A charity that helps children fleeing domestic violence has a rent-free new HQ thanks to a caring Birmingham company.

The Buddy Bag Foundation (www.buddybagfoundation.co.uk) now has an office space on Maybrook Road in Minworth, near Sutton Coldfield thanks to Graham Johnston, director of logistics firm The Haulage Group.

Founder and CEO of the foundation, Karen Williams OBE said: “We had been dreaming of a new space where we could base the charity. It was vital that the Buddy Bag Foundation had a place to call home, not only so we could have a dedicated space to pack our bags but so we could have storage and office facilities.”

Graham said: “Having heard about the amazing work the Buddy Bag Foundation is involved in, I knew I wanted to support the charity in any way that I could. It made perfect sense to me therefore to donate the space we had previously built as a training facility, in Minworth as due to Covid-19 it was no longer being used.”

 Karen Williams OBE and Graham Johnston from The Haulage Group outside the new HQ.

After visiting the premises, Karen said: “It is absolutely amazing, and provides credibility to our cause, allowing us to operate more efficiently, saving us time and increasing what we are able to offer as a charity. Not only this, but it will give us the opportunity to promote the Buddy Bag Foundation even further than what we ever thought possible!”

 As part of The Haulage Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which aims to boost self-improvement and contribute to goals of a charitable nature, the business has provided the new HQ to the foundation free of charge.

CSR is an integral way that businesses can go the extra mile for the communities around them. Businesses have now been empowered to make a real difference beyond what is required of them in their normal day to day work environment.  

To demonstrate how grateful everyone at the Buddy Bag Foundation is, Graham was awarded with the CSR of the year award at the recent Buddy Bag Foundation awards.

Karen said: “This gesture of good will is of special importance right now. At a time when businesses are having to cut back and think about their future, the donation that Graham has given us is a true testament to the kindness and generosity that can be found in Birmingham.

 “Previous to Graham’s donation, like most of us in the pandemic, we had been operating out of the spare bedroom, so having official premises is able to establish us as a more professional organisation.”

She added: “The flexibility it brings is a fundamental element to our success. The Women’s Refuge Centre will often have specific and unplanned requests for the Buddy Bag Foundation, so it makes it possible for us to provide further support for the children who need it most.

 “I believe the donation has a particular relevance in the current climate as Britain moves forward into the Christmas period and experiences the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a worrying increase in domestic violence cases, it makes our charity’s work and the generosity of the local businesses around us even more vital than before.”

For more information about the Buddy Bag Foundation visit www.buddybagfoundation.co.uk or call Karen Williams OBE on 07976 962986.