Every year each member of The Panoply is asked to donate 1% of their time (16 hours) to community action.
To acknowledge these incredible efforts, at the end of the year we give five Community Action Grants of £1,000 to some of our most active volunteers to donate to a charity of their choice.
Congratulations to the five grant winners – Danielle Allen from Difrent; Polina Hristova and Evelina Malinova from Questers; Harriet Pugh from FutureGov; and Sarah Herbert from Foundry4 – who put in many hours last year to help make a difference in the community.
Danielle Allen, Difrent
Unlock helps people who have criminal convictions with advice and guidance about getting jobs, and what happens during legal processes. They provide information, advice and support, including running an information site and confidential peer-run helpline. They help practitioners support people by providing criminal record disclosure training and support employers and universities in treating people fairly. Unlock advocates for change, working at a policy level to address systemic and structural issues.
Daniell said: “Emma Sutcliffe and I ran a 2-day design sprint with them as well as a day of preparation. We wrote new content that was simplified and helped users find what they needed faster. We tested this with real users of Unlock and also created some guidance packs for them to continue testing and iterating their content to improve the user experience.”
Polina Hristova, Questers
The Wild Animal Foundation
The Wild Animal Foundation’s mission is to preserve biodiversity, help the survival of wild animal species in Bulgaria and increase the ecological literacy of Bulgarian citizens.
Polina regularly contributes to the activities of The Wild Animals Foundation, which is an organisation that not only helps individual animal cases but also has educational programmes and a sustainable approach towards the quality of the lives of the wild animals in Bulgaria. On a national level, there are many issues, with old traditions persisting, such as dancing bears, zoos with little to no adequate conditions, inbreeding practices, taxidermy as home decoration, poaching, etc.
Polina said: “Last year they started a donation campaign for a rescue centre – a Wild Hospital (one of the very few in Bulgaria). I’ve been supporting the donation campaign for the organisation. In March, when we have a big Baba Matra celebration in Bulgaria, I organised the sale of their Martenitsi products on the Questers reception desk, I have been coordinating some of their events and campaigns and my family plans to volunteer with the construction activities when the Wild Hospital is being built.”
Evelina Malinova, Questers
SekaNakade is for underprivileged children without parents or who are from very poor families. Their main activity is to support young underprivileged people with their driving license training and education and help them to find a decent job.
Evaline said: “Together with Tatyana Marinova, Zornica Todorova and Aglika Lekarova from Questers, we have spent more than 50 hours supporting interviews and mentoring young and underprivileged people, to help them to fill out forms for driving licenses, helping them with career orientation and to provide them with decent clothes from donations.”
Harriet Pugh, FutureGov
Tech for Good Live
Tech for Good Live is a community-based organisation which aims to promote, encourage, and raise awareness of the benefits of using technology for good: how to do it right and how to act more ethically in the tech sector. We bring together citizens, charities, public sector workers, professionals, practitioners and academics in Greater Manchester and beyond to form relationships and share experiences about how to work in digital ways to achieve positive social and environmental impact.
Harriet said: “I’m the Community Lead so I’m responsible for developing our community of people interested in using tech for good. I help to manage Slack. I build partnerships with public and third sector orgs working on similar issues. Working with TFGL is hard work but lots of fun. Like most charity organisations, we are a small but stretched team that does most of our work for free. We are an open, passionate and creative bunch looking to engage more people in conversations about how we use tech and digital to do good.”
Sarah Herbert, Foundry4
Lyme disease UK
Lyme Disease UK exists to support people who are living with the devastating effects of Lyme disease and looking for support and guidance.
Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia, a spirochete bacteria. It’s the most common tick-borne infectious disease in the northern hemisphere and there are multiple strains of the bacteria. Lyme disease is endemic in many parts of the United Kingdom, particularly in woodland or heath-land areas but disease-carrying ticks can also be found in cities and gardens. Transmission of Lyme disease can occur when bitten by an infected tick. Tick bite prevention and correct removal are crucial when it comes to avoiding Lyme disease.
Sarah said: “I found this a rewarding exercise to help the charity that helps so many in the same position as our daughter. I have set up their financial accounts systems and they are able to meet the charity commission’s regulations of providing annual accounts and reports. My role as an accountant is ongoing, as I continue to manage the financial transactions of the charity.”