Using a wide range of techniques, our talented Craft Club have created a fantastic Great British Craftography Map, and we’re putting it up for auction to raise money for Solent Mind, our corporate charity. The crafty individuals recreated the Ordnance Survey National Grid into a 2.2m by 1.2m wall hanging. And you can now bid for the unique, mappy piece of art in an online charity auction.
We’re at Solent Mind‘s Eastleigh Wellbeing Centre today to officially open their newly-refurbished training room, with our CEO Nigel Clifford and Solent Mind CEO Kevin Gardner on hand to cut the ribbon. A fantastic team of OS volunteers had donned their decorating overalls to transform the once dull room into a clean, energising environment which can now be used by staff, volunteers, and service users.
As part of the makeover our team not only decorated the room but helped install new blinds, carpet, furniture, storage and artwork including a creative finger print painting from OS staff. The room wouldn’t have been complete without a map, so one of the final touches came when the team hung an OS Custom Made map canvas centred on the building.
We launched The Great British Colouring Map with our publishers Laurence King last week and have been thrilled with all of the lovely things you’ve been saying about it. As well as being beautiful to look at (we would say that), the #GBColouringMap can actually have health benefits, as colouring has strong links to mindfulness.
Our corporate charity, Solent Mind, run regular art therapy sessions at their wellbeing centres. Users of their service can draw, paint, colour and tap into the relaxation benefits. Neil Wilson at Solent Mind said:
Colouring is a simple and effective way to calm the mind and occupy the hands – it’s a wonderful option for creating a state of peace. This gentle activity where you choose the colours and take your own time to create your picture, can help focus the mind on the present, and promote wellbeing, blocking out negative thoughts.
Former Southampton FC legend Francis Benali is now over half-way through his amazing challenge to visit all 44 Premier League and Championship grounds in 14 days. As you read this he will have visited 26 stadiums and covered 800 gruelling miles all in aid of raising £1 million for Cancer Research UK.
Each year everyone at OS has the chance to nominate, and then vote for, a corporate charity which the organisation then supports for the next 12 months. This year we selected Solent Mind, local to our Southampton head office, as the corporate charity, and fundraising is already underway. In addition, our regional field teams can nominate and support a charity local to them. Each of us also has the opportunity to take a volunteer day, to support our corporate charity, or any other charity of our choice.
This year, we’ve already seen a wide range of activities as teams and individuals get involved in fundraising activities, or taking their volunteer days to give something back to local communities. Take a look at some of the recent activities:
Last month a team of 10 Scottish Region surveyors cycled from Bowling to Grangemouth, 35 miles, along the Forth Clyde Canal towpath. The team were fundraising for Scottish Mountain Rescue and Cancer Research UK.
Each year everyone at Ordnance Survey has the chance to nominate, and vote for the corporate charity to support and put all of our fund-raising efforts into. This year we are supporting Southampton Women’s Aid a charity which provides help and assistance to families affected by domestic abuse. We carry out a range of fund-raising activities each year – from cake sales to football tournaments and much more in between.
On the weekend of 26–27 July a team of five, which included four Ordnance Survey runners – Matt White, Viv Alexander, Matt Pillinger and James Clarke – plus James’ wife Vicki, took part in the Adidas Thunder Run 24-hour relay race to raise money for Southampton Women’s Aid. Also with us was ‘team manager’ Dennis Alexander who was to play an invaluable role in keeping us organised and healthy in mind and body over the weekend! The race starts at 12 noon on Saturday and continues through the night with each of the team running 10km laps in turn for 24 hours or until we dropped!
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, we joined 3,000 others in tackling the London 2 Brighton Challenge. We’d heard that it would be gruelling, but we fancied a challenge and a chance to try out our new Event maps. After leaving home at 5am to get to the start point in Richmond, we set off on our 56km challenge at 8am.
The first 10km or so was lovely. We walked beside the Thames and enjoyed the scenery, including canal boats, canoeists, and houses on the waterfront. It was so lively that the time flew by.
Each year our staff vote for a corporate charity to support and put all of our fund-raising efforts into. This year, since April, we’re supporting Southampton Women’s Aid, and for the previous 12 months we were supporting the local Solent Region branch of the RNLI, raising £7,734.90 over the course of the year.
As an organisation, we sponsor the charity MapAction. they provide mapping support in the aftermath of disasters where thousands of people can suddenly find themselves battling to save lives and livliehoods. Before aid agencies can help them, the first requirement is information. Which areas have yet to be reached? Where are the relief resources? Where are the people in greatest need?
MapAction delivers this vital information in mapped form, from data gathered at the disaster scene. Creating a ‘shared operational picture’ is crucial for making informed decisions and delivering aid to the right place, quickly.
Ordnance Survey support the charity, both with funding and occasionally with personnel. Recently our colleague Chris Phillips has been in Sudan to help provide mapping and information management services following the impact of the serious flooding in the country.Heavy rain and flash floods in several areas of Sudan had affected up to 530,000 people. Between 15,000 and 18,000 houses had been destroyed, with Khartoum being the most-affected state.
Each year everyone at Ordnance Survey has the chance to nominate, and then vote for, the corporate charity we will support for the next 12 months. This year, starting in April, we chose the RNLI and our fundraising efforts until next March will support the local lifeboat stations in the Solent region; Calshot, Lymington and Cowes. From cake sales to charity screenings of films in our Business Centre to taking part in 10 k races, we’re channelling all fundraising efforts towards the RNLI.
As well as the events, we’re also encouraged by Ordnance Survey to use our volunteer day. This can be used to support the corporate charity each year or to help local or national charities of your choice. One of our colleagues, Jules, volunteered at Cowes RNLI Lifeboat Station and tells us about her experience.
I arrived on the Isle of Wight, bright and early, for my volunteer day at the Cowes RNLI Lifeboat Station, which was open to the public for the day. With Cowes Week in full swing, the picturesque town was a hive of activity. The week of the regatta is the busiest time of year for Cowes RNLI, who are ready and waiting to spring into action should an emergency occur at sea.