We live in a world of seeming chaos, we are surrounded by uncertainty and ambiguity. It seems 2020 has been a year that has challenged us to step up our creativity and step out in courage. However, the consequences of Covid-19 has also highlighted how deeply connected we are to each other. The impact of isolation and social restrictions have helped us reflect on the value of those people in our lives and our communities. Through this year we have spent time volunteering, and supporting our communities while on furlough, we have challenged each other to stretch and grow ourselves. We have intentionally connected to support each other’s mental and physical wellbeing.

Penmark’s strap-line states that we are “People Changing Business” and central to all we do is the concept that “People Matter”. As a business we have re evaluated how we work and connect as a team, we have shared our challenges and our successes. We have laughed and cried together. Through this challenging time, we have learned to share and appreciate more of what we have and how to love and live, in community, in business, and in life.   We are deeply grateful that, as a small business, we have managed to navigate the lockdowns and restrictions and retained all of our team. We are grateful for the government support and the furlough schemes that kept us going. As a team we pulled together and shared the load. Here are some of the amazing things we did in 2020.

Mental Health Catch Ups In Person And Online

Those who kept on working to support us and the communities our clients serve.

Team Mental Health Challenges

We embarked on some great team challenges to boost our mental health and keep us connected throughout lockdown and furlough; this is the final task of our “science of happiness” project. Where we explored ways of increasing happiness using positive psychology, mBraining, NLP and Neuroscience.

Training And Upskilling

As part of keeping connected and beating the boredom blues in lockdown, we also spent some time upskilling. While we could not return to work on client sites, we could get the team online and do some training and this provided a unique opportunity to invest in building a great mental health culture. We all completed the MHFA training and can now support those we live with, those we work alongside and the wider community.

Enjoying The Wonderful Outdoors

Our mental health wellbeing challenges got us outdoors, noticing the beauty of the world around us and enjoying all that nature has to offer. The science show that getting outside is good for our health and good for our mental health. So we encouraged each other no matter the weather to venture outdoors and notice the small things.

Christmas Jumper Day

As autumn sneaked in as if by surprise the year had flown by in some ways and we have celebrated together, just how amazing it is that we are still here, still going and still smiling. In the spirit of fundraising for Mind we all dug out our Christmas jumpers and celebrated Christmas Jumper Day. 

Supporting Charities

As this year is nearing the end and we start looking to 2021, creating a new future and designing a life we love living we reflect on this year. We have learned how to be grateful for the small things, the people we love and the privileges we have that so many others do not. Our team all donated and volunteered while on furlough and even when back in the saddle full time. We have grown so much, we have been humbled and we are grateful for each other, for our clients and the people we love around us. Here are some Charities our families have supported this year– can you guess our values?

Why Give to Charity?

Donating our time volunteering or financial resources to a charity or a community has been deeply rewarding and has had a positive effect on our lives this year. By why is giving so gratifying? Here are five reasons to inspire you to give generously of your time and resources.

Give yourself a boost!

Giving is a major mood-booster, knowing you are helping others is hugely empowering and helps you feel happier and more fulfilled. Research found that giving to charities increases activity area of your brain that show pleasure! So, giving really is better than receiving.

Strengthen your personal values

The Charities Aid foundation found that a feeling of social conscience was the most widely given reason to give to charity and a whopping 96% said they felt they had a moral duty to use what they had to help others, a sentiment very much rooted in their personal values and principles.

When we have the ability to support and improve the lives of others, we realise that it is a privilege and a humbling experience. Acting on those powerful feelings of responsibility is a wonderful way of demonstrating compassion in our world and reinforces your own personal values. Our feeling of authenticity grows as we act on our ethical beliefs.

More than cash!

While we are strengthening our personal values and supporting the communities the gift aid process and Income Tax relief helps charities get the most out of every penny you donate. However, charities also run-on volunteers so your time is precious too, and often giving a few hours a week or even a one-off time commitment can lower the stress levels for those who are working in those charities who need support. You can offer your gifts and talents, your advice or just an ear to listen. Every moment makes a difference to you and the community you support.

Introduce your children to the impact of generosity.

Getting the whole family involved in giving, raising funds, or donating time teaches the next generation that they can make positive changes in the world. Children love helping others, so nurturing that innate generosity will help them grow and develop a deeper appreciation of what they have and will carry on supporting charities for years to come.  Consider starting a giving tradition with your family and nominate a charity you can support as a family each year.

It’s contagious…

Giving to others of your time and resources can inspire others in your family, friendship circles or wider community to give to causes important to them. It can create a bond, helping to bolster your relationships through shared goals and fundraising, giving more to charities as a result. Truth be told, many of your friends and family are probably already giving, so why not support each other in the process and make a bigger positive impact on your connection, your community, and our world.

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