In this week's Leading the Way blog, Helen Addis, Group Social Responsibility & Customer Welfare Manager, explains why Debt Awareness Week remains a crucial campaign and how The Bristow & Sutor Group is expanding its support through a new internal challenge.
Over to Helen…
I am excited to share that I have started a new position this month as Group Social Responsibility & Customer Welfare Manager at Bristow & Sutor, Debt Recovery Plus, and Credit Style Limited. It's so exciting to have the opportunity to support our colleagues, customers, and clients across all three Bristow & Sutor Group members, continuing my work in driving positive resolutions to debt.
One of the first activities I have been involved in planning since taking up my new role is a familiar campaign, Debt Awareness Week (DAW). The Bristow & Sutor Group has supported this StepChange led initiative for many years, raising funds and awareness every March. This year, we have devised our most ambitious competition yet, designed to encourage positive wellbeing and health benefits amongst our staff, whilst simultaneously expanding the reach of awareness activities taking place.
The Bristow & Sutor Group comprises of Debt Recovery Plus (DRP), Credit Style and Bristow & Sutor. There are many advantages to being part of a collective group of businesses, including the combined efforts we can make towards charitable causes. Bristow & Sutor is based in Washford, Redditch, Credit Style is located in Sheffield and DRP operate out of Manchester.
Working together does not mean ignoring the motivational benefits of healthy competition, so, all three businesses within the group will be competing against each other to see who can walk the most steps in the quickest time during DAW. The goal will be to walk the same distance as if physically walking in a triangle from each of our head office locations. and have been encouraging as many staff to get involved as possible (the more people that take part, the fewer steps required per person to reach the end-goal target!).
In total, over will be required to complete the Bristow & Sutor Group triangle. This will be tracked and recorded using the 'Pacer Pedometer & Step Tracker’ app, which includes a live leader board. The company that completes the challenge fastest wins a trophy and most importantly, bragging rights!
What is DAW?
Debt Awareness Week (DAW) is organised by StepChange, one of the leading debt advice charities in the UK, to bring more awareness to the issues faced by people who find themselves in problem debt. Last year, Bristow & Sutor employees undertook the ‘Steps for StepChange’ initiative, which required teams of colleagues to competitively track and measure the number of steps they recorded each day, with the winning team receiving engraved medals. Sponsorship money raised was matched by Bristow & Sutor with all proceeds going to StepChange.
In addition to the challenges taking place offline, Bristow & Sutor dedicates communications to the cause, with social media posts designed to give ongoing insight to followers into how to support the campaign. Useful links and direction towards related advice and services are featured and daily updates are provided to employees, raising discussion points on topics such as supporting debtors, physical and mental health, financial wellbeing, mindfulness, employee assistance programmes and much .
More than one week
The Bristow & Sutor Group understand how important it is to raise debt awareness amongst all people young and old, as anyone can find themselves facing problem debt for the first time. Last year, we announced The Money Charity as our new charity partner and we are delighted to see our support and guidance has begun to result in positive outcomes and opportunities for the communities we engage with. This extends to internal initiatives too, with financial training planned for our own staff that will further improve our holistic approach to wellbeing.
Over the next six months, we have several initiatives planned to both maintain our existing charitable pledges and expand our fundraising and volunteering commitment and performance. Volunteering week takes place in June and we are already seeing significant interest from members of staff, keen to show support to our charity partners and also to raise awareness for individual causes close to their hearts.
The Bristow & Sutor Group has a long history of supporting campaigns and causes that make a positive impact. This includes supporting Talk Money Week, the annual financial wellbeing promotion held by MAPS (Money and Pensions Service) the Trussell Trust, Stop Domestic Abuse and AdviceUK.