Story 14 - Blog

Paul's Story

Paul Cahalan is Head of Communications at the specialist engineering and environmental design consultancy chapmanbdsp. Paul and the chapmanbdsp team have been a major corporate partner of Look Ahead in recent years, and both sides hope to grow the partnership even further going forward.

We first started our relationship with Look Ahead two years ago when we chose them to be chapmanbdsp’s charity of the year. We like to partner with charities that share our values and we thought we were a good match.

I’m really happy that my colleagues and I have been able to support Look Ahead in a number of ways from fundraising to volunteering. We’ve hosted quite a few fundraising activities, such as quizzes and a special “Wear it Green day” for Mental Health Awareness Week. Our team members have also raised money for Look Ahead in other ways as well. Our Board Director Lucy Scott and a group of our staff took on the London Homeless Collective’s London Homeless Walk for Look Ahead. My colleagues Dave and George also walked the 100km Thames Path Challenge and raised a fantastic £1745.

It’s not just the fundraising that we enjoy either. Volunteering gives us a chance to really see the impact Look Ahead’s work has on their customers’ lives. It means that we get to be a part of that impact as well. Last December a colleague and I helped out at Look Ahead’s Customer Celebration Event, it was great fun. Most recently, we helped out with gardening and landscaping at one of Look Ahead’s services in Mile End, it was such a great day out for the team and I, but it’s even better knowing that we helped to improve a garden space for the customers to enjoy. Working with Look Ahead has allowed our staff to feel like their efforts are supporting people who are really in need.

Our experts in-house are also helping the charity by looking at psychologically informed design of new services. As well as raising money, we have been able to share our engineering expertise, allowing both us and Look Ahead to gain more from the partnership. In the future, we want to keep sharing more of our expertise across a range of specialisms to create better outcomes.

Partnerships like this remind us that anyone can have a social impact, no matter their professional background, and we look forward to continuing ours with Look Ahead in future.