BDO director takes on Christmas charity project

BDO director takes on Christmas charity project

Julia Poulter is a director in BDO's charity and social housing assurance team

Earlier this year Julia Poulter decided take on a non-executive role at a local homelessness charity in Bromley, and was inspired to do something more to help support those in need this winter.  

As part of my role at BDO I work with a range of different charitable organisations providing governance advice, external audit, technical advice on all aspects of accounting and financial reporting as well as ensuring that their systems are fit for purposes and their numbers can be relied upon by stakeholders for decision making.

I am passionate about helping these organisations to deliver their mission which is why in addition to my role in the Assurance team, BDO’s corporate social responsibility programme is important to me.  All BDO employees are given a number of CSR days to use, and these enable me to be involved in my local homelessness charity as Chair of the Board.

These days are enormously useful to me. As Chair of a small charity you take on a huge responsibility that requires a lot of time. Previously I have used CSR days to lead scout camps or for war grave visits with The Royal British Legion. I also spent time in Nepal teaching English, Maths and Accountancy, so I have certainly made the most of them!

Working with the homelessness charity has taught me about the extreme hardship that thousands of indivduals, children and families go through in this country.  I was inspired by a group of 10 year olds who raised money to purchase socks for our charity.  Socks are always wanted by our clients but not often donated.

In October, I attended the firm’s annual Partners, Directors and Principals conference, which coincided with the unveiling of BDO’s refreshed brand and some of the images we have used in our recent advertising campaigns. The image below (and the fact a number of partners at the conference had themselves donned red socks!) sparked an idea in me.

Thankfully, the leadership team were on board with the idea, so as part of this year’s Christmas donations charity donations, it was decided that BDO will donate one pair of red socks to the homeless for every employee.

You may have seen recently that BDO plans to merge with Moore Stephens, meaning an additional 1,000 employees. This brings the total order of socks to 5,000, to be distributed through the UK at a number of Christmas centres ran by the national early career, homelessness charity Crisis.

BDO has worked with Crisis for eight years now, the charity works directly with thousands of homeless people every year to provide vital help so that people can rebuild their lives and are supported out of homelessness for good. They offer one to one support, advice and courses for homeless people in 12 areas across England, Scotland and Wales as well as providing centres at Christmas.

Many of us take the feeling of warmth and shelter for granted, and might even receive a nice pair of cosy socks this year as a ‘stocking filler’ Christmas present, but working closely with charities is a constant reminder that not everyone is in such a fortunate and stable position.

I am thrilled to be the driving force behind a donation that could make the harsh winter period a little easier for 5,000 individuals. I would encourage anyone who can, to take opportunity to volunteer and support charities and non-profit organisations, and I feel lucky I have been able to do so.

 

For more information, about Crisis and how you can get involved visit: https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-involved/reserve-a-place-at-crisis-at-christmas/ 

 

 

 

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