CRASH Newsletter: November 2023
Inside CRASH Charity: A secondee’s perspective
A blog by Hannah Miller, Communications and Fundraising Assistant at CRASH. Hannah is on secondment to CRASH from Corporate Patron company, BAM. Having graduated from university with a degree in Psychology, Hannah began her career in construction recruitment before making her way to BAM in the Marketing and Communications team. She joined CRASH in October after the secondment opportunity was advertised at BAM. Here’s what Hannah has to say about her experience of being part of the CRASH team.
I am writing this blog six months into my secondment at CRASH charity and am sincerely thankful to BAM and CRASH for this opportunity to develop, grow and experience the industry from a different perspective. Here’s why…
CRASH is a small team of four full-time employees, and it is thanks to this small team and fast-paced environment, that ideas can turn into action pretty quickly. I have led both the CRASHmas Jumper Day 2021 and The BIG March and I can honestly say, I loved every minute. I was involved in all elements of these campaigns, from putting pen to paper and brainstorming initial ideas with the team to putting them in motion, writing content, social media, and most importantly speaking to supporters.
There is so much variety in my role at CRASH. I have also had the pleasure of representing CRASH at prestigious industry awards which has given me the opportunity to grow my network in the industry and beyond. The donations raised at awards are an important income stream for CRASH. I’m honoured to be working in partnership with the organisations that are supporting CRASH in 2022.
Fundraising activities like CRASHmas Jumper Day and The BIG March can only happen with the enthusiasm of our amazing team of supporters. CRASH is proud to have 37 industry leaders as Corporate Patrons, along with a huge number of supporting companies and individuals that embrace CRASH-led campaigns and organise their own events to fundraise for their industry charity.
It has been a delight to meet and get to know more of the fantastic people in the construction industry. This is something that I will never take for granted; learning from my peers and understanding the different ways in which individual businesses work and operate. People in the construction industry have so much to offer, from professional expertise on a CRASH project to career advice for a young woman, like me, who is passionate about the construction industry.
One misconception that I had before I joined CRASH is that CRASH would maybe be involved in 3-5 projects at a time… there are currently 25 active projects, which is truly amazing! That is 25 homelessness charities and hospices that are receiving our help in various ways, from advising with leases to complex reconfiguration construction projects.
During my secondment, I have had the pleasure of visiting two CRASH projects, both of which are charities helping people who have been homeless. What I found most poignant was how the residents were so willing to share their stories of homelessness but also their admiration of CRASH. Although CRASH isn’t directly a service provider to people, you just need to visit one CRASH project to know how our involvement – creating and developing the spaces they need – really does make a huge impact on a person’s life.
It is human nature to want to feel at home and our buildings provide a place just for that; whether it’s a beautiful private room for a child or adult receiving hospice care or a safe, bright space to show homeless adults there is light at the end of the tunnel. There can be a lot of stigma surrounding homelessness. After a recent conversation with an employee of a homelessness charity CRASH supports, it became clear that many of us could be just one paycheck or one life-changing circumstance away from being homeless. I think this is an important take-home message because it could easily be you or me, but right now we have the power to help.
At the end of the day, that is why we are all here; to construct places that care for people. We all know construction can be complex and costly, yet CRASH takes that burden away from a charity – so that they can focus on doing what they do best, caring for vulnerable people.
My secondment to CRASH has been more fulfilling than I ever imagined. I am thrilled that I took this next step to develop my career. It is refreshing that BAM recognises the development opportunities that a secondment in the charitable sector can offer, and I am confident that on my return to BAM, I will bring a new insight into social value having experienced firsthand the incredible impact we can have by partnering with CRASH. I have eight months left of my secondment here and I know that when the time does come to leave, I will always be part of the CRASH family because this is my industry charity.