The charity is not far from where she lives and she’s happy to be able to help take the dogs out for walks etc as the charity usually struggles to get help from volunteers.

           
Images via: https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/ 

 

           
FAB Projects (Food Aid & Building Projects)

Volunteer: Peter Harkness (Customer Experience Manager)

Charity website: http://www.fabprojects.co.uk/
Charity Number: 1150498

About this charity: FAB Projects is a UK registered charity that works in the heart of some of Kenya's poorest and most neglected communities. Primarily FAB focuses on water projects, using their own 'FAB Tank' design to harvest and store rainwater. Founded in 2009 by our Customer Experience Manager, Peter Harkness, the charity started after Peter travelled to East Africa in the middle of a terrible year of drought and civil unrest resulting in large scale population displacement further compounding an already dire situation. They gained official UK Charity status in 2013 – charity number 1150498.

About the volunteer: Peter has worked at Solid Solutions for 6 years and he thanks the company for its generosity in supporting his volunteering work and giving him the time he occasionally needs to start new projects and catch up on administrative work. According to Peter, without this assistance it would have been hard to keep on top of the charity alongside his regular work.

So far the charity has constructed 8 water tanks and 2 greenhouses in Kenya providing millions of litres of water and basic sustenance to thousands of children’s schools living in drought affected areas. They chose to build water tanks the ‘old school way’ with bricks and mortar meaning they could last 200+ years with regular maintenance. 2019 is the 10th year anniversary of FAB Projects and they will be running their first restoration project then.

Peter works in the UK liaising with the charity’s Operations Coordinator and Co-Founder in Kenya. In the day he was given by the company to work on the charity, Peter will coordinate the charity’s projects for this year. He will revisit all of their past projects and examine the structures they have constructed over the years for maintenance but also to assess the ongoing benefits they are providing. They are keen to establish the additional benefits gained by construction of a large greenhouse at one of their project sites, hoping this will be a solution they can roll out to other locations. In addition, Peter also hopes to use the rest of his time to develop further the new FAB Projects website which will be launched in 2019.

     
Images via: http://www.fabprojects.co.uk/

 

        
Woodcroft Wild Space

Volunteer: Dan Walker (Regional Account Manager)

Charity website: www.woodcroft.org.uk
Charity Number: 1077857

About this charity: Woodcroft Wildspace is in Winchmore Hill but it is not just for the benefit of residents of that area. The wildspace is for everyone to enjoy. It is a place where people can bring their children to learn about nature - insects, birds, small mammals, pond life, plants and trees in a natural habitat. This is especially beneficial for those who do not have the luxury of their own garden. Everyone is invited to come along and both help the series of projects have in action as well as to see the wildspace.

Woodcroft Wildspace started life in 2003 with the formation of the Friends of Woodcroft with about a dozen people. Since then they have grown to over 1000 and still growing.

About the volunteer: Dan has worked at Solid Solutions for just under 2 years (11 months at Cadtek). It means a lot to him to have a day free to work in the charity as he thinks it is important for companies and people to create a positive impact on their environment and communities.

Dan has always liked to volunteer whenever he has the time, having done a few projects in the UK and overseas, he finds volunteering a very rewarding experience. He chose this charity as he wanted to give something back to his local community and wanted to support a local charity, especially something related to nature. Not everyone has the access to green space or a garden, so this nature reserve is for everyone to enjoy, not just the local residents. It is a place where people of all ages can come to learn about nature - insects, birds, small mammals, pond life, plants and trees in a natural habitat.

Dan will volunteer as a supervisor to assist the team in running programmes of activities agreed and mapped out for each visit.

     
Images via: www.woodcroft.org.uk

 

        

Habitat for Humanity

Volunteer: Tim Kernohan (Regional Account Manager)

Charity website: https://www.habitatni.co.uk/
Charity Number: NIC103240

About this charity: Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. Today, Habitat for Humanity is a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland was established in 1994 by Peter Farquharson and his wife Jane McCarthy. When Habitat NI was established, Northern Ireland was still in the grip of ‘The Troubles’ and segregation of communities was at its most extreme. Peter envisioned to use the Habitat model locally as a way for communities and individuals to rebuild trust and restore relationships; bring Catholics and Protestants together to build houses with families in need – simply to build houses, build community and build hope.

21 years on the Habitat model has proved to be a success in Northern Ireland, bringing together more than 25,000 volunteers from all backgrounds and faiths to work together for the good of families in need.

About the volunteer: Tim has worked with Solid Solutions since September 2014 and as a volunteer in a number of roles. In Tim’s own words, the company has always provided the flexibility required to make his volunteering work possible and he is pleased to see this new day-release scheme as the next step on that journey. Tim will be volunteering at a refurbishment project turning a disused building into accommodation for vulnerable young people. More info here: https://www.habitatni.co.uk/explore/our-impact/northernireland/ballymenamethodist

He has volunteered with this charity back in 2006 on a trip to South Africa to work in Wallacedene, Cape Town. Tim maintained his interest since then as they have continued to develop a presence locally in Ireland, most recently with their not for profit DIY stores.

     
Images via: https://www.habitatni.co.uk/

 

        

Thrive Youth Ministries

Volunteer: Andy Fulcher (Group Technical Director)

Charity website: http://www.thriveym.org.uk/
Charity Number: 1145794

About this charity: Thrive Youth Ministries was formed in November 2011 to help churches be more effective in reaching out to young people and disciplining them in the Christian faith. Thrive Youth Ministries is an associated trust of Scripture Union and independent charity. Thrive exists to come alongside church leaders, youth ministers and volunteer leaders to encourage and cheer them on so we can see more lives changed. Their mission is to see church youth ministries not merely survive, but thrive. They provide support, leadership training and  mentoring to leaders as well as run residential events for young people across Warwick, Leamington, Coventry and Rugby.

The Thrive staff are passionate about the health and wellbeing (physical, emotional and spiritual) of young people and children. They have great skills and practical experience of coaching and mentoring the hard-pressed youth workers at the ‘coal face’ of youth work. Local government has over many years reduced its provision for young people and youth work and Thrive is helping to meet the enormous need. Our volunteer, Andy Fulcher, is Chairman of Trustees and have supported them for the last 5 years.

Thrive is funded 100% by donation and relies on giving from churches and individual supporters. Visit Support Thrive to find out more. 

About the volunteer: Andy has been working for 15 years at Solid Solutions and says: ‘I think it is great that the company will sponsor my time at Thrive and, in doing so, make a contribution to the wider community. At Solid Solutions, we employ a lot of very capable and well educated young people. Sadly, not everyone has the opportunities I, and my technical team, have been fortunate enough to have experienced. Supporting Thrive allows me to help, in a small way, young people in our local community to understand that they are valued and have a future.’ Thrive was chosen by Andy as they work hard to train and equip youth leaders and youth workers in the Warwickshire area. According to Andy, many young people are anxious about the future, conflicted over relationship issues, confused about life in general and can feel isolated, insecure and vulnerable. Thrive aims to help all young people, regardless of religious belief, to be the best they can be.

Andy will be helping Thrive with recruitment interviews – he has done a few of these at Solid Solutions over the years so he has the right skill and some experience to offer! Thrive is expanding its work and need an ‘Events and Communication Manager’. This involves organising and co-ordinating numerous events, engaging with Thrive’s supporters, creative blog writing and developing the Thrive website. Andy was asked to chair the interview panel, assist the CEO and Trustees with the interviews and help form a decision on the most suitable candidate.

 

 
        

Volunteer: Paul Churm (Group DriveWorks Product Manager)

Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear Aviators and work at Solid Solutions in their free time.

This is not a usual charity, but a generous act of kindness Paul has done to help Kyran, who has Juvenile Battens disease, to realise his dream of going to his prom night in a helicopter.

Juvenile Battens disease is an incurable neuro-degenerative disease, and Kyran is the only child in the North East with this strain of the disease, and one of only 20 or 30 kids in the UK who suffer from it. Kyran is 16 this year and the disease will leave him unable to walk or talk and needing 24-hour care before taking his young life. Creating memories now is so important for him and his family. Paul is using his volunteering day given by Solid Solutions to fly Kyran to his prom night on 21st June 2019.

Paul and Kyran will set off from Sherburn airfield in Elmet, south of York, and land at Hall Garth Golf & Country Club Hotel near Darlington, giving Kyran approximately 30 or 40-minute flight time. It was a sunny day and Kyran had a chance to try the headsets on and listen to all the communication with the controlling services, giving him some great memories to cherish.

Our CEO, Alan Sampson, was also happy to donate towards Kyran’s special flight. His fundraiser’s target was to reach £1000 and it had reached £1125 the day before his prom, with Kyran using some of the money to hire a suit for the day. Here’s a link to Kyran’s fundraising page.

We were told Miss England, Alisha Cowie, was meeting Kyran off the helicopter to walk him to the prom’s venue. Surely a night to remember for any teenager (or helicopter pilot)!

About the volunteer: Paul is a qualified PPL (H) pilot and was over the moon to be able to help Kyran’s dream come true. He has worked for Solid Solutions since 2009, performing his role since 2001. Paul commented, ‘To have Solid Solutions behind me is very inspiring, the company is well managed and in a great position to help charities and one-off requests like this one. Over the last 18 months I have taken other children from Newcastle RVI, who have cancer, flying in the helicopter in which my dad and I funded the experience. This was not an easy thing for me to deal with personally, but the day was not about me.’

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