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Debenhams Ottaway was one of almost 100 virtual donors at the recent Herts TFN crowdfunding event that raised £15,000 for three local charities. Covid-19 has made it a particularly challenging time for charities, so this extra funding will make a big difference.

On the night, each charity had a five minute time slot to pitch to the crowd and answer questions. A virtual pledging session followed, and it was fantastic to see each charity exceed their target of £3,000.

The local charities who took part:

  • Youth Talk offer counselling sessions and a safe place for young, vulnerable people across St Albans and surrounds.
  • The Young People’s Puppet Theatre help children from all backgrounds to build confidence, resilience and other social skills through the arts.
  • Daylight Club offer a safe and supportive environment for adults with physical disabilities, providing a wide range of activities and workshops for members.

Andrew Yates, corporate partner and head of charities at Debenhams Ottaway, was on the panel that selected the charities to pitch. He comments “It was an honour to be involved again this year. It is always difficult to select the final three as there are so many worthy causes to support. It is a great event that provides some valuable support to local charities. Congratulations to the three who pitched and thank you to everyone who applied this year”.

We were thrilled that Youth Talk was chosen as one of the charities to take part as Debenhams Ottaway has been supporting and raising funds for Youth Talk for over three years. David Barker, CEO at Youth Talk comments, “We were totally blown away by the generosity shown at the TFN event last week and would like to thank everyone who kindly donated to support our vital work. There is nothing more humbling or inspiring than to hear first-hand from young people about the struggles and challenges they may be facing – and vitally how Youth Talk can help them. We are so grateful to Mia from our Youth Panel for sharing her story – there is no doubt that her bravery, honesty and determination that others should not have to go through what she has played a significant part in the success of the evening. Thanks to the TFN community we will be able to offer over 115 further counselling sessions for Young People locally – simply amazing!”

Volunteer organiser Richard Sved added: “It was an extraordinary evening, and just so wonderful that the community came together virtually to support small local charities making a big impact so generously. A huge thank you to Debenhams Ottaway who have supported these events from the very start.”

What is The Funding Network? TFN links potential donors to charitable causes through live crowdfunding. TFN Herts, one of several regional groups across the UK, was launched in 2016 by Richard Sved and a team of fellow volunteers. So far, TFN Herts has hosted five crowdfunding events that have raised over £70,000 for 17 local non-profits. You can find out more about TFN on their website.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.