The idea of hosting our own Community Day at FreshSight has been floating around since our management handover last April. After looking at consultant feedback from the previous year, we realised something was missing in our social enterprise business model – consultants felt that they didn’t have the opportunity to engage with each other enough outwith their project teams, and some felt that FreshSight had too heavily of an internal focus with our clients and consultant experience. Thus, the idea of hosting a day of tangible social impact where consultants and alumni could come together, engage with each other, and tackle a social issue, emerged. Further, we were lucky enough to receive a grant from the Hunter Foundation to fund this event.
During our recruitment interviews at the start of each project cycle, we like to ask prospective consultants what the biggest social issue in Edinburgh is. Overwhelmingly, many candidates talked all about issues surrounding homelessness in Edinburgh & Scotland as a whole. From there we decided that since our consultants were passionate about homelessness, we could centre our first community day around the alleviation of this social issue.
Through close collaboration with our Events Coordinator, Chloe, we were able to design an event where we created packs with many needed and necessary materials for those experiencing homelessness, including socks, sanitary products, toiletries, personal hygiene products, power balls, hand-drawn maps with support centres, and more. We also looked to make the event attractive and collaborative to consultants and alumni, hopefully bridging the gap when it came to extra-team interaction.
From the feedback we got from consultants, this aspect was a massive success. One of our consultants Alexis stated after the event that “it was so lovely to spend so much time talking to other consultants and alumni that I would not have been able to do otherwise!”. Another consultant, Emma, saw one of the bags made at the event being distributed to someone in need; She told her team “it was heartwarming”.
Overall, we were able to fill 100 waterproof sports sacs (which can be reused) with materials that are needed by people experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough – distributed by the incredible organisation Streetwork. We would not have been able to pull off this event without our friends at Streetwork, The Hunter Foundation, Best of Bettina, Hey Girls, Cyrenians, and The Pleasance Student’s Association.
Thank you to all that were involved: consultants, partners, and organisers, for this massive success of an operation!