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Video venture shares history of maritime charity as business leader braces himself for bridge-to-bridge cycle challenge

Rachel

7/5/2024 9:55:54 AM

Charity & Fundraising

4 mins read

From left: Adam Walsh, CEO of John Good Group, Natasha Barley, CEO of the Sailors’ Children’s Society, and Michelle Taft, Executive Director of the Matthew Good Foundation.

 

A charity which spans the centuries and the nation with its work to help seafarers and their families has unveiled two initiatives which will strengthen its services.

 

The Sailors’ Children’s Society, based in Hull and founded more than 200 years ago, has produced its first corporate video, bringing together beneficiaries and funders including Greenwich Hospital, which dates back to 1692.

 

Adam Walsh, CEO of John Good Group and host of the video launch at the company’s new offices in Hessle, confirmed he will once again cycle more than 200 miles from the Severn Bridge to the Humber Bridge to raise funds for the Society, which works nationally to support disadvantaged children from the Royal Navy, merchant navy, offshore wind industry, fishing fleets and inland waterways.

 

Natasha Barley, CEO of the charity, said: “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have made this happen. The video features some of the people who are helping us build on the services we have delivered since 1821.

 

“The Society is 203 years old this year and John Good Group itself is closing in on its 200-year milestone.”

 

John Good Group operates in travel, maritime, warehousing, logistics, and property. The Matthew Good Foundation, which was set up to support charities as part of the company’s commitment to sustainability, covered the bulk of the production costs of the video.

 

The film, which can be viewed on the Society’s website, features the moving case study of Victoria, a Ukrainian national and mum of two, who needed help after her husband, a former Royal Navy officer, became ill.

 

Adam admitted that he “knew zero” about the charity before he took up his post in 2022 but he soon recognised the links with a business whose founder first went to sea in 1813, became master of his own ship in 1826 and opened his chandlery in the Old Town of Hull in 1833.

 

Adam said: “The more I understood what the charity does the more it became incredibly clear to me just how strongly the work of Natasha and her team with the families resonates with the heritage of the group.
“We are steeped in maritime and it runs through the DNA of the organisation. Our business relies on those seafarers, and the work the Society does to support families suffering the consequences of what is a dangerous industry just aligns so closely with what we do.”

 

Jonathan Ball, Director of Grants at Greenwich Hospital, attended the launch to explore the work which it funds through the Society to support former Royal Navy personnel.

 

He said: “We provide funding for a range of Royal Navy charities and for the Navy itself. As funders we often only meet the charity CEO so it was good to also meet staff and some of the corporate supporters.
“What’s unique about the Society is the journey they make alongside the families they have taken under their wing. They help people from the point of distress to being able to live with confidence and dignity in independence.
“It’s also the comprehensive nature of support that the Society gives. Everything from financial support to advice, looking into the whole range of needs the family has and helping them and the children journey towards the right solutions.”

 

The Matthew Good Foundation receives a proportion of profits from John Good Group every year. Executive Director Michelle Taft said the idea of making a film arose after Adam’s first bridge-to-bridge cycle ride in 2023.

 

Michelle said: “That’s how we became aware of the Society, and the idea of the film is to help them get their stories out there. We can give monetary grants but a film can generate much more awareness and potentially revenue.

 

“John Good Group only moved into the new offices in April and there was a massive ambition to ensure it is a hub for business and for charities. That’s where the video launch came from – it was our first charity event.”

 

Adam revealed that one of the factors which attracted him to John Good Group was its approach to social and environmental impact.

 

He said: “It is a sixth generation business and we’re excited  about the prospect of reaching our 200 years of trading in the near future. We use the profits to make genuine social impact. Every extra penny is going to something incredible and very rewarding.

 

“There is an enormous sense of satisfaction and wellbeing generated by seeing the difference that can make to people’s lives and communities. More businesses should open themselves up to different ideas about how to do it. Small amounts of money can make an amazing difference to these organisations and businesses can make a difference if they put their minds to it.”

 

The Society was one of the charities which Adam supported with his 2023 bike ride – a solo effort which involved leaving the Severn Bridge at 4am and arriving at the Humber Bridge at 9.45pm. This year he plans to assemble a team for a September cycle challenge with all money raised going to the Society. 

 

Natasha said: “Adam’s individual commitment is remarkable. He’ll be on that bike for 212 miles and he’s talking about making it an annual event. 
“The launch was really special for us as well. It was superb and went beyond expectations. The space worked brilliantly and everybody was generous with their feedback about it.
“The film is great, the interviews are fantastic and give real insight into the charity. It encapsulates why we do what we do and why we have the service and hopefully it will encourage other people in their businesses to get behind us as well.”

To view the film please visit https://sailorschildren.org.uk/

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