How EllisKnight, DiSRUPT Agency are supporting the Buddy Bag Foundation in 2021
Purpose driven recruitment agency, EllisKnight International completed a Challenge Box on 17 December, a team building challenge to help children escaping violence set by its charity partner, Buddy Bag Foundation (BBF).
BBF was created by Founder, Karen Williams OBE in response to the rising number of children who enter emergency care after fleeing violent situations at home.
They seek to restore a sense of safety and security into a child's life during a traumatic time and begin the first steps to recovery. By providing these children with a few essential items, such as clothing, toys, stationary, books and toiletries help make the transition into emergency care a little easier.
What were the aims?
There were two main aims for the Berkshire-based team to complete: First, to identify 30 people to receive a shopping bag, then tasking those people to fill said bag with an item needed to fill 30 Buddy Bags. Part of the exercise was to shop for items suitable for children of differing gender and ages, to provide a greater sense of personal touch to the project.
Since we are a small team, roping in a few volunteers was not going to cover all of the tasks and everyone doing the shopping had multiple assignments.
Secondly, once the team had completed their individual tasks, they returned to the office to unpack their shopping and help pack the 30 rucksacks that were to be delivered. It took four hours for our team to pack all of the rucksacks. Much of that time was spent double checking everything to make sure no items were missed before the bags were sealed.
Once packed and labelled, the bags are ready to be delivered to a refuge centre within 20 miles of HQ in Pangbourne.
"The team at EllisKnight are extremely honoured to have completed The Buddy Bag Challenge. The work you guys do is incredible and makes a huge difference to children entering emergency care. To be able to be part of that has left us all with full hearts and the desire to make a difference in 2022! Thank you for the opportunity we look forward to doing it again in the Summer," said Sam Whitby, Social Media Manager at EllisKnight.
The bags will be delivered to a local refuge in Berkshire within a week. Complications with the pandemic has the effort but contact with the refuge is ongoing and they are excited to take the bags from us.
Around 48,000 children require emergency accommodation in the UK each year. These children are often fleeing a violent situation or sexual abuse, and have to leave home quickly, without the chance to collect basic items. Often children will arrive at emergency accommodation centres with only the clothes they are wearing. Since its formation in 2015, Buddy Bag have distributed 31,121 bags up until the end of 2020 and have supplied over 396 Women's Refuges around the UK.
On a personal level, Sam added, "As soon as I read about what they [BBF] do and how they help children entering emergency accommodation, I knew I would like to support them. "Having young children myself, I couldn't even begin to imagine being in a situation where you have to flee your home with children and majority of the time only the clothes on your back and how scary this must be for a mother and the children.
"To be able to support a charity that brings a small glimmer of hope and comfort to a child who has been through a scary time just felt right."