Employees at Wolverhampton logistics business Pallet-Track are putting their best feet forward for an important cause by taking part in an innovative ‘Keep Moving’ challenge to raise funds for West Midlands-based St Basil’s, one of the UK’s leading charities working to prevent young people becoming homeless.
After voting for St Basil’s as their chosen charity, the 150-strong team at Pallet-Track’s 267,000 sq. ft hub in Millfields Road have pledged to walk and run as part of their efforts to improve physical health and boost mental wellbeing during the pandemic, while at the same time recording their efforts on Strava, the popular exercise app.
In return, the business, which has a nationwide footprint through its UK-wide shareholder member network, will donate 17 pence for every mile completed to St Basil’s, one penny for every year that Pallet-Track has been in business.
During those 17 years, Pallet-Track has nominated charities and raised tens of thousands of pounds through a series of events including its golf day, family fun day and gala dinner.
But with a question mark hanging over the staging of these events because of lockdown restrictions, and many of the team having to work from home, the ‘Keep Moving’ programme has been welcomed by the employees and the charity alike.
Head of fundraising and communication at St Basils, Barrie Hodge, said: “We are thrilled that Pallet-Track team have chosen St Basils as its charity partner and are really impressed with its innovative approach to its fundraising efforts during this difficult time.”
Based in Digbeth, Birmingham, St Basils targets its help at the 16- to 25-year-old demographic and supports 5,000 people every year, 500 of whom are accommodated every night in 42 locations across the West Midlands.
Like the founding fathers behind Birmingham-based Cadbury, the charity invests in the infrastructure that enables and facilitates good outcomes – stable home life or employment – that help reduce homelessness in the first instance.
To this end St Basil’s needs to raise £1.2 million per year to maintain its support for young people, including the running of its living and working initiative, its youth village and its outreach apprenticeship schemes.
Despite forecasting a dramatic drop in income due to the pandemic, the charity still managed to raise £1.1 million last year.
“Birmingham, for example, is a very young city with the least experienced workforce, many of whom are on very low wages and zero hours contracts, which means it can be incredibly difficult to meet rent payments,” said Barrie.
“The focus is really on trying to prevent people becoming homeless. This could be through family mediation where relationships have broken down, or working with other providers to find other accommodation if they can’t stay at home, while our outreach teams go out into the community to find people in need of our help.
“There is the issue of putting a roof over people’s heads, but keeping it there is really the challenge, as well as the associated issues of falling out of education or training and the associated mental health issues caused by the stress of their situations.
“We look at our support like a table. The top represents stability while the four legs are the pillars, such as a job, stable family life and health that keep it upright. If you take one of those away, the whole structure collapses,” he added.
Nigel Parkes, managing director of Pallet-Track, said: “We were very impressed with St Basil’s’ approach to the issues facing the young people that it helps on a daily basis. Equally, business has a major responsibility to step up to help provide support for the kind of stability that makes a difference to young lives through the employment opportunities that are out there.
“I am also incredibly proud of our team and the Keep Moving initiative which I’m sure will help to make a difference, whether it’s walking to work or running around the park. All of this goes towards boosting their wellbeing while at the same time assisting the important work that St Basil’s is doing.”