Printing Charity expands reach

By Rhys Handley, Monday 03 June 2019

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The Printing Charity has supported a third more people in 2018 compared with the previous year.

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From left: Lovell, Powell and Wright

Speaking at the charity’s AGM on Tuesday 21 May at the St Bride Foundation in London, chair Jon Wright said that 1,737 had been assisted by the organisation’s various schemes, 34% up on the 2017 figure.

Of those, 832 people had been helped by the charity’s education initiatives, including the 91 winners of last year’s Print Futures awards, while 197 people facing redundancy at 13 companies were given practical help to get back to work.

“One thing I am most proud of is our team,” said chief executive Neil Lovell. “An organisation like ours which communicates with people going through challenging times needs to have the right people and I am proud of what our team has done, and the training, skills and expertise they have taken on to do their jobs this past year."

The guest sepaker at this year's AGM was one of the 2018 Print Futures Award winners, Lauren Powell of Adare SEC, who spoke about why she chose an apprenticeship.

“With Print Futures, we provide the single largest awards programme for young people in the sector, presenting the diverse roles and skills in print that we do need to talk about. It is essential to shine that light and share those stories, which is getting increasingly possible as our alumni group is growing.

“Our mission in its simplest sense is to make people’s lives better and if we can come into work and have a day supporting people through challenging times, while celebrating those that are doing well, then that is a good day for us.”

Lovell said that plans for this year were likely to include an extension and development to the charity’s phoneline service, which feedback from beneficiaries indicated was one of the key services that the organisation provides.

A survey of beneficiaries which saw an 81% response rate saw 94% say the charity offers a good level of service, 87% felt happier about the future, 62% were able to go out more, 90% worry less about buying food and 87% worry less about using electricity and heating.

Lovell encouraged print companies and other members of the sector to engage with the Printing Charity on social media, to attend its various events including its annual luncheon and to invite to the charity to any events of their own that they run.

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