These are just some of the projects that Sage Foundation is honoured to support:
In 2016, Sage’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Hare made a risky commitment.
He told people he’d do something he hated if they would sponsor him to do it – he would run. And not just a light jog every now and then – but a pledge to run 500 km. Not all at once, of course.
This was all to raise money for Cramlington Voluntary Youth Project (CVYP), a small charity that offers a range of opportunities to help young people in the North East of England. They provide safe and friendly services that meet the changing needs of young people of differing ages and abilities, working with around 250 young people every week.
Steve was very firmly Not a Runner, and a self-confessed spectator rather than participator when it came to sport. ‘Gym – sure. I’d even stretch to a misadventure with a wakeboard on holiday’ – but that was about it.
His family and friends weren’t sure about his plan. “I was confronted with a mixture of laughter and concern for my joints.”
The trick was to start slowly and not overdo it, mixing running and walking. It wasn’t always easy – especially in the winter months in the rain and the cold. The key was to remember why he was doing it. “Every time you want to find a reason to quit, you need to know why you are running. As people in business like to say – find your why.”
And before long, it wasn’t just Steve who was finding his why. What started as his own personal fundraising journey spread across the whole finance team at Sage, and now it has gone global.
To put 500 km into context, it’s about –
56 times the length of the Great Wall of China…
And 73 times the length of the Nile.
Now, Steve has set himself a new challenge – to take his total raised for CVYP up to £150,000 – helping Sage Foundation get closer to the ambitious $2 million target. The money raised will go towards helping the charity build a new recreation centre – providing the disadvantaged young people in the area with the opportunity to experience bike riding, camping, archery, sailing, water sports, heritage walks, and much more; usually for the first time.
One thing is for certain – Steve can’t say he’s not a runner anymore.
On Mandela Day in South Africa, the country’s citizens were asked to donate 67 minutes of time to give back to their communities. Sage employees took this call to action to heart, organising a volunteer day with Afrika Tikkun, a charity that works towards a future where today’s children and youth are tomorrow’s productive citizens. Sage employees dedicated the day to working with children in Diepsloot, an impoverished area north of Johannesburg. Diepsloot has a high youth unemployment rate, and is lacking in child development programmes. When combined with the socioeconomic status of the area, the residents there experience a breakdown in family structures and struggle to see a better future. In partnership with Afrika Tikkun, Sage employees bonded with the children through fun and educational activities.
“How do you measure the smile on a child’s face when they live in such abject poverty, and for one morning, we help them forget that?” said Joanne van der Walt, Sage Foundation Programme Manager for Africa. “I’m so pleased that we came together to experience the joy of volunteering and make a difference in the lives of these children.” Volunteers hosted a Career Readiness workshop, supporting Afrika Tikkun’s “cradle to career” model of support. During the workshop, employees from Sage spoke about managing a personal brand on social media, developing a winning CV and how to succeed in a job interview. In addition, Sage volunteers helped children aged 4-to 8-years-old decorate cupcakes with icing and candies, adding a sweet and creative aspect to the day. “We will definitely volunteer with Afrika Tikkun again,” said Joanne. “It was the perfect way to help those in need on Mandela Day, and our employees loved the experience of working with children.”