Stories of our impact

Gifts do grow on trees

For some, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, getting together with loved ones, sipping hot chocolate and opening presents. For others, it means spending the holidays looking after someone struggling with illness, disability or addiction; someone who can’t cope without their support.

Nick Allen, a senior manager in our Audit & Risk Advisory business, wanted to make a difference for unpaid carers – a group of people who, all too often, can be overlooked.

Loading a tree with gifts

“For Christmas 2016, I decided to organise a ‘giving tree’ in support of one of our charity relationships, Carers Trust. I wanted to get colleagues involved with our social impact strategy and give them the opportunity to give a meaningful gift. Over 200 carers at the charity chose a gift they wanted for Christmas and wrote their own gift tag. After placing the tags on a Christmas tree, I recruited volunteers from Deloitte’s Working Families Network to take the tree on a tour around our London offices, inviting colleagues to browse the tags and choose one that most resonated with them.

It was the personal touch that really made the difference. Rather than donating cash anonymously, our people bought, wrapped and labelled gifts for individual recipients, ranging from comfy slippers and cinema tickets to music they could share with the person they were caring for.”

Delivering 200 smiles

“Just before Christmas, I had the pleasure of personally delivering over 200 gifts to two different carer centres, where the teams were surprised by the array of individually wrapped presents. There were tears when gifts were collected – for one young carer, our giving tree gift was the only present she received at Christmas other than a food bank parcel.

The combined value of the gifts was around £5,000, but for me the real value was creating over 200 smiles at Christmas.”

Sarah Mitchell, Chief Executive of Carers Network – the charity supported by Carers Trust – said: “Unpaid carers don’t get time off at Christmas, and get little chance to think about treating themselves. But this Christmas more than 200 Deloitte employees gave a thoughtful and personalised gift to local carers. This was such a kind and generous initiative and we’re hugely grateful to all at Deloitte for making this happen.”