Fletcher’s boat racers make waves for Manchester homeless charity

13th May 2019

A team of intrepid boat racers from Fletchers Solicitors have raised more than £1,400 for a leading Manchester homeless charity.

The team of 16 known as “The Flying Fletcharians” took part in the annual Dragon Boat Race held at Salford Quays last Sunday in effort to raise funds and greater awareness for Big Change Manchester.

Winning their head-to-head race by 0.4 of a second, the team achieved a commendable finish to the day, celebrating with multiple team selfies.

Senior Solicitor and race coordinator, Emma Semwayo, is delighted with the money raised and believes the race provides the perfect platform to raise more awareness.

Emma said: “This is the second year we have had the privilege of entering a team in this great event and I would like to thank the organisers, the team and Fletchers for their support. 

“Every member of the Fletchers team who works in Manchester is touched by the plight of the homeless in the city and we have been overwhelmed by the support of our colleagues in raising awareness and funds.

“Colleagues even organised a cake sale in St James’s Tower to support the cause and the kindness and generosity of the building management and other firms in St James’s Tower was inspirational.” 

Matt Bell, Head of Customer Services in the Systems Team, was one of the racers that participated in the tightly contested event and spoke philosophically about his involvement.

Matt said:

“I visit the Manchester office every month or so, and to see how many homeless people there are just on my 10 minute walk from the station to the office is heart-breaking, especially in this day and age.

“It was an absolute pleasure to help power that boat down the quay to raise money to get these poor souls the help they so desperately need.

“I just want to say thanks to everyone who took part and everyone who donated.

“Roll on next year where I’m sure we will go under the minute mark and raise even more for this wonderful charity.” 

Assistant Litigation Executive, Eliza Esiategiwa, was another team player who and spoke of her pride in being able to take part in such occasions.

Eliza said:

“I took part in the Dragon Boat Race because it was a fantastic opportunity to fly the flag for Fletchers and help out a good cause at the same time. 

“As you might know, homelessness is an increasing problem in big cities around the country, so the chance to do something to help out while having a fun day was too good of an opportunity to miss!”

The charity itself, Big Change, provides those facing homelessness with practical support to assist in long term change.

Their efforts include paying the deposit for a home or funding a training course to help improve future job prospects.

With every single pound donated, 85% of the donation goes directly to the individual. The remaining 15% going towards the cost of services and administration fees.

Big Change are passionate about working to change public perceptions around homelessness and Head of Operations, Neil Cornthwaite shared his views on how donating through their model can make a big difference. 

“The Big Change project is a fund that allows 29 partner agencies access to funding to spend directly on those people we see rough sleeping on the streets if city centre Manchester.

“Supporting Big Change means you are helping people get off the streets and move on in their lives. Big Change Manchester helps people with everything from a bus pass to get to an interview, to mobile phones, to boots for work, furnishings for a new flat or a deposit to get a private tenancy. Big Change Manchester has helped over 1500 individuals in this way.”  

If you would like to donate to Big change Manchester, you can do so by following link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/flyingfletcherians

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