1625 Independent People

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A year of positive energy

Tuesday 1 August 2017

As one of the first OVO Gives Back charity partners, we have been continually impressed by just how much enthusiasm OVO staff have put into supporting our work with young people through fundraising and volunteering


The scheme, which also supported St Werburghs City Farm, Forest of Avon Trust and De Paul UK, was set up last year to allow staff to volunteer and fundraise for projects they feel passionate about. The OVO Foundation (OVO Energy's charitable arm) also donated a whopping £20,000 to each charity from their OVO Community Chest fund. A further £20,000 was set aside to match fund staff fundraising.

OVO staff have proved themselves to be real all stars; running, painting, gardening, making, envelope stuffing, building and getting quizzical, all to help us support young people.

Their volunteering efforts have mainly focused around helping us improve the physical environment of our offices and properties for our young people and training as community mentors. On top of this they fundraised a total of £3379.50, which was match funded by the OVO Foundation, bringing it to an amazing £6759! 

Making a real difference...

Our young people's environments have been a real focus for us over the last year after "spaces" were identified as an organisational priority by our Youth Board. Our work is rooted in providing support in a Psychologically Informed Environment and as part of this we acknowledge that our physical spaces can affect our wellbeing. This is particularly important in the context of young people who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, homelessness; we need to be able to provide an environment that is welcoming and comfortable.

So, OVO volunteers...

Built planters for one of our high support hostels to contribute to our ongoing gardening projects, working with the young people we house to create shared spaces where they can socialise, learn gardening skills and enjoy the outdoors. 


Transformed the garden of one of our Future Builders (Future Builders is a unique and groundbreaking project delivered in partnership with OVO, SGS College and Bristol City Council) properties from this:

To this:

And painted our entrance hallway, helped us put together our service user handbook and mail out our in house ipeople magazine to all our young people...

And as if that wasn't enough to keep them busy, they ran, joined our annual Sleep Out and organised a fundraising quiz to help us raise the funds we need to keep doing the work that we do, ensuring the young people we work with have the support and opportunities they need to achieve a bright future.

"We have worked with OVO Energy and the OVO Foundation in a number of ways and were so pleased to be chosen as an OVO Gives Back charity, especially given how much OVO had already supported us. We knew from working with them on our annual Sleepouts just how enthusiastic and passionate their staff are when it comes to fundraising and how generous they are in volunteering their time and energy.
As part of the partnership, we received a £20,000 grant to support our successful Community Mentoring scheme. Our Community Mentoring scheme has provided other opportunities for OVO staff to get involved and again, a number of OVO staff have generously taken this opportunity to train as mentors. Mentors are matched with young people who have experienced homelessness and are moving towards independent living; a trusted adult who can meet regularly with the young person to listen and encourage them to achieve their goals and aspirations.

OVO staff have also helped us to create welcoming, homely spaces for our young people, putting their gardening and creative skills to use to improve the outdoor communal areas at our properties, making a tangible difference for young people at 1625ip. To top it all off, OVO staff have been have really gone the extra mile, running both a 10k and a half marathon to raise further funds to support our work with young people.”

Dawn Taylor, 1625ip Operations Director
It's been an amazing year and we look forward to continuing to work with OVO through our groundbreaking Future Builders project and our community mentoring scheme.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved, you're all stars!

For more information please contact:

Tia Psihogios, 1625 Independent People Funding and Communication Officer, tia.psihogios@1625ip.co.uk or
0117 317 8800
Kat Gulyas, OVO Foundation Communications and Fundraising Executive, katalin.gulyas@ovoenergy.com or 0017 332 6456

All contents copyright© 2013. 1625 Independent People is a charity and a registered society (Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, reg: 23964R exempt from registration with the Charity Commission). Registered office: Kingsley Hall, 59 Old Market Street, Bristol, BS2 0ER. Created & Managed By Solsoft

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