You may not yet have heard of the charity Wipe Your Tears, members of the BforB Manchester Airport network know only too well how much it does for disadvantaged and terminally ill children in the local community.
The children’s charity was started in 2004 in the Northwest of England, and is committed to assisting in the financial support and care of seriously and terminally ill children and their loved ones, and working alongside children involved in domestic violence situations in the North West. Through fundraising and events, it hopes to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and offer support to their families during difficult times. It grants last wishes, offers respite care, funds vital pieces of medical equipment and offers financial assistance when no one else can help. How did members of BforB’s Manchester Airport referral network become involved with and help the charity? Well, the person best placed to answer that is Wendy Hutchins, trustee of Wipe Your Tears.
How has the BforB Manchester Airport group helped Wipe Your Tears?
“On my second visit to the group I took a place next to a visitor, Amanda Ball of AD SPRINKLERS who I recognised from a networking event back in 2013, and we spoke briefly. At the meeting I had been given the 10 minute spotlight presentation. During the break Amanda explained to me and Andy Goddard [of Pia Financial services] that this particular group was not for her due to the sectors which were attending.”
“However, after my spotlight, Amanda approached me and said she would like to sponsor one of the projects I had spoken about – ‘Project Cuddle Bags.’ The aim of the project was to provide children involved in domestic violence situations a little bit of comfort at a sad and dark time in their lives: times when they have had to flee from all that they were familiar with to somewhere strange with only what they have on their backs. Amanda very kindly donated £6000 which gave the WYT charity enough funding for our first 100 bags. To say we were thrilled was an understatement.”
“At Christmas, Wipe Your Tears has a Christmas Toy Appeal. This is an appeal where we aim for every child to be able to open a toy on Christmas Day and have the same sort of excitement and joy which most of us at times take for granted. We visit terminally ill children in hospices, hospitals and refuges and are proud to be handing out a smile these amazing children who would otherwise not have managed.”
“Andy Goddard very kindly approached The Toy Project UK on our behalf and donated £220 worth of baby toys of which we really struggled sourcing.
How useful has BforB been for the Wipe Your Tears charity?
“Without referrals and recommendations, and people finding out about who we are and what we do, WYT would not exist. So we are constantly in touch with people helping them be aware of the fact we exist.”
What makes the BforB network so appealing?
The setup of B for B is relaxed and the ethos of ‘Know Like and Trust is fantastic. The meetings are structured with a clear definition of what needs to be done for a group to move forward and grow. Without the fortnightly BforB meetings business would not be exchanged and contacts would not be made.”
What advice would you give to other businesses who are thinking about joining the BforB network?
“Please attend meetings, and bring a guest with you whenever possible. Follow each meeting up with a thank you to everyone. Contact new members and introduce yourself. Once you’ve been introduced stay in touch. Contact other members who you didn’t manage to speak to at the meetings, and get to know them away from the group. Hold on to the contacts you’ve got to know and be there to give and not just take.”
Nothing breaks a heart like watching a child suffer, but nothing warms the heart more than the laughter of a happy child. Wipe Your Tears aims to hand out smiles and is hoping you can help it do that. To find out more about the charity, make a donation or get involved in some of our upcoming events, please visit www.wipeyourtears.org.uk