Once Barques became established as an agency, it soon became apparent that the services we provided could benefit charities greatly. Bizarrely it wasn’t long before I found a charity that would benefit support from a creative design agency.
The charity was ProHelp and it was part of the Business In the Community BITC. The idea behind ProHelp was to offer professional support on a pro bono basis to charities and boy did they need it. It could be legal, finance, property or, as in our case, creative support. Back in the 90’s when digital didn’t really exist many charities were struggling with their marketing collateral. A charity could be just setting up and need full branding or it could be trying to target certain audiences. Many times there would be just one person in the charity who had to do everything or if they did have help they would ask the support staff to create the identity and the collateral to promote the charity. Well you can imagine the quality of the collateral and, of course, it would take them an inordinate amount of time because it wasn’t their bag, nor were they employed to do this. So we were able to offer our services of the design studio, which in turn, allowed our staff to get involved in supporting charities by providing our services on a pro bono basis. I have to say we worked for some great charities and provided a much needed service which allowed the employees of the charity to provide the service and potentially get income in.
So good was the work that we were doing that ProHelp asked us to submit an award for Impact through collaboration.
Like all good things sometimes they come to an end and ProHelp no longer exists - we still have a connection with Business in the Community but now Jilly has taken on other roles where we, as a business, support with time, event management and, of course, provide design support on a pro bono basis wherever we can.
Jilly has been on the PFK committee since 2006 and became Chairman in 2015.
PFK is a charity that is passionate amongst the property and construction industry and all those who sit on the committee give of their time freely. The sole intent of the charity is to raise funds to support kids in the West Midlands who are less fortunate than we are be it through illness, disability or circumstance. Nothing brings more pleasure than to have fun whilst raising money to help others.
Funds are raised through two main events - The Brendas and The Snowball and if you are involved or attend either of these events then no matter how you interact it will leave you with a feel good factor.
Each year we manage to raise £60/70,000 and the in kind support and sponsorship we receive from businesses across this sector is astounding. Long may it continue.
As a lover of golf - Jilly has supported this charity for over 22 years by entering a team. She became Tournament Director in 2011 and during her time as TD alongside her committee they have raised a staggering £191,918 (as at 2022 and with Pandemic break).
Jilly was invited to become a Trustee for Smart Works Birmingham in June 2018 - a brilliant charity that helps women back into work by providing work appropriate clothes for interview followed by interview coaching. The success rate is speaks for itself - over 73% get the job. Having seen the number of women that the Birmingham Centre has helped over the last 4 years is truly amazing and this charity will go from strength to strength.
JQA - is an organisation that was set up for the betterment of the Jewellery Quarter - to protect the Jewellery businesses and buildings therein and to progress the area. This Association formed part of the group that set up the Jewellery Quarter Trust and in turn established the Jewellery Quarter Bid. Jilly along with other key people within the JQ worked together to establish both these organisations and she served on the boards for over 5 years - she is still a director of the JQA.
As a lover of all things creative - Jilly was invited to become an Ambassador for the RBSA based in the Jewellery Quarter. Her role here is to promote the gallery and its artists with a view to raising the profile of this charity.