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An award-winning UK mental health charity

Yep, that’s us. We recently won the East Cheshire Chamber of Commerce Charity of the Year award. As a very young and inexperienced charity, it came as both a huge surprise and an honour.

So it seems fitting that I’d use this blog to talk about how it came to be….

If you’ve ever met me or Heather, you’ll know we’re two people with so much in common yet so vastly different in the way we work.

Heather is methodical, organized, and strategic with everything she does, and incredibly clever with anything tech, admin, or infrastructure-related.

I, on the other hand, am sporadic, easily distracted, and impulsive. I’m a weird mix of socially anxious and introverted but also extroverted and exuberantly passionate when it comes to BTG.

I care so much about helping people, and the thing I’m good at is making other people care and help too.

As you can imagine, she absolutely LOVES working with me.

The charity has been a member of the Chamber for roughly 12 months and we’d heard about the awards but didn’t think we’d be in a position to compete up there with some of the larger, more established charities.

Then one afternoon, I received an email saying we’d been nominated.

So, never one to miss an opportunity, I made the characteristically impulsive decision to enter as a learning experience and asked Liz at the Chamber to send across an entry form…..

Now, if you’ve ever entered any kind of business awards, you’ll already be chuckling at my naivety. You see, one does not simply complete an entry form to be considered for an award of this nature.

The corresponding email informed my oh-so-jolly self that we’d need to provide a detailed presentation for a panel of judges, full financial report, forecasts, business plans, and impact reports.

Oh, and the judging was taking place in 3 days' time.

I’m a firm believer that a problem shared with Heather is a problem solved, and so I dutifully informed her of the task at hand, and the royal “we” began preparations.

Heather performed what can only be described as a miracle and produced an incredible presentation detailing the work we’re doing here at BTG.

For all my faults, the one thing I can do is speak about mental healthcare and BTG programs. Once I realized that the “presentation” was just a chance for me to get on a soapbox about how amazing the BTG programs are, all nerves disappeared and off I went.

It was actually eye-opening for me to see it all laid out in front of us: the work we’ve done, the planning, strategy, vision, etc. When you spend every day focusing on the next task directly in front of you, it’s easy to forget to look up and around at all the incredible things you’ve achieved so far.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and we’re sitting, suited and booted, at a table, nervously waiting for the winners to be announced.

To our absolute surprise, they called our name.

We won.

And now begins the real work.

Winning the award presents a huge number of opportunities. We’ll attend all of the Chamber networking events over the next 12 months as their designated Charity of the Year, which means we’ll be running raffles and other fundraising events.

If any of you have any bath sets, bottles, or other raffle prizes you’d be able to donate, we’d hugely appreciate it.

And if you see us at an event, come and chat to me about BTG; it’s the only thing I’m good at 😆

Vicky x

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