Checking through my calendar this week and a date jumped out at me. Saturday 22nd September 2018 will mark on whole year since our grand Charity Gala Dinner at Aston Wood Golf Club in aid of Parkinson’s UK. When I remembered the date, I sat back and reflected over the last 12 months and what has happened since that hugely successful night where we raised £10000 for a truly wonderful charity.
Where did the £10k go?
Ten thousand pounds is a lot of money. That amount of cash will have covered off the major costs for a whole month of research into a cure for the disease. Parkinson’s UK were naturally incredibly grateful for our efforts and have informed us that the cash was distributed across several areas of activities but it was mainly utilised in the research division.
How we continue to support Parkinson’s UK
After such a successful year in 2017, I decided to take a year off any major fundraising tasks or challenges but during the summer I got itchy feet and started to plan 2019’s charity event; a second tilt at The Three Peaks Challenge. I’ll be tackling the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales in June next year, alongside some of my closest friends from my business network, we will attempt to scale the heights of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon in under 24 hours. I completed this massive challenge in 2012 and although it was incredibly tough both mentally and physically, it was an extremely fulfilling experience. It left me thirsty for more and a desire to beat my time of 23 hours and 40 minutes! Please sponsor us on this challenge by donating whatever you can to our JustGiving page.
Ongoing charity work
As a company, we will always support Parkinson’s UK but we have also become a partner to Pathway Project in Lichfield. Pathway are a domestic abuse support and service provider and operate across the Midlands from a base in Lichfield. Design Pit has supported Pathway with donations of studio time to deliver free design and artwork for small promotional projects, discounted or free provision of printed items. Helping Pathway to save cash in one area, allowed them to allocate the savings to other more important areas of the charity.
Life in the Pit
Since the Gala, life has changed a lot at Design Pit HQ. We’ve had a reshuffle in the studio with Mary leaving to be replaced this month by our new junior designer, Eve Cooper. We’ve extended our Major Projects team to include two photography specialists alongside our web development partners. John Cooper and Emily Moya give us some exceptional expertise in the static and moving image department.
Our portfolio has grown significantly and this was reflected in the launch of a new company website that was at the forefront of a subtle rebrand at the start of the year. The rebrand saw us reposition ourselves as a creative agency rather than a specific graphic design studio. We were able to introduce new service areas such as Animation, Social Media Content Management and Packaging Design after some hugely successful pilot projects in all of these areas.
I decided to renew our seat at the successful BNI Elite chapter for another year and established a new business group called LinkedIn Local Lichfield alongside major projects team member, John Cooper. Networking has continued to be a main driver for new business here at Design Pit and in April 2018, we were recognised for our efforts on the networking circuit by claiming Highly Commended in the Best Creative and Best Micro-Established Business categories at the Tamworth, Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield Business Networking Awards
What does next year hold in store?
As well as our Three Peaks Challenge attempt, 2019 will see the Rugby World Cup kick off in Japan. I have a plan to celebrate the biggest event in the rugby union calendar with an Opening Game Party and a World Cup Final celebration! There will be a Master Pass game installed at Design Pit HQ where anyone visiting our studio will have the opportunity to test their rugby ball passing skills, and the winner of the game will receive a prize at the World Cup Final Party. Watch this space…
As a business owner, I feel it is my duty to give something back and support worthwhile causes at every available opportunity. Events like the Gala and upcoming challenges like the Three Peaks and the Rugby World Cup parties, are a lot of fun to organise and run, and form an important part of our identity as a business. My aim has always been to establish a business that integrates with local communities and supports charitable organisations wherever possible. After five years, I was able to properly start the process of developing this area of the business. All in all, it has been a busy year with challenges, successes and goal setting! The Gala Dinner in 2017 was one of my own and Design Pit’s greatest achievements but we don’t want to stop there, we want the Gala to be the first of many successes. This is just the start, buckle up and enjoy the ride…