CELEBRATING 30 YEARS IN BUSINESS
30 years is a long time to be in business and that's exactly the milestone we reached back in 2020. We had a year-long plan of epic fundraising, big celebrations, and a whole lot more. Sadly as we all know, COVID put a stop to anything at all that year, so here we are, two years later, aiming to celebrate 30 (+2) years since we opened our first office.
1990 seems like another lifetime now and we're so proud of how far we’ve come, still matching great candidates with fantastic opportunities and expanding our high street presence. Having opened two new offices recently, with another location soon to be confirmed; there’s no stopping us.
We would like to extend a huge thanks to all who have worked with us so far and here's to 30 more years.
WHAT IS #30FORTHIRTY?
To mark each of our 30 years in business, we've set ourselves the challenge of completing 30 separate acts of kindness in the space of a year.
Supporting various causes and charities along the way, some small and some big - we hope to make a real and tangible difference.
WHAT DO WE HAVE PLANNED?
We have a schedule of 30 events planned throughout the year, it's varied and includes fundraising for charity, our staff volunteering their time, as well as making donations to various good causes, both locally and internationally.
We'll be posting updates regularly on this page and our social media platforms. Use the links below to follow us and keep up to date with our progress as we countdown our 30 acts of kindness.
If you want to join in, make sure you use #30forThirty!
Click the icons to head to our socials and hit the follow button!
30 ACTS OF KINDNESS...
Stay tuned as we announce them here, one at a time!
1. BEAUMOND HOUSE HEART CAMPAIGN
We were delighted to support local Newark hospice @beaumond_house with their 'Have a Heart' Campaign.
This charity is close to the hearts of so many families within Newark and the surrounding area, and they continue to do such vital work providing palliative care, day therapies, bereavement support and much more.
Commissioning our beautiful glass heart is a symbol of our ongoing support as we continue to keep the hospice in our hearts.
2. YORKSHIRE THREE PEAKS
A team of walkers took on the three highest peaks of the Yorkshire Dales National Park on Saturday 11th June, in difficult conditions (55 mph winds!), they completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in under 12 hours. With thanks to sponsorship from friends, family, clients and suppliers, we raised a huge £2,966 for Children with Cancer UK.
3. SUPPORTING LOCAL FOOD BANKS
We're pleased to have supported three food banks locally to our branches in Mansfield, Colchester and Derby with £300 in food donations. It's an unfortunate reality that there's more need for these services than ever before, with each centre reporting that post-covid, donations have dropped off but the demand is rising to record levels.
4. LINCS2NEPAL 40 FRIENDS
We've joined a collective of 40 other businesses, individuals and groups known as 40Friends, a campaign set up by Lincs2Nepal charity.
Lincs2Nepal is a charity set up in 2009 by local Lincoln man, Garry Goddard. Since then, Garry has undertaken many projects and changed the lives of countless children and families living in Nepal.
One such project is the 40Friends HCC Children's Home - an independently run children's home for 20 orphaned or disadvantaged children. By pledging £40 per month, along with other businesses and individuals, we're helping to keep the home running and fund some vital improvements.
We were also pleased to donate some unused Amazon tablets which are being used to help children, who have fallen behind with their studies during the pandemic, to get back on track with their education.
Please do take a look at this fantastic charity which is a great example of how a few small acts of kindness can make such a huge difference.
5. CARLTON FC U7S FOOTBALL TEAM
Our fifth Act of Kindness has been to sponsor Carlton FC U7s football team. In order to get started, the team needed funds to buy a kit and training equipment such as footballs and a first aid box.
Without our help, the team wouldn't have been able to get started and have now been up and running for 4 weeks playing in the Mid-Lincs U7s B League.
We wish them all the best for their future ahead.
6. SMALLS FOR ALL COLLECTION
For our sixth act of kindness, after hearing about the amazing work of Smalls for All charity, we decided to open up all of our branches as collection points for donations of new and used bras and new pants.
Over the last couple of months, we have been blown away by the generosity of our own staff and the wider public. Thanks to features from the Newark Advertiser and the Grantham Journal we ended up with 325 bras and too many pairs of pants to count!
All of which were carefully packaged up and couriered to the Smalls for All warehouse in Scotland. From here, the donations will be distributed across the UK and to Africa, where they’ll make a big difference to so many lives.
7. NEWARK DRAGON BOAT RACING
Raising money for charity is always a great feeling, but when it also involves a fun day out for all the family - it's even better!
Now in it's third year, this hugely supported community event sees two local charities join forces to raise valuable and much needed funds. It was our pleasure, to come together with 50 other businesses and organisations to enter a team in the dragon boat racing to support Beaumond House Hospice and the Children's Bereavement Centre.
Our seventh act of kindness was a fun one, but also an important one. The full amount raised is yet to be totalled and announced, but we are hopeful it's a big number for these two amazing charities.
8. SLEAFORD OKTOBERFEST
For our 8th Act of Kindness we were delighted to sponsor a barrel of real ale at Sleaford Oktoberfest. The event, which took place on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th September at Sleaford's Boston Road Recreation Ground, was organised by Shock Sleaford. The charity, Shock Sleaford, provides life-saving defibrillators to Sleaford and the surrounding area.
We were so pleased to learn that the event had a record-breaking year, raising over £17,000! Through sponsors, the event is able to cover much of their fixed costs, meaning the money raised will now directly go to purchase at least 10 more defibrillators destined for Sleaford, Leasingham, Ruskington and Heckington, as well as servicing the existing 22 units.
These defibrillators could potentially save someone's life. Well done to all those involved, a very important cause.
9. CODE FITNESS GOLF DAY FOR MIND
As our 9th act of kindness, we were pleased to sponsor a hole at the Code Fitness Annual Golf Competition held at Newark Golf Club. The day organised by Newark-based gym 'Code Fitness' in aid of Mind charity was supported by businesses from the local area and raised over £2000.
10. CYCLE SEPTEMBER
During September, we encouraged as many staff as possible to ditch their cars and dust off (in some cases!) their bikes and cycle to work! We were in good company as groups, businesses and organisations around the world participated in 'Cycle September', a campaign headed up by Love to Ride. The benefits are two-fold, boosting well-being through physical exercise in the great outdoors whilst also reducing CO2 emissions. We were delighted to finish 4th in our category within the Lincolnshire leader board, having cycled over 300 miles – great job, team! Overall, Cycle September saw 38,000 riders around the globe cover over 6.2 million miles, saving over half a million lbs of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. That would have taken 27,000 trees a whole year to absorb.
11. WEAR IT PINK DAY
On Friday 21st October, we turned pink! Wear it Pink day, held annually, raises awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Now - a charity that provides support to anyone affected by breast cancer right now and funds world-class research. We were pleased to raise over £50 in staff donations for this worthy cause.
12. NEWARK SCAREFEST
When we started our year-long challenge to complete 30 Acts of Kindness, we knew we wanted to give back to local good causes through volunteering our time to make a difference.
Some of our Newark-based team saw the Children's Bereavement Centre's shout-out for help setting up their family Halloween festival, Scarefest, and jumped at the chance!
Ashleigh, Claire and Kev spent the day putting together the various stalls, moving hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins and building the spooky Scarefest doors you can see in the pictures!
The event, organised by the centre, saw over 2500 people attend and raised a huge £6,717.44. Despite the damp conditions, the event seemed to be a huge success.
Did you know that every 22 minutes in the UK a child is bereaved of a parent? The Newark centre offers a welcoming and safe haven to children and their families during such difficult and devasting times. 96% of their funding comes from the local community. Hence, events like these are essential for them to keep offering these valuable services to bereaved children and young people in Newark and Nottinghamshire.
13. FRIENDS OF MARKEATON PARK
Continuing our volunteering theme as we head towards the halfway point of our#30forThirtychallenge, Jeetinder from our Derby has been gardening with the 'Friends of Markeaton Park'.
Markeaton Park in Markeaton, Derby covers 207 acres and attracts one million visitors annually. Friends of Markeaton Park are a registered charity that provides educational activities and events and manages the walled gardens. Visitors can even buy some of the fresh fruit and vegetables grown in the garden!
The charity relies heavily on volunteers to maintain this historic outdoor space. Jeetinder was pleased to join them for the day to help with planting and weeding, learning more about how the park benefits the local community but also how the volunteers welcome the chance to learn new skills and meet new people whilst spending time in the great outdoors.
14. SPONSORS OF HOLLIE GREEN - NEWARK TOWN FC
We're proud to have sponsored Newark Town Ladies Football Club player, Hollie Green, for the 2022/2023 season.
The team, who play in Division Two of the Nottinghamshire Girls and Ladies Football League, got their season off to a great start, topping the table and scoring a whopping 42 goals in their first three matches alone! The players rely on sponsorship to fund their kit and other resources to support their training and participation in the league.
Best of luck for the rest of the season.
15. Christmas Shoeboxes
Most people that know Ambitions will know that our Directors, Mandy and Claire, are sisters. But you might not know that their Mum, Rita, still works in the business at the age of 88!
When Rita's church put out its annual appeal for Christmas shoeboxes filled with useful items, toys, and treats to go to children living in poverty in Eastern European countries, we knew we wanted to help make this their biggest collection yet!
Thanks to the generosity of our team, Rita and St Wilfrids Church in South Muskham were able to hand over a record number of shoeboxes to the Teams4U charity, which coordinates the distribution of shoeboxes in Europe over the Christmas period. Through the charity's work, deprived children in Ukraine, Romania, Bosnia, Moldova and Georgia can have a brighter Christmas.
16. Boston branch donate to LOCAL Food Pantry
Simon and Lee from our Boston branch decided to visit a local food pantry run by the Restore Church.
The pantry, run by Darren and Emma Fawcett, established in December 2020 in the midst of the COVID lockdowns - it's purpose is to provide affordable food to local people in Boston by dramatically reducing the cost of their weekly shop and providing a sense of dignity for those to choose to shop rather than be given food. Nearly two years on, they have over 100 regular visitors.
Lee and Simon were able to donate a trolley full of essential food items. The Restore Food Pantry are keen to raise awareness to help secure further funding and donations to keep this vital service running.
If you're able to help, contact us, and we'll pass on their contact details.
17. CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY
Over the last couple of days, we've taken part in two Christmas Jumper Days.
Any excuse to wear our favourite festive knits, we say! And when it's for two amazing causes, even better!
On Thursday 8th December, we raised £100 for the Children's Bereavement Centre in Newark, and on Friday 9th December, we fundraised for Save the Children UK, raising over £50.
Thanks to all of our teams who took part and donated - you're the best!
18. BAG PACKING FOR BEAUMOND HOUSE
December was a hectic month for our#30forThirtychallenge - with plenty of opportunities for us to spread a little joy during the festive season.
On Wednesday 21st December, Becky and Demie were on duty bag-packing for customers of the new Marks and Spencer Foodhall in Newark, raising funds for@Beaumond_housein the town.
Thanks to all of the volunteers in the run-up to Christmas and the generosity of shoppers, a substantial amount has been raised for the hospice. All funds raised will help Beaumond House continue to provide vital services to Newark and surrounding communities.
19. CHRISTMAS GIFTS TO HARVEST HOUSE
In our final festive good deed and our 19th in total (just 11 to go!), we had big plans to spend an afternoon at Lincoln-based nursing and residential home Harvest House, singing carols, dishing out presents and spreading cheer with the residents.
Sadly, due to a last-minute rise in COVID-19 infections, we were unable to go.
Instead, we had to do a doorstep drop-off with the presents - but we are told they did put a smile on the resident's faces before Christmas.
20. SPONSORING ZAINAB AND FATIMA
For our 20th act of kindness, we are proud to be sponsoring, on an ongoing basis, two children based in The Gambia through their education.
Newlife Children's Centre aims to provide education and a future for African children and has matched us with Zainab and Fatima - 9 and 8 years old, respectively.
We believe everyone should have access to education and the Newlife organisation facilitates over 13,000 children in the Gambia to attend full-time quality schooling.
21. VOLUNTEERING AT FAIRSTEAD COMMUNITY SHOP
Penny and Marie from our King’s Lynn branch spent some time volunteering at the Fairstead Community Shop based in the Fairstead Estate in King’s Lynn.
The not-for-profit shop is run full-time by Emma Brock (pictured with Marie), along with Pat (pictured with Penny) and many others who share the workload throughout the week.
They help the local community with affordable school uniforms and other goods, including ‘new mum’ packages which contain newborn clothes and ‘winter care’ packs for the elderly and vulnerable.
They rely heavily on donations and their volunteers – without them, the shop wouldn’t be able to open. If you’d like to find out more or support, you can find them on Facebook:
22. PAINTING FOR COMMUNITY VOLUNTARY SERVICES TENDRING
Charlie, April and Andreea from our Colchester branch have spent some time painting various woodwork items to be sold by the Community Voluntary Services in Tendring (CVST), with proceeds going towards the Kennedy Way community gardens at Medical Centre in Clacton on Sea.
CVST, who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, hold a unique position within the community - representing a number of local voluntary organisations, boards and committees as well as being a strategic partner to local councils, government and healthcare providers. As their strapline suggests, they bring unity to the community.
23. COLD WATER CHALLENGE FOR CANCER RESEARCH UK
Members of staff from our Lincoln office took on the month-long cold water challenge, organised by Cancer Research UK.
They agreed to brave cold water for at least 30 seconds every day in March - be it in the bath, shower or open water. Having successfully completed 30 days, they decided to end on a high by each taking a turn in an ice bath.
Some motivational music, deep breathing and six bags of ice later, THEY DID IT! Raising £270 for Cancer Research UK in the process!
24. SUPPORTING THE CHILDREN'S BEREAVEMENT CENTRE ON MOTHER'S DAY
Having been in Newark for over 25 years, we're aware of the great work that Children's Bereavement Centre (CBC) does for the community. When we were given the opportunity to support them with a very special Mother's Day project, we immediately knew we wanted to get involved.
Understanding it can be a very difficult time for some; the CBC hosted a Mother's Day workshop for children to decorate a pot and plant a rosemary plant to take home.
We were all too happy to donate the necessary resources to make this happen. This was a truly special act of kindness that was an honour to be involved with.
25. DONATING 30 EASTER EGGS TO KINGS MILL HOSPITAL
Just before Easter weekend, a team from our Mansfield office visited King's Mill Hospital to drop off thirty Easter Eggs at their community hub. The chocolate treats were gratefully received by the elderly patients currently on longer-term stays at the hospital, who are often overlooked when it comes to donations and gifts.
26. ASHLEIGH RUNS THE LONDON MARATHON FOR THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
Congratulations to Ashleigh, who completed the London Marathon in an amazing time of 03:43:55, raising over £2,500 for the Royal British Legion. Ash was cheered on by his family, including his two very proud daughters, Liberty and Honey. Well done, Ash - everyone at Ambitions is very proud of you too!
27. GERRARD VOLUNTEERS WITH GRANTHAM RIVERCARE
In April, Gerrard Grundy was pleased to spend some time out of his weekend voluneering with the Rivercare Grantham team by joining one of their organised litter picks.
The Rivercare Grantham team is part of a wider Keep Britain Tidy project, funded in this region by Anglian Water. This was their 123rd litter pick, where 34 volunteers spent their day cleaning along the river corridor and adjacent streets. They collected 70 bags of rubbish, 40% of which were discarded drinks containers but also included other 'treasures' such as a hammer, a shovel, an old FM radio and some 3D glasses! A growing issue is discarded 'vapes' with over 44 elements picked up and disposed of properly.
This group (and their associated groups in other local areas) do important and valuable work to protect and preserve these ecosystems and keep them nice for us all to enjoy. Check their Facebook page for details of how you can help and join in.
28. STORY SACKS FOR LITTLE MIRACLES
Little Miracles is a multi-award-winning registered charity, opening in Peterborough in 2013 after support from BBC Children in Need and the DIY SOS Big Build team saw the construction on the Spinney. From here they support families that have children with additional needs, disabilities and life-threatening conditions from birth to 25 years.
The team provide a non-judgemental environment where a holistic approach is used to support the needs of the whole family. They specialise in providing advice, guidance, support, activities, training and safe places to any family that has a child with an additional need, disability or life-limiting condition, including support before they are formally diagnosed.
James. Audra and Martyna from the Peterborough branch visited the site to hand deliver 30 books that will form a vital part of individual ‘sensory book bags’ – allowing parents to read the story and deliver a full sensory experience for their child – fans to represent wind, silk to represent water and so on.
29. PLANTING ALONG THE WITHAM / SLEA BLUE GREEN CORRIDOR
For our penultimate (eeek!) act of kindness, Caitlin and Nicola from our Grantham team spent the day volunteering with the Witham/Slea Blue Green Corridor Project.
The River Witham is one of the largest watercourses in Lincolnshire, but historical modifications have caused the river to become very uniform, which doesn't provide enough variety to support the diverse range of species which should naturally occur.
The project's scheme of improvements aims to restore some of these missing habitats including creation of a wildflower meadow, wetland and flushing meadow.
Caitlin and Nicola got to work planting in the river along the new berms, a variety of new plants have gone in - to provide a mix of vegetation and flowers.
We look forward to seeing how these ongoing improvements benefit the environment in the river and surrounding area.
30. NATIONAL THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE
One of the first challenges for #30forThirty that we set our sights on was the Yorkshire Three Peaks, with a view to ending our campaign with the National Three Peaks. And we're pleased to have done just that.
Ashleigh, Eryka, Gerrard and Susan were the brave team of four who agreed to take on the grueling task of tackling the highest points of England, Scotland and Wales; all in support of our chosen charity, Children with Cancer UK. Fitting in training walks around busy lives wasn't easy - especially when we're surrounded by the flat landscapes of Lincolnshire!
They absolutely smashed the challenge, finishing in 23 hours and 25 minutes - well before the 24 hour cut-off mark, meaning they're officially in the National Three Peaks Hall of Fame! And most importantly, have raised over a further £2,500 for Children with Cancer UK, on top of the £2,966 we raised doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks!