Paws for a Great Cause

Preparations for our 25th anniversary are underway!   A significant part of this is raising money for the injured service personnel charity, Fisher House, and a target of £200,000 has been set.  To help us along the way we have recruited four cuddly avatars.  Well, not so much recruited – as created!  Here’s the story of the – not three, but four bears.

The training team thought that every charity event needs a mascot, so they came up with the idea of making four bears that represent the four SWS Group company directors; Andy Sweeney, Neil Yorke, Martin Recci and Mike Cooper.  Once created they would be ‘tasked’ with travelling far and wide across the SWS organisation, having adventures along the way and helping with raising the all-essential cash.  Clearly they don’t have real human features and capabilities so your creativity and help will be required to assist with their individual journeys.  First stop – Build-A-Bear Workshop.  Yes – we didn’t make it up - it really exists!

The dextrous volunteers tasked with the responsibility of creating the cuddly-incarnate lookalikes were TBC’s Kinny Rock and Kanez Khan.  
“I could barely wait to get my bear hands to work,” said Kinny. “It was great fun being able to make your own director bear, let alone four of them!  I didn’t have time to paws for thought and could barely pull myself away from the task. I hope they like them, I wouldn’t want them to be overbearing or a bugbear,” she added.
Now here are the rules.  All branches will get the chance to look after at least one of the bears for up to a week.   None of the bears can go back to a location they have previously visited.  It is up to you to choose where the bear goes next – please contact the relevant branch and arrange for transportation - the bears cannot be sent in the post in case they experience unbearable travel sickness!  Every location that receives the bear must send at least one photo and a brief description of the bear’s adventures!
Feel free to take your bear outside of your branch, perhaps to the shops, up a mountain or even to a teddy bears picnic! The choice is yours.  The bears’ journeys will be tracked and plotted online for everyone to see and pictures will be posted on Facebook and Twitter.  Make sure you take lots of pictures of the bears and their exploits and send them to along with a short description (50 words maximum).  

It’s down to you to create ideas for using the bears to raise money.   Whilst at your branch, the bears will have a donation box with them.   A donation page will allow us to track how much each location has raised.  The running totals will also be published on the SWS website.  Before the bears are moved to the next location, please empty the donation box, calculate the proceeds and add to the Just Giving page.  There will be a prize for the branch that takes a bear on the most memorable (for the right reasons!) journey. 

Please take care of the four bears as they will be auctioned off to good homes at the 25th Anniversary party.  Good luck and have some brilliant fun for a great cause.