I recently spent a day at George House Trust (GHT) – a charity supporting HIV across Greater Manchester.
My day started at 10am and I was personally greeted by Rosie (Joint-CEO). GHT and I have connected several times in the last year at various fundraisers and events, so it was nice to see a familiar face, and that face gave me a personal tour of the office and public space.
I spent the rest of the morning at Reception with receptionist Ian and a regular volunteer, Garry. In-between meeting and greeting service users, these gentlemen gave me a great insight to how service users use the space as well as some of the support services offered by the charity. Fresh fruit provides much-needed nutrition for people living with HIV, and it was a warming experience to help receive a large donation of fresh fruit on behalf of the charity.
One of the things I was not expecting from the day was to learn all about condom measurements! GHT offer condoms to all visitors to the centre, kept in display units from which to discretely help yourself. Jokes aside, this is a fundamental part of the great work that GHT do: not only do they support those diagnosed with HIV, they actively discuss things such as safer sex with both their service users and those parts of the community who are identified as being as higher risk for receiving a HIV diagnosis, promoting an informed position and raising awareness.
At 13:00, I met with Finance Manager, Neal, who showed me how data on service users and the community has been used to produce some really great MI that gives incredible intelligence and insight into charity, the work they do, their users and services.
An “all-staff” team meeting was scheduled for the afternoon, and I was invited to join it. It was lovely to see literally everyone involved in the day-to-day running of GHT come together to share updates, present to each other, and share positive stories about the fantastic work they’re doing. I received a very warm welcome, although this may have been down to the Krispy Kreme I’d brought with me as a ‘thank you for having me’ treat!
My day ended with a very engaging chat with Rosie. We discussed a whole range of things, from social media through to funding, the charity’s history, and future plans. It was a really positive conversation which I took a lot from; particularly, a new perspective on the way we might use #oneofmany days, which I’ve passed on to the CSR Council at my place of work in the hope that it might be something we can explore more in 2017.
At the end of the day I felt as though we parted as friends, with promises to see each other again soon. I came away inspired to continue my charitable giving interests outside of work and am very thankful to have had the opportunity to connect further with GHT.