Are you a supply teacher, teaching assistant or residenital support worker looking for some help and advice? If so, you are the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, NQTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer.
As you’ll know, charity is something that is very important to us as both a company and a team and we refused to let the first lockdown get in the way of that. Of course, that doesn’t mean we broke the rules but instead, we found ways to fundraise while abiding by the social distancing guidelines in place. Conor, our senior compliance administrator, will tell you how.
Lockdown was a tough experience for everyone. It separated us from our friends and our families, it stopped us being able to work together in offices and children from going to school. While, of course, this, was hard on us all, we were very aware that some people may have it much worse than we did.
During the first lockdown, domestic violence cases rose and during the first three months of lockdown, More than 40,000 calls and contacts were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline. This figure didn’t sit well with us and we decided we wanted to do something to help.
Supporting charities is a big part of what Smile do. We’re not a recruitment agency that just cares about the numbers, we care about the people we work with and the communities we work within. We usually do a few different fundraising events every year. Some of the activities we did last year included walking the Malvern Hills for Alzheimer’s Research UK, getting Pretty Muddy for Cancer Research UK and baking for both MacMillan Cancer Support and the Breast Cancer Haven.
During the lockdown, we chose to raise money, local charity Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid who support women and children to live free from violence, abuse and fear.
Our fundraising challenge was to walk a marathon in a month (which is 26.6 miles to you and me). As a team that equates to a whopping 700 miles. However, despite the impending thoughts of blisters, we were all determined to do it - it was for a good cause after all.
We walked around the block, in local parks and along the canal to reach our goal and kept each other updated on our exploits via our team WhatsApp chat. In total, we raised £431 for the charity but as a team, we gained a lot too. The walking, jogging and running did wonders for not just our physical health but our mental health too. It felt so good to get outside, at times whist working from home I felt a little like Harry Potter when he was locked beneath the stairs! Plus it was a really great way to catch up with the team and have some fun even when we couldn’t be together.
While our Smile Miles fundraiser may be over, there is still lots you can do to help those in need. Something that requires very little effort but could make a big difference is signing the petition lead by Marcus Rashford to ensure that no child goes hungry by ensuring free school meals are provided even when schools are closed. Or maybe you walk to get your walking shoes on as we did. Whatever it may be, big or small, you can make a difference.
If you have a charity you would like to suggest for our next fundraising event or maybe even something we could do, feel free to get in touch - we’d love to hear your ideas.