Fundraising mum Alison Parr says the help and support she has received from her local Business Doctors franchisee has been invaluable in setting up Ruby’s Fund, a new children’s charity in Cheshire.
The fund sets out to address the lack of practical and social support and multi-sensory services for children and young people with additional needs and their families in the area. The idea came after Alison’s daughter Ruby, 5, was born with a rare chromosome disorder that resulted in severe developmental delay and epilepsy.
Alison was dismayed to discover that there were few facilities for children like Ruby, so got together with friends to do something about it. They decided to establish Ruby’s Fund and set a target to raise £250,000 for a multi-sensory facility.
Thanks to the Cheshire Skillshare scheme, Alison was matched up with Kevin Cook, franchisee for Business Doctors in Cheshire, and the pair have since worked together to progress the initiative.
“I was a nurse and mum of three so had little idea of how to go about setting up a charity,” said Alison. “Things like sourcing premises, seeking planning permission and becoming an incorporated charity.
“We also had to write a business plan and didn’t know where to start. How could we possibly predict how many people would be coming through the doors in five years time?
“However, Kevin has been fabulous, guiding us along the process with loads of help and support. He is always at the end of the phone and I think Skillshare is a fantastic idea.”
Kevin said: “One of my areas of expertise is property and lease acquisition so I was able to provide lots of support to Alison in her search for premises. We were also able to work together to develop a clear strategy for the future and I assisted Alison in working on her business plan.
“It is terrific to be able to give my time to a charitable cause and help them by doing something that I am good at. It is extremely fulfilling to see Ruby’s Fund grow and develop and I hope to provide continuing support to Alison.”
Business Doctors was founded by Matthew Levington and Rod Davies in 2004, and began franchising in 2008. Recent investment into a new website has followed a doubling in size of the network over the last 12 months, with the business coaching industry experiencing strong growth that looks set to continue under the current entrepreneurial trends in the UK.