If you have ever struggled with debt, you may have heard of our company, Carrington Dean. What we do is simple: we help those who are hopelessly in debt to get out of debt through management plans like IVAs, debt arrangement schemes, and bankruptcy.
But it’s one thing to say that, and quite another to actually do it every day. Every person who walks into our office and asks us for help has a story to tell. It can be a story of loss, a story of heartbreak, a story of fear. It keeps them up at night and robs them of their time, privacy, and security. It makes them fear for their families and their futures.
There isn’t a day that goes by that these stories don’t affect me and every person who works in our offices. Moreover, I’ll be honest. Sometimes it’s hard. We are constantly faced with the reality that our society doesn’t do enough to help good people. Every day, struggling families are allowed to just fall through the cracks.
Helping others is at the heart of the work we do and we are always looking for more ways that we can do that. There is nothing quite like the reward of seeing a smile on a client’s face that first day that they realise the clouds are parting and they are finally getting back on track. It really is like a ray of sunshine. For that person, their entire life has changed.
That’s why we look for every opportunity we can find to incorporate charity into our work. We regularly give to Mothers Care India, an organisation that helps children in impoverished parts of India to get an education.
That’s also why it means so much to us that we get to partner with AquAid. AquAid provides all of the water coolers that we use in our offices. This is yet another small but very real way for our business to contribute to charity work. We love that this is written on the coolers themselves. It is a very visible mark of the charitable spirit that is at the core of what we stand for. It communicates what we care about to customers and associates who visit us, and it also serves as a permanent reminder for our staff that we can and do make a difference.
On days when I am frustrated and standing at the water cooler, I realise just how many organisations and people who are out there who do care. AquAid and Carrington Dean are likeminded organisations infused with community spirit.
So we just want to say thank you to AquAid. Your work is changing lives, and you’re empowering us to help people across borders who will never find their way into our offices.
As always, thanks to the commitment to top service and maintenance from everyone at AquAid and because of the provision of top quality products, 2015 was a very productive and successful year.
One of the most important aspects of the company experiencing a bumper year is that we continue to be able to support the charitable organisations that we have committed to for over a decade now. Donations in 2015 have proved remarkably successful in this regard.
Obviously, without our customers’ continued patronage, these successes and the contributions to the charities that AquAid supports wouldn’t be possible, so our sincere thanks to all of you, dear AquAid customer!
The Africa Trust
The total sum of donations to The Africa Trust from January through to December 2015 was £807,450.00. These donations in part translated into 612 Elephant Pumps being built throughout Africa, where a safe, constant water supply is absolutely crucial.
The total sum of donations to Christian Aid in 2015 was £112,113.00. This amount meant that Christian Aid was able to continue with their live-saving work across the globe, with a focus on water-related projects using funds donated by AquAid.
The total sum of donations to both The Africa Trust and Christian Aid in 2015 is £919,585.00. This means an astonishing increase of £39,585.00 compared to the total donation of £880,000.00 in 2014.
We again would like to express our sincere thanks to all those at AquAid and to all our customers for their incredible support last year.
If you have any water cooler requirements, would like to become an AquAid customer and in so doing, support the life-saving sustainable work that AquAid continues to contribute to (at no extra cost to you), please feel free to contact us here – we’d be delighted to hear from you.
One of the aspects of working in the marketing and social media sphere that I really enjoy is getting to ‘know’ some of the many people that work at AquAid. To date, I’ve ‘met’ a serious traveller – Josh; a carer of animals and Tough Man competitor – Scott; a stand-up comedian – Martin; a Super Dad – Ross; and a Ninja – Dennis.
Last week, I spoke to Emir Dobson, franchisee at AquAid Middlesborough and asked her if she would be kind enough to put pen to paper and despite being rather busy, she graciously took the time out to answer my questions.
I was so tickled with her replies as I again realised that the individuals that work at AquAid really are quite a mixed bag and full of surprises – who knew that AquAid Middlesborough boast their very own scuba diver? So, without further ado, here’s what Emir had to share, pretty much verbatim:
Name: Emir Dobson
Role at AquAid: Manager – AquAid Tyne & Wear
Years at AquAid: Too long.
What do you enjoy about your job? The people we meet!
Tell us something interesting about yourself: Achievements: Working alongside my husband in all these years without a major incident!!!
How did you get involved with AquAid? I became involved in AquAid due to my connection with Christian Aid – I am passionate about the work that they do – my contribution is through donations.
Hobbies: Keeping with the water theme – I enjoy swimming and scuba diving.
What is it about swimming and scuba diving that you enjoy so much? I enjoy water… swimming and scuba diving keep you fit, they’re good for you…
When do you do the above? Enjoy diving as often as I can.
Why do you do it? It’s good fun and the people are great criag.
I enjoy diving anywhere there is water. In the North Sea, the wrecks are good and the sea fish.
In warmer climates – every dive is different; you see different fish, coral, wrecks – its good fun.
How long have you been involved with this? About 10 years.
Claim to fame – Just being alive!
What are you hoping to achieve or to do in the future? As soon as the family have moved out of the family home – my husband and I are going to travel – Thailand; Africa; USA.
Notes: No matter what happens – we are all the same – we eat, sleep, and breathe … the same. x
Thank you Emir, so interesting how water plays such a huge part in your life, from both a business and personal perspective. I wish you many good dives and lots of criag!
These are the opening lines that I read after receiving an e-mail from Ian Thorpe of The Africa Trust. I had asked for an update on the progress of the work that the charity carries out throughout countries in Africa. I thought it was high time that we had a more personal perspective on the impact that this life saving and changing work has. I thought it best to leave Cynthia’s narrative in her own words. You’ll see why when you read her story:
‘I am Cynthia M. Brown, a former child soldier. While barely surviving as a refugee at Buduburam camp in Ghana, I had great fear that I would never be accepted again in my home country of Liberia. I thought that reintegration would be a nightmare for me considering all the atrocities committed during the civil war in Liberia.
I met the Chief Executive of the Africa Trust at Buduburam and again in Liberia and after working hard and showing my potential during training, I was given my present job.
Working on Africa Trust funded projects has changed me from living a ghetto life as a drug addict and hopeless person, child prostitute and alcoholic to a responsible life changer, passionate aid worker and instrument of hope and change for poor people in Liberia.
As Program Officer for logistics and procurement for the Liberia Trust, a local charity implementing projects for the Africa Trust in Liberia, I am responsible to draw up logistical plans, do purchases, deliver materials in the field and keep track of all the possessions of the organisation. I make regular monthly reports to the Country Manager. The Liberia Trust is building Elephant Pumps and Elephant Toilets for poor communities with funding from the Africa Trust.
I help with construction of pumps and toilets as I am now a qualified builder. I also help with monitoring and evaluation, maintenance and facilitating maintenance workshops.
My passion is to help poor community dwellers improve their lives and it helps so much that a beneficiary family named their new born baby girl after me because, according to them, they wanted the child to be like me to grow in my life style. This was my greatest moment of pride, to become a role model instead of a useless person.
Working on the Africa Trust funded projects earned me respect, integrity and trust. My physical and mental capacities have developed greatly as a result of my work. This helped me identify my potentials to change the lives of others.
My family is living a happy life. My two little girls are enjoying my support for them to go to school.’
‘A wishing well is a term from European folklore to describe wells where it was thought that any spoken wish would be granted. The idea that a wish would be granted came from the idea that water housed deities or had been placed there as a gift from the gods, since water was a source of life and often a scarce commodity.’~ Wiki
Here at AquAid, we’ve adapted the concept of the wishing well slightly by ensuring that through the provision of water coolers to our valued customers that this translates into building actual water wells for those less fortunate in Africa.
How it works is that AquAid, who long have a history of supporting sustainable charities, formed a charity called The Africa Trust. This organisation is responsible for building said water wells or, as they are affectionately known, Elephant Pumps. Using donations from a portion of the revenue raised from the sales of water coolers, The Africa Trust have built more than 5 0000 Elephant Pumps throughout Africa, which provide more than 2 million people with safe drinking water. The pump is built (see photograph online in the article) using a modified design based on an ancient Chinese rope pulley system that uses materials that are easy to repair and maintain locally. An Elephant Pump can last for more than 15 years and its design is such that 95% of built pumps continue to operate throughout the continent.
We recently invited York CVS, a Leeds based AquAid customer, to participate in a well building campaign and were delighted when they graciously accepted.
York CVS themselves are all about help and support. Since 1939, York CVS has supported thousands of local charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to focus on what they do best – making a difference.
They provide a range of support, training and advice to help organisations set up, flourish and even finish if they feel their work is done.
Ruth Stockdale, Communications and Marketing Adviser at York CVS expressed enthusiasm about the well building campaign, “York CVS is proud to be working with AquAid and is delighted that by providing clean, fresh water here in York, we are able to support others to receive the same benefits in Africa.”
York CVS’ decision to participate in this water pump building campaign means that a rural community in Africa will now have access to safe, clean drinking water.
If you currently have an AquAid water cooler and would like to find out how you can go about sponsoring your very own water well, at no extra cost, please contact us.
If you would like to enquire about purchasing a water cooler, drop us a line or give us a shout at any of the above. We’d love to be able to assist. And you can, of course, be very well (ha) on your way to sponsoring your very own water well.
To date, meeting some of the AquAid team has taken us all over the U.K., as far as San Francisco in the USA, and even Tanzania, Africa with Ian Thorpe of The Africa Trust for Christmas with the Maasai.
Today we learn a bit more about Ross Dowsett, Regional Manager at AquAid Surrey.
Ross has been with AquAid Surrey since January 2004. His position keeps him on his toes working a 10 hour day. When he’s not at work, much of his time is spent being a Dad, ferrying his children to various after school activities.
His 10 year old daughter does judo and plays various instruments on the school team and his 6 year old boy participates in football and swimming. Seems like busy runs in the family!
When he can find the time, Ross realises his grand passion for cooking. He watches practically every cooking programme on TV and often tries out and recreates the dishes, with, as he says, ‘varied results’.
From what Ross told us, his results now are a far cry from the days when he started on this taste adventure. Apparently, his first attempt at making his favourite dish from scratch – a Chicken & Apricot Curry from a Rick Stein recipe – didn’t go quite as planned.
He confused tablespoon (Tbs.) with teaspoon (tsp.) measurements, and ended up having to glug a tub of natural yoghurt to stop the burn. Thankfully, the days of confusing measurements are long past and diners chez Ross are in for a treat.
He’s also been told that his Spaghetti Bolognaise is the best around, perfected from his mum’s recipe. I have to agree – there’s nothing quite like a good Bolognaise – tops on the comfort food list.
Another activity that keeps Ross on his toes is, as he says, ‘trying to keep fit by taking long walks as often as is possible’ as each year he tries to ensure that he enters a 13+ mile walk for charity. It’s this inspiration that gets him to go out on cold winter nights in all weathers to get a bit of training in.
On the 22nd of this month, Ross is doing the Marsden March. It is a 14 mile walk from the Royal Marsden Hospital Fulham to The Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton. The Marsden Hospital specialises in the treatment of cancer.
This means a lot to Ross as he lost his mother to cancer 12 years ago and other people in his family are now battling the illness.
If any of you would like to sponsor Ross you can do so at Just Giving. All sponsorships, irrespective of the amount, will be for a most worthwhile cause!
So, there you have another of the ‘Meet the AquAid Team:’ – Ross Dowsett – super pretty much everything! Thanks for a slice of your valuable time, Ross!