Community Award success for BGL employee

At the 11th annual Living Sport Sports Awards in Cambridge at the end of November, BGL’s very own Martin Croucher was awarded Community Volunteer of the Year for his efforts in his local community, outside of work.

CSR is one of our key strategic goals and is a fully fledged part of our day-to-day culture. Our objective by 2020 is to donate £3 million to support our communities and impact 100,000 lives along the way. We are always encouraging our people to get out into the community and really make an impact, whether that be through one of our Volunteer Days or being a part of our Community team: making a difference is important to us.

At the 11th annual Living Sport Sports Awards in Cambridge at the end of November, BGL’s very own Martin Croucher was awarded Community Volunteer of the Year for his efforts in his local community, outside of work.

Martin’s community work is with Warboys Sports and Social Club. It has earned him community-wide recognition in the last few years, having saved the club from impending closure just two years ago. Martin was instrumental in saving the club from a staggering £13,000 worth of debt, establishing a brand new committee, as well as raising money to fund the refurbishment of the clubhouse bar and hall areas.

Martin was nominated for the award by a fellow villager who said; “Martin is a strong advocate of encouraging involvement to better the community and is always there to provide advice and encouragement. He has worked tirelessly to secure funds through grant applications and fundraising events, raising over £16,000 to improve the social club, cricket club and table tennis clubs in Warboys.”

Following his awards success, we caught up with Martin to ask him how he got involved with volunteering:

Q. When did you start volunteering?

A. I first got involved with the Warboys Cricket Club back in 2003 when I took over as Chairman of the club. The club was in quite a state of disrepair and I applied for grants and organised fundraisers to be able to keep the club going. I started with the youth club and got that set up with coaches and so on.

Q. What causes have you supported?

A. When I first started volunteering, I was predominantly involved in the Cricket Club. Then in 2014 there was a huge step-change in terms of my involvement. I organised a charity cricket match where Warboys played the England Women’s Cricket Team. The event raised over £15,000 and was supported by loads of other community groups who all had market stalls running on the day. Through that, I had created a network of contacts for all the other community sports and started to participate in various fundraising activities through them. Then the committee for the local Sports & Social club all retired and it was clear that somebody needed to step in and save the club from closure. I applied for grants, was lucky enough to be supported by BGL who donated old furniture, and helped source a new committee. Since then, I’ve also gone on to set up a table tennis club with tables donated from a local business and now have people from 14/15 year olds all the way up to 60 year olds playing competitive table tennis.

Q. What involvement have you had with CSR here at BGL?

A. I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from BGL’s match funding process on several occasions, most recently matching the £436 we raised at a charity event early this year. Match funding is great as it means that my fundraising can go even further. I’ve also used my volunteering day (and several days of annual leave) to help decorate the Sports & Social Club.

Q. What would you say to those who are yet to make their pledge to CSR?

A. Just get out there and make a difference. Even if you do just one little thing, no matter how small, it makes a big difference. And don’t be afraid to ask for help – here at BGL there are always people willing to support you. And if anyone wants to get involved in Warboys, either playing one of the many sports or pastimes available, or even starting up a new club/activity – there’s always a place.
 

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