Southern Enterprise Awards 2020

83 | Southern Enterprise Awards 2020 The power of charity, and what people can do when they work together, has never been more obvious than over the last year. Many charities have made an extraordinary difference to the most vulnerable around the world. We take a closer look at Open Hearts, Open Borders (OHOB), a charity built on the premise of creating change, to see how they’ve managed to achieve such success in the Southern Enterprise Awards 2020. In 2015, as the refugee crisis first began to hit, OHOB started its first small aid project. In the last five years, the team has broadened its horizons significantly, becoming a crucial player in Devon and Cornwall when it comes to working with the community to find a compassionate solution to the challenges that those who are most vulnerable face. Those who have been affected by conflict, socio-economic status, circumstance or homelessness often find that there is no safety net to support them, and no easy way out of the challenging circumstances in which they have found themselves. Often, it falls to the community to help. Since 2015, the team at OHOB have created four projects, each carefully designed to bring about change that helps as many people as possible. These four projects are centred on - delivering Humanitarian Aid, supporting Resettlement and Social Inclusion, promoting Equality and Diversity through their Education Project ‘Rafi and Friends’ and as of 2020, their COVID-19 Project supports those who need it most within their community. The team have become regarded as experts in the field, and provide humanitarian aid relief for refugee and asylum seekers in Europe and support those who have settled in the UK. Since its inception, the team have been able to fundraise for the costs of 10 x 40ft containers of aid, and now ship humanitarian aid twice yearly to Greece, making an enormous difference to those who struggle most. The refugee aid work of OHOB is incredibly important to the charity, and the practical support that the OHOB team of volunteers can Poverty Relief Charity of the Year 2020 - South West England offer is invaluable to many. COVID-19 has created challenges for everyone, but for this already struggling group, it has been especially hard. For OHOB, the impact of COVID expanded the scope of their work. More people being affected has simply encouraged them to serve and support a wider community than before, utilising the intimate local knowledge that has been gathered to make a real difference. Being based in the South, and specifically the South-West, has allowed the team to create a strong network of support with other charity organisations. Even though they are not near the big hubs like London, the regional spirit allows the team to achieve truly astonishing things. At the heart of OHOB is a strong foundation of love and support and being part of the solution rather than fighting against it. With over sixty volunteers, unconditional giving and compassion to fellow human beings is a vital attribute of the team’s success. The volunteers bring an impressive range of different skills to the table that can be utilised to make a difference to the world at large. Over £110,000 has been raised since 2016, providing relief to thousands of men, women and children in the UK and Europe. As time goes on, the team explore opportunities through which they can promote their work and share their message of kindness and compassion. OHOB’s most recent project is based around a series of children’s storybooks about ‘Rafi the Refugee Rabbit’ and the adventures with his friends. The series of books and accompanying art-based workshops encourage a culture of inclusion and understanding and promote love, peace and compassion for others. Small charities can have a big impact, and what the team behind OHOB are doing is delivering an international reputation for themselves. From the beginnings of the aid project created in a front room in Plymouth, a team of people who wanted to deliver global change have now risen to provide an environment of excellence. Working together generates the biggest change, and more people than anyone could have realised, want to help. Company: Open Hearts Open Borders - OHOB Ltd Email: – Web Address: / Sep201094