Member of the Week - Birchwood Highland
Established as a charity in 1987, Birchwood Highland supports people experiencing mental ill health. Employing over 120 people within Highland, and operating across the Inverness, Easter Ross, Lochaber and Caithness areas, Birchwood Highland supports people to build self-confidence and adopt lifestyles that improve their health and well-being.
Through housing support, care at home and tailored support packages to suit individuals’ needs, Birchwood Highland enables and empowers people to work towards achieving personal goals; promoting independence, inclusion and recovery.
Birchwood Highland also owns and operates Scotland’s first and only residential mental health Recovery Centre here in Inverness.
Mairi Macdonald, Fundraising and Communications Manager, spoke to Inverness Chamber about her role: “I’m responsible for Birchwood Highland’s fundraising, communications and marketing strategy – amongst other things! I’ve been working to try and raise the organisation’s profile locally as well as nationally, as well as looking to secure and obtain new opportunities for support and funding.
On a day-to-day basis, I’m responsible for Birchwood Highland’s fundraising events, engaging with stakeholders, and the general marketing and communications of the business, including: press releases; social media; website development; funding and award applications etc.”
Mairi shared with us why she would like Birchwood Highland to feature as member of the week: “Member of the Week is a great way to showcase Birchwood Highland’s vital work to a wider audience, as well as being able to promote our own events and service developments. Best of all – it’s inclusive of our Chamber membership!”
Birchwood Highland's annual Dinner with the Stars fundraising event will take place once again in 2018; with comedian, broadcaster and celebrity chef Hardeep Singh Kohli set to visit the Highland capital to cook and entertain food enthusiasts and supporters of the charity alike. Hosted by Birchwood Highland Ambassador and STV News’ Nicola McAlley, Dinner with the Stars will feature a number of fundraising elements, including a raffle, gala auction and silent auction.
Tickets £60pp and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Individual bookings and tables of 10 are welcomed. More info and tickets can be found here.
Birchwood Highland are excited to announce a new not-for-profit project, which will eventually operate as a social enterprise and help meet the increased demand for the organisation’s services in the Easter Ross area. The shop aims to sell high-quality pre-loved and second-hand goods, including: ladies, gents and children’s clothing; jewellery and accessories; small items of furniture and household goods; as well as some new and unused items. Read more about the shop here.
Mairi told us of Birchwood’s recent award wins: “We're thrilled to have received the award for ‘Best Third Sector Organisation’ at the Highland Business Women Awards last month – particularly as it is the third year running that we’ve received the award. The award recognises effective engagement with service users as well as sound planning, future sustainability and effective leadership of the organisation. It’s an incredible achievement to have received this award again and it is due to the contribution and vigorous efforts of everyone working and volunteering with Birchwood Highland."
Mairi shared what she values most about Chamber membership: “As a charity, the opportunity to engage with local businesses in terms of fundraising events and to secure support is invaluable. It’s also great to be able to take advantage of the marketing opportunities available through membership, with Member of the Week, social media and inbusiness to name but a few.”
Mairi’s top tip to maximise membership would be: “Engage, engage, engage! Keep in touch with the Chamber and its members and you will really feel the benefit. If you can’t attend networking events then take advantage of the marketing opportunities instead – they’re there to be utilised!”