Over the years, we have been fortunate to receive support from the local business community. All help is most gratefully received and appreciated. Some of our key supporters include Rugby Benevolent Fund, The Pye Foundation, COEL, Mackays and Tesco.
We are exceedingly grateful to The Rugby Group Benevolent Fund, who make a generous annual donation to Phoenix.
The Fund was originally set up in 1955 to help employees and former employees of Rugby Cement and their dependants. Its remit included supplying free coal to retired workers at Christmas. Whilst the fund still retains its original objectives, it has widened its scope to include charitable causes in the communities in which its employees, former employees and their dependants live.
The link with Phoenix is through a mutual trustee, Norman Jones, who spent the whole of his working life in the cement industry, the great majority of it with Rugby Cement, retiring from the works at Barrington, one of the communities supported by the Benevolent Fund, in 2003.
The Pye Foundation is another very generous regular donor. The Foundation provides grants to local charities and also ex employees of the Pye Group of companies, Pye Limited being the famous electronics company founded in 1896 in Cambridge, as a manufacturer of scientific instruments, which went on to play a significant part in the early development of technology industries in the area.
COEL have recently begun an association with Phoenix, that we hope will continue for many years to come. The company are office design and fit-out specialists, with an insight into what makes a space work to enable the delivery of innovative, inspirational workplaces.
You might think that COEL’s clients such as Bidwells, Jagex and the Frank Lee Centre, are very different indeed from Phoenix, and you’d be right! However, COEL’s mission and core values, are also at the heart of what we strive to achieve, with this part of their mission statement striking a particular chord: “Being a great place to work, where people are empowered and inspired to be the best they can be”
COEL’s support has been very hands-on – Neil Cook, Managing Director, two other directors, Alistair Rumbelow and Dean Powell have been on site, not just to see what they can assist with, but also to acquaint themselves with the Phoenix community. We now have a roof on our paving slabs storage area, improvements to our lighting, proper access to the potting shed, and still work in progress, but a renovated area in the factory, including a new shower and toilet facilities for our trainees.
Additionally, COEL are cosponsoring the Sportsman’s Lunch at the Double Tree Hotel on Friday 2nd November with Carter Jonas and have nominated Phoenix Trust as the official charity for the event, so our thanks also to Colin Brown, Partner at Carter Jonas for his support.
COEL have also introduced us to their Health & Safety consultants, Workplace Risk Management Ltd, who are going to assist us with ensuring that Phoenix is not only a happy place to work, but a healthy and safe one. Theresa and Holly have already been on site and we look forward to working with them in the coming months.
Mackays have been supporters of Phoenix for a number of years, and at their East Road store, have kindly provided space for a display of our products. This is invaluable for us, as it provides an opportunity to showcase our wares off site and thus raise our profile. We are also delighted to be associated with a store that not only sells everything to meet the DIY needs of both professionals and amateurs, but also has some of the most endlessly patient sales assistants in Cambridge, for whom nothing is too much trouble.
Managing Director Neil Mackay, upon winning the inaugural DIY Week Industry Personality Award in 2017, was commended for striving to make retailing engaging and fun and for always seeking new ways to promote his business. Phoenix certainly benefits from Neil’s innovative ideas – a recent initiative, following a clear-out of unwanted storage boxes at the store, involved asking customers to help themselves, but to also make a donation to Phoenix. This, produced the amazing sum of £300, so a big thank you, not only to Mackay’s, but also their generous customers.
Neil recently very kindly agreed to become Phoenix’s patron, and we look forward to working with him and his team on other projects, including, later in the year, selling Christmas trees!
We have a long association with Tesco, who have helped Phoenix out in a variety of ways over many years, even once coming on site to help spruce the premises up with a new lick of paint. Most recently, they donated a sum of money for the purchase of sausages and burgers for our annual celebratory, end of term BBQ. As our nearest supermarket, we often go shopping with the trainees, an important part of our work around teaching life skills, and the staff are always welcoming and keen to engage.
Jules Scotland and Nick Vale recently contacted us from Pulse Secure, who are based in St John’s Innovation Park, to volunteer a team of people to come to Phoenix to help out at the beginning of October. Naturally, we are absolutely delighted by this generous offer and are busy putting together a “to do” list!
Having a group volunteering day, makes an enormous difference to a charity like Phoenix, enabling us to identify work that is too time consuming or complex to fit in a normal working day. We also hope that the Pulse Secure team will enjoy leaving their desks for a few hours – we promise to make it fun!
Another much valued form of support comes from businesses who over the years have given us a generous discount on goods and services, the following are deserving of a particular mention:
Hearts Security who maintain our alarm systems and provide advice on site security.
David Ball Group Ltd who provide us with pudlo, used in concrete production.
Frimstone, our aggregate suppliers.
ABC life support who provided first aid training for staff and volunteers absolutely free of charge
Cam Fire who maintain our fire protection equipment and provide advice and guidance
Richard Morley at BrainFizz, who has provided us with free advice about our woodshed equipment and also pointed us in the direction of his great youtube channel
We might be a little tucked away in Milton, at the end of a rather bumpy road, but we are lucky enough to have some lovely helpful neighbours.
Milton Country Park (MCP)
MCP is our actual next-door-neighbour, with a gate linking our two sites. The park is always generous in allowing us to put up signage, directing the public to us, not just on normal working days, but for one-off occasion such as open days, clearance sales and seasonal events. MCP is a managed by Cambridge Sports Lakes Trust, a registered charity.
Gaskin Brothers Limited
The Gaskin Brothers are local builders, who have a compound at the Phoenix site. Although always very busy carrying out general building works across the county, they still find time to help us out, most recently also providing the materials to repair a lean-to after storm damage.
Brewers Decorator Centre
When we heard that Brewers were opening a new store just around the corner, we went and introduced ourselves. The manager Dave Barnes was very welcoming, and we now have a new source of pallets!
Finding us can sometimes be a challenge – the lovely people at Coffee World allowed us to have a sign on their forecourt for the weekend of our Open Day, a great help.