Member Article

£10k donation allows start-up to hire first paid member of staff

A new third sector start-up has been able to recruit its first non-voluntary member of staff following a donation of £10,000 from wealth management company Equilibrium.

hullo, formerly known as chit-chat, was founded in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a safe, inclusive and welcoming space for people to have conversation, adopting a proactive approach to tackling isolation and promoting positive mental wellbeing.

Its team of volunteers oversee its phone lines from 9am until 9pm daily, ready to chat to anyone that reaches out. Now, following a £10,000 donation from Equilibrium Financial Planning, it has been able to hire its first fully paid member of staff.

Despite being set up in early April, hullo received 375 applications for the role of head of operations, and after 20 interviews took place, a successful candidate has now been appointed.

Lewis Alexander Baxter, the organisation’s founder, said: “After speaking with Equilibrium’s founder, Colin Lawson, it was immediately clear that philanthropy and supporting the community is a huge part of their company’s ethos.

“As one of our first corporate partners, we’re thrilled to be on this journey with Equilibrium and excited to see the positive difference we can make nationwide.”

Abi Moffat, hullo’s newly-appointed head of operations, added: “I feel incredibly lucky to be working alongside such an enthusiastic team that’s doing such important work. We’ve got lots of exciting plans on the horizon, as we develop our core services and engage with more people.”

The donation marks the start of a corporate partnership between Equilibrium and hullo.

Colin Lawson explained, “We take giving back and supporting charities very seriously, and as soon as Lewis and I had our initial conversation, it felt as though there was a natural alignment between our two organisations.

“We couldn’t be happier to have helped hullo reach this major milestone – I have absolute faith that they’ll go on to do great things and enact some very positive change across the UK.

“They’re a great team and we’re looking forward to supporting them as they continue to grow.”

The donation was made by the Equilibrium Foundation which, since its inception in 2010, has donated over £440,000 to charities and organisations in need.

Its target is to donate £4m by 2028, set by Colin after it became clear it would easily surpass its original target of £1m ahead of schedule.

Nearly half of the company’s employees are subscribed to its “Give As You Earn” scheme, which allows team members to contribute towards the corporate target. In addition, Equilibrium’s community support scheme gives regular grants to charities, families and organisations across Greater Manchester, Chester and Cheshire East.

“Helping our clients manage their finances effectively is what we do,” added Colin. “But making people’s lives better is our true purpose. We’ve donated over £60,000 during the crucial COVID-19 months, after having appointed a philanthropy adviser to help ensure our donations were going to charities that were suffering most through the crisis.

“Now, as we begin to emerge out the other side, we have no intention of slowing down – we’re committed to running with this momentum, ensuring that we’re acting in line with our belief that companies should ‘do business better’ for their staff and communities.”

Founded in 1995, Equilibrium is headquartered in Cheshire and manages close to £1bn of assets for over 1,000 families.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Emily Hallinan .

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