Sharon Edwards is not simply the Manager of Vendor Relations at ARI’s UK headquarters. As it turns out, she’s also ARI’s point person in some impressive charitable efforts across the pond.
When I met Sharon on a typically rainy March afternoon at her Chippenham offices, she told me that her branch of the ARI family has initiated a far-reaching charitable program with a network of their service vendors, Masterserve. Members of this system of service centers – garages, as they call themselves in the UK — help ARI manage their vehicle fleets. Late last fall, the ARI Masterserve network announced the launch of the Masterserve Foundation, the first charitable initiative created by a garage network in the UK.
The Foundation raises funds for charities operating in the two fields of Social Aid & Development, and Healthcare; the non-profits are nominated by members of the service network and approved by a committee of independent garage owners from Masterserve. Garages within the network contribute money to the Foundation, donating a percentage from every service job. For its part, ARI provides the Foundation with administrative and financial support, and also matches donations from member garages. Expectations are that the Foundation could raise £120,000 ($173,000) for charitable causes in its first year.
In the first quarter of operation, the effort garnered £14,426 ($20,770) for five local Wiltshire charities: Willow Wood Hospice, White Lodge Centre, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the County Air Ambulance, and the Little Laura charity. Additionally, each year the Foundation will support one national charity, contributions to which will accrue each quarter and be presented in the fall. This year the group selected the British Heart Foundation.
One of the local organizations had special meaning for the ARI UK team. Nominated by Client Relations Manager Kim Noble, Little Laura raises funds for children with disabilities; the non-profit was founded in memory of Kim’s granddaughter, tragically killed when she was just 20. In nominating the charity, Kim says, “[It] was established to carry on the work that Laura had started in her short life. She was training to be a teacher at a school for special needs children, Marshlands School in Stafford, and she also was a volunteer at the local Riding for the Disabled centre.” Kim was delighted that the Foundation awarded £1442.60 ($2,077) to Little Laura.
So as you consider the wide range of charitable work that our companies tackle, remember that effort goes wherever Holman does business. Sharon Edwards, her Masterserve Foundation team, and ARI UK have made sure of that.