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Graham Awards

TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agents Do Charity - well done Agents Together and industry fund-raisers

Hello and we’re at the end of another week celebrating all those in our industry who do great work. And this week, we’re doing more than celebrating fundraising alone.

We will have some great fund-raisers in a moment, but we are also this week marking the first anniversary of Agents Together, the charitable foundation led by chief executive Sarah Edmundson. 

Originally formed in the midst of the early pandemic, the foundation has focussed on promoting healthy minds and healthy businesses with its primary initiatives being an industry-wide mentorship program and a video series focussed on better business. 

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It’s been an impressive first year - the foundation has arranged and manages over 310 mentorships, which are facilitated by nearly 200 volunteers. In total this equates to at least 7,250 hours of mentoring that has taken place over the course of the last year. 

The founding team of Michael Bruce, Kenny Bruce, Michael Day, Samantha Jones, Stephen Brown, Chris Watkin and James Kydd all volunteer their time and services. Sam Offley, the foundation’s Relationship Manager who joined last July and has been instrumental in organising, planning and managing the numerous initiatives and oversees the mentorships. 

Sarah tells Agents Do Charity that the feedback from the mentorship scheme has been phenomenal: 

“The support through what has been a challenging year for many has been invaluable.” - Lisa - Mentee 

“Fantastic support offering amazing insight and helping me to obtain clarity on the best way forward.” - Catherine - Mentee 

“In general terms its been a bit of a game-changer - getting impartial advice from those that have seen it and done it already has been absolutely invaluable.” - Tony - Mentee 

“Having that support and guidance has helped my personal and business development, and I feel my confidence growing daily.” - Lucy - Mentee 

“I had a massive negative weight on my shoulders and its been replaced by a guardian angel; my mentor” - Mentee 

As the foundation moves into its second year it will continue to provide support and help for those who need it and will build on that much, much more. 

A new website is being built which will enable agents to sign the Agents Together Pledge, provide free resources and video training around wellbeing in the workplace called “Thrive” and provide a wealth of other useful resources around Sustainability and Diversity. 

Chief executive Sarah says: “I am so incredibly proud of what we have managed to achieve in such a short space of time. The most striking thing is over 200 volunteers giving their precious time to help others. I am privileged to hear all the feedback from mentees and to say that this initiative has been life changing to many would be a realistic observation. The industry has demonstrated what is possible if we work collaboratively, have an open mind and think a little differently. 

“Agents Together are more determined than ever to make sure we get wellbeing, sustainability and diversity resources into estate agency across the country. Removing barriers and making it easy for agents to prioritise these important areas of business.

“Finally, I would just like to extend a huge thank you to every single person and business who has supported the journey so far. We are truly grateful and look forward to working closely with even more agents as we continue to help them fulfil their potential and promote healthy minds and healthy businesses.” 

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Now on to our traditional fund-raising shout outs - and if you want some publicity for your fantastic fund-raising, please email press@estateagenttoday.co.uk and you could be named here next week!

Food Bank Aid: Martyn Gerrard Estate Agents, serving North London for 57 years, is partnering with local charity Food Bank Aid. Every one of the 12 branches will now become drop off points for donations to be distributed to 18 food banks across North London.

To donate simply head over to your local Martyn Gerrard office and speak to the team there who will direct you to their designated drop off box. Martyn Gerrard branches stretch across North London, from Whetstone, through Finchley and Crouch End, to Kentish Town – you can find them here.

Managing director Simon Gerrard says: "I have been supporting the Hornsey Food Bank throughout lockdown and am absolutely delighted to open up our local branches to support our wider community and become a hub for the vital service that Food Bank Aid undertake across our areas. 

“Especially in current times, I believe it is incredibly important for all businesses to look to their communities and see what can be done to offer support to those who need it. As a family run estate agents who have been embedded in the North London community for over 50 years, we see directly how much organisations like Food Bank Aid offer to those who need their help.”

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Charity Lotto: The Conveyancing Foundation has donated £1,500 to help improve a little girl’s life from funds raised entirely through its innovative Charity Lotto.

The charity gave the funds to an appeal for a new prosthetic foot for the four-year-old from South Wales who was born without a right foot. Little Scarlett Davies currently uses a basic NHS prosthetic but her family are determined to change her life by raising money for a more realistic one.

Stepmother Chelsea Carey, a conveyancer at Convey Law, says that as Scarlett was getting older, it was becoming more important to help her have as normal a life as possible.

“When she was born, no-one knew how her missing foot would affect her and didn't know how she would ever be able to walk,” she explained. “But one day, when we were standing there minding our own business, she just stood up and started walking. We were amazed! 

“But as she got older, she could clearly see she was different. One day, at an outdoor splash park, she wasn't wearing her prosthetic as it couldn't get wet, and children, as they do, were walking past and staring at her and asking their parents 'what's wrong with that girl?'. Although she is small, she is so so smart, and could hear and take in everything other people were saying. She just wanted to go home and did not enjoy the trip one bit.”

The family then decided that raising funds for Scarlett to have a realistic prosthetic would be life-changing and launched a £6,000 fundraising appeal.

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Norwood: This charity's annual property event, the property industry’s largest charity fundraiser, will take place virtually at 7pm this coming Monday. 

It has raised more than £8,000,000 to support vulnerable children and adults with special needs and now the charity’s annual property dinner is going digital at a special event with global design entrepreneur John Hitchcox and world-famous magician Dynamo, who rose to fame with his TV series Dynamo: Magician Impossible.

The free event will be made possible thanks to the loyal and continued support of lead sponsors Derwent London, Dwyer Property, General Projects, Blackstock and Savills, as well as dedicated corporate sponsors, who have supported Norwood’s Property Committee in staging the event for so many years.

John Hitchcox, guest speaker and chairman of YOO Capital said: “The past year has been incredibly challenging for all charities, as they have been unable to raise money through their usual channels, so it’s wonderful that we’re able to get together for this event to raise money to help Norwood continue to provide the support that these children and families rely on so much for a better quality of life.”

The annual property event is the largest in Norwood’s calendar of corporate events, all of which have been held virtually during lockdown. As a result of the reduced calendar of activities during the pandemic, Norwood depends more than ever on its key fundraising events to help secure the £12 million in voluntary donations the charity needs in order to ensure the sustainability of its essential services.

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Alzheimer’s Society: Matt Wells, the owner and principal partner in Yorkshire’s Harwell Estates agency, describes himself as “a semi-retired small agency owner” - but has set himself some hard work to raise funds for this great cause.

He tells us: “Since retiring from the front line of my own business last year, I’ve spent most of my time exploring and hiking the UK. Most recently I cycled The South Downs Way on a Mountain Bike, 100 Miles from Eastbourne to Winchester, in just three days.

“Next week I start a solo hike along the entire length of The Cleveland Way, 100 Miles from Helmsley to Filey, in just five days. And a few weeks after that, I hopefully fly to Corfu to take on The Corfu Trail, 190 hilly and sweltering Kilometres, in just eight days.

“When I solo hike The Cleveland Way and The Corfu Trail I will be raising money for The Alzheimer’s Society and raising awareness by creating content along the way which will eventually be used to create two amazing films about health and well-being. I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s in 2019 so this is very close to my heart.”

You’ll get more details - and information on how to donate to Matt’s brilliant fund-raising, via these Facebook links here and here and here.

Good luck Matt!

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That’s it for this week…we’re back next Friday with more heroic activity. Until then...

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