Passion Digital’s Partner Charities: Community TechAid, Baytree, FBB and Platform Cafe

Faith Lydon 06/09/2022 7 minutes

Yesterday was International Charity Day, all about celebrating the amazing work that nonprofits do so what better time to introduce our four incredible partner charities. Read on for some truly inspirational content. 

At Passion, charity work has always been at the forefront of our minds. Our affiliation with charities is part of our history, from when we first blossomed from the Passionfruit tree 10 years ago.

At that point, all our clients were charities, and we helped utilise Google Ads Grants. As we’ve worked with charitable foundations since our birth, it makes sense that charity forms part of who we are as a company, shaping our ethos and our values. So this year, as we’ve been welcomed into Brixton, we made a promise to ourselves – to give back to the community we call home. After all, caring is one of our values and we always want to show rather than tell.

In November we had our ‘Company Away Day’ (which you can see more of in our swanky video) where each of our four partner charities — Community TechAid, The Baytree Centre, Football Beyond Borders (FBB) and Platform Cafe — gave presentations. As a collective, we were blown away and deeply moved by the work that they do. Since then, we have supported these four, both digitally and beyond, and have loved every second of it, but it’s them, really, who do all the hard work. Here, we’ll go through each of the charities and explain exactly what they do for the Brixton community.

Football Beyond Borders

Another of our partner charities who we first were introduced to at our Away Day is Football Beyond Borders (FBB). FBB is an education and social inclusion charity that combines young people’s love of football with educational opportunities. It exists to support youths who may find it difficult to fulfil their potential in school, providing a safe and exciting environment for them to thrive. FBB has partnerships with schools all over London, Kent, Essex, Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. They provide support both in and out of lessons, through activities, learning modules and, of course, football.

Source: Football Beyond Borders 

In a London university room in 2011, a football captain asked his teammates to embark on a football tour with a difference. From this trip, co-founders Jasper Kain and Jack Reynolds became committed to using football as a vehicle for change and, since then, Football Beyond Borders has grown to support over 2000 young people.

In February, a group of us went to their annual showcase at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. We were quite starstruck by the event, which featured a powerful mix of personal stories, interviews, a eulogy and speeches, underscored by seamless video montages and a grassroots soundtrack. It was an inspirational and deeply moving evening, which brought home the importance of this charity and the work they do. If you want to hear more about the evening, our blog post gives the full lowdown.

Throughout 2022, we have enjoyed diving into FBB’s digital marketing activity. A few of our PPC team set up a campaign designed for recruitment, bringing exposure and awareness for FBB and helping with hiring. We can’t wait to support FBB as their journey continues, to see what other magic they have in store. 

“Working with Passion Digital has been incredible. From the moment we connected in November 2021, it’s been apparent that Passion genuinely cares about making a positive impact in the community. This is true for all levels of the organisation, and it’s been a pleasure to get to know the company.”

The Football Beyond Borders team

Community TechAid

Community TechAid (CTA) is a charity that is fighting to break the digital divide faced in the communities of south London. Their mission is to bridge the gap and enable digital inclusion; giving access to technology, connectivity and knowledge to all. 

Source: Community TechAid 

The tech wizards collect donated laptops, tablets and smartphones, wipe the data, refurbish them and give them back to the community. By partnering with local organisations, CTA is able to identify those most in need through a referral system and help those individuals with the latest technology. By doing this, it’s diverting e-waste (we have a whole article about our ‘data footprint’ if you fancy a read) and also helping to create more sustainable solutions.

Community TechAid was founded in 2020 by a group of volunteers and started with a one-person call-out on social media. Since then, the team has worked with over 190 organisations ranging from schools, refugee groups, food banks, mental health support services and those with disabilities. They are continuing to grow and develop and have now started Device Quickstart sessions with its beneficiaries – helping to support them with their digital skills.

Source: Community TechAid 

At Passion, we have helped with our digital skills by setting up their Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts. From this, our Paid Media team created a performance PPC report to check in on how Community TechAid is doing. We have also donated 19 pieces of old tech so far, with donations coming from across our Passionistas. We can’t wait to see how this young charity grows and develops, and are excited to be on this journey with it.

“Working with a partner that is local to us in Lambeth is hugely rewarding and means that the team at Passion Digital really understands the communities that we are supporting. We are thrilled to continue working together and are already excited about future projects.”

The Community TechAid team

Baytree Centre for Women and Girls 

The Baytree Centre is located in the heart of Brixton, just a stone’s throw from our office, and is a social inclusion charity for women and girls. Volunteers there provide support through personal development activities, workshops, mentoring and coaching, as well as English classes and integration support for newly arrived migrants and refugees. Its ‘Character Development Programme’ informs the work for women of every age and background. The purpose of this work is to help break down the socio-economic and linguistic barriers that face these women and girls, enabling them to navigate their environment and lives.

The centre was established in 1991 when, in the aftermath of the Brixton riots, local women went to a priest for support to set up a local centre. Thus, a derelict warehouse on 300 Brixton Road became Baytree and, over the years, has developed into a thriving multi-faceted centre that is not just important, but integral to the local community.

This was brought home to us when, in December, a few of us Passionistas had the chance to go and visit Baytree. We met the staff, were shown the different classrooms and told what takes place in each space. Hearing the stories of the staff and the women they help every day was both inspiring and humbling. We left feeling emotional and immensely grateful that organisations like Baytree exist and continue to do such incredible work. 

Source: The Baytree Centre 

Since then, our relationship with Baytree has grown. One of the girls is being mentored in digital marketing by one of our Passionistas and our UX department has redesigned the volunteer section on their website. This has enabled a smoother user experience for those planning to volunteer, and will hopefully encourage more to do so. 

“Passion Digital has provided an immense amount of support with our digital strategy. Together we have worked on improving our website and social platforms. They have provided an ‘insight into digital marketing workshop’ for the girls, which we really appreciate as some of the girls were able to learn more about agency life and network with the departments they were interested in.”

The team at the Baytree Centre

Donate to both the Baytree Centre and Community TechAid via Passion Digital’s fundraiser.

The Platform Cafe

Nestled down the road from Passion HQ is The Platform Cafe; a community kitchen and event space in Loughborough Junction. This little oasis provides healthy, hot and nutritious meals for anyone in the community who may need them. Its aim is to create a safe space for people to connect through food and bring nutrition to the heart of the community. Currently, the cafe is undergoing refurbishment but is set to reopen this month to welcome the new era. 

Source: Platform Cafe

Many of the dishes are wonderfully diverse, and celebrate the rich cultural variation of the surrounding area. Prior to the pandemic, volunteers ran activities such as a guest chef programme for local cooks wanting to showcase their food and gain experience working in a commercial kitchen. This project will continue after its refurbishment, set to be finished in the coming months. The ingredients from these dishes are often sourced from the seasonal produce grown in Loughborough Farm across the road. A sister to the cafe, Loughborough Farm is a community growing project that offers routes to employment and DIY gardening sessions.

Source: The Platform Cafe

The cafe started out as a two-week pop-up and, by the end of the fortnight, had queues outside the door. Since then, the owners have worked hard on making the cafe a household name in the local area. Platform Cafe now has big plans around training and development and wants the farm, in particular, to become a route into employment for those in the local community. 

In May, a few of us went to visit both Platform Cafe and Loughborough Farm. We got to peek at the new cafe and were taken around the green sanctuary of the farm. We discussed Passion’s future with the cafe, and are set to work on some Content and Insight & Strategy projects for them soon. Watch this space!

There we have it, a whistle-stop tour of our partner charities. As much as we can try and sum up the work they do, we can’t ever really describe the importance of these charities and the impact they have on the local area. Lambeth is one of the more deprived boroughs in London, and it is through these charities’ continued hard work that the local community can have the lifestyles enjoyed around other parts of the capital. We feel immensely proud to work with these four charities and can’t wait to see what they have in store next. 

If you’d like to donate to our partner charities, we’re holding a fundraiser to raise £10,000 for our partner charities. That’s £1,000 for every year Passion Digital has been around! Donations are accepted on our JustGiving page.