Posturite in the community - what we've been up to in 2019

Across the country, thousands of charities and nonprofit organisations work tirelessly to support and enrich the communities we live in. Business isn’t just about turning a profit. It’s about using our influence and privilege to work for and with our communities. 

The 210 staff who work at Posturite live and bring up their families all over the country, so it’s important to all of us to get involved with fundraising and volunteering in our local areas. Our dedicated social committee regularly organises company-wide initiatives, including charity bake-offs, dress-up days (like Wear it Pink and Jeans for Genes), coffee mornings, bowling in our staff social space and netball shoot-outs. We also regularly donate ex-demo ergonomic chairs and other high quality ergonomics to a community furniture shop (Furniture Now) which provides household items and life-changing experiences to those most in need. 

As of 2019, all Posturite employees are entitled to a day of paid leave to engage in charity activities of their choice. In turn they share their positive experiences with the rest of the company to help spread awareness and inspire others to get involved. 

Our founder and CEO Ian Fletcher-Price spends a significant amount of time with various local organisations in Sussex. He's a Starr Mentor for the Starr Charity Trust, Chairman for community-driven Eastbourne Cricket Club, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the East Sussex Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted (ESAB).

He says, "It gives me a huge amount of joy and satisfaction to put my spare time into initiatives that support, unite and empower people — and these are values that also underpin Posturite as a business.

"Whatever our staff choose to do, we’re extremely grateful for their time, effort and enthusiasm." 

Posturite head office active cycle challenge

In summer 2019 we were visited by charities Sustrans, Active Steps and Living Streets, who talked to our staff about the health and environmental benefits of making small changes to our travel habits. As a result a large group of our staff signed up to a 10-week cycle challenge in which they were taken on guided tours around the local Berwick countryside to familiarise themselves with cycling safety and commuter routes.

This led to a significant uptake in cycling, with many swapping their daily drive in for a cycle ride.

Fundraising activities

  • Comic relief charity quiz
  • Jeans for Genes
  • Wear it Pink
  • Children in Need challenges
  • Christmas Shoe Box Appeal
  • Food Bank donations
  • Macmillan coffee morning

Volunteering days

In 2019 every member of staff had the opportunity to take a full day’s leave to get out into their local community and volunteer. We are so proud of all our team who took part in volunteering or fund-raising activities. We’ve been overwhelmed by everyone’s enthusiasm and it’s been fantastic to read about everyone’s experiences and achievements.

24-hours cycle to Paris - Chris Jones, Technical Director

It’s a well-known fact that the UK’s primary schools are underfunded, especially those in rural areas like Heathfield where our technical director Chris Jones lives. In the past two decades 150 primary schools have closed down across the country, damaging community life and leaving children to travel longer distances for their education.

In April 2019, Chris and 16 other Heathfield locals set themselves a challenge to cycle 257 km to Paris in 24 hours to raise much-needed funds for Punnetts Town Community Primary School. In the run up to the big day they completed 10 training rides ranging from 20 to 115 km, battling up some of the steepest hills in Sussex - including the infamous Ditchling Beacon near Brighton.

On the evening of the 5 July the group gathered at the primary school to begin the first leg of their journey to Newhaven. After a four-hour ferry crossing, a few beers (for stamina), a two-hour wait for the support vehicle and a hairy moment when Chris’ bike was nearly crushed by an electric barrier, they were ready to set off into the French countryside towards Paris. The day sailed by and the team were on track to make it to the Eiffel Tower within their 24-hour target. One long, unexpected hill in the Forest of Versailles tested their resilience but they pushed on and eventually made it to their destination by 7 pm - exhausted, chafing and in desperate need of more beer.

In total the group raised £1,750 for their efforts, with the funds going towards educational software and technology to enrich lessons for the children at Punnetts Town.

Chestnut Tree House, Lucy Robinson, E-commerce Manager

“Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and South East Hampshire and cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions.

It currently costs over £3.9 million each year to provide all the care services offered by Chestnut Tree House. Families are never charged for their care and less than 6p in every pound is funded by the government (a shockingly low figure), so they rely heavily on fundraising and volunteers to keep their amazing charity going.

On Monday 10 June, I volunteered to help with the maintenance of the hospice gardens, alongside other volunteers from a variety of companies. We started with a tour of the house – that moment when you’re told that each coloured piece of string tied to a branch on a specially created tree signifies a child has passed away was heart wrenching – I hope I never have to experience such loss in my life but knowing that this place exists for children and their families made me want to do the best job I could do during my day with them.

We spent the day weeding the beds and the pathways in the memorial garden – the most poignant place for families to visit. Despite the wet conditions, every volunteer was keen to ensure that what we accomplished that day made a real difference to Nick, the one and only gardener who splits his time between Chestnut Tree House and St Barnabas House. Nick relies on volunteers to help him keep the gardens well maintained, and even though we were only there
for one day, he was very pleased with our work, and were duly rewarded with the biggest slice of cake I have ever seen (and eaten!). A truly special and unforgettable day for so many reasons, and a charity that I want to be involved with for the rest of my life. If you want to do a volunteering day and are undecided who to choose, then I cannot think of a better charity to give your time to. Thank you Posturite for allowing me to do this.”

Three Peaks Challenge, David Kirtley, Seating Specialist

"I decided to tackle the 3 peaks challenge in aid of the Professional Cricketers Trust and The Tom Maynard Trust. The challenge involves almost 30 miles of walking and around 3,000m of elevation over 3 days. When we started our trek, we were told it was around 9 degrees on the Ben Nevis Summit, with winds of around 65kmh. Fun times! A group of 55 did it to raise money for two incredible charities: The Professional Cricketers Trust and the Tom Maynard Trust.

The PCT (formerly the PCA) has been established for a while and serves past and present cricketers with support when they have fallen on tough times. This may be through financial grants, counselling or education. The Tom Maynard Trust was set up in 2012 following Tom’s death. Matt Maynard, Toms father, is a good friend of mine (as was Tom) and the Trust supports young sports people on their journey before, during and after their sporting journey.

Matt and I, along with around 50 others, including many past and present professional cricketers started the challenge early Friday morning before moving onto the Scafell Pike on Saturday and finishing with Snowdon on Sunday."

Matt’s story
Tom Smith is a professional cricketer, who grew up in Eastbourne. He played at Eastbourne for a number of years and has 2 young daughters. His wife died earlier this year, and the Trust has helped Tom continue with his life as best as possible, while supporting him and his daughters in a number of ways.

Bryson's Animal Shelter, Alex Watson, Account Manager

“I chose to volunteer for a day at Bryson's Animal Shelter. First of all I took some dogs out on a walk. They were due to go to the vets later in the day, and
Ozzy, one of the dogs, was due to be neutered. Bless him!

I then helped clean the cats cages out, gave them treats and cat cuddles. Some of the cats' owners had passed away and they'd been in the shelter for quite some time now.

After lunch I took more dogs out on walks,  as they're cooped up in kennels most of the time and love the fresh air. I did 20,000 steps all day! Towards the end of the day I helped put eye drops in the kittens' eyes. Three pregnant cats were rescued recently from a lady who had a total of 25 cats in her home! The pregnant cats gave birth at Bryson's but need some TLC still. They were so cute and I wanted to take them all home.

Overall this was such a good experience and it was really good to see the hard work that goes into making sure the shelter runs smoothly and they give the animals the best care they need in order to be re-homed. They rely solely on volunteers to help on a daily basis. I only nearly cried once! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to spend the day here and help out where I could.”

Extreme Commando Challenge, Suzanna Dry, Consultancy Co-ordinator

“I spent the day at the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre in Devon, having volunteered to take part in the Charity’s Extreme Commando Challenge. This event raises money to help rehabilitate Royal Marines who have suffered life changing injuries both physically and mentally.

Last year Posturite entered two teams and won the fastest male and fastest female awards. I am pleased to say we came away with the fastest female award again this year! A huge thank you to all my Posturite colleagues that sponsored me to do this. And thank you Posturite for giving me the time off to take part."

Download Posturite in the Community to see more about what we've been up to.