My name’s Fran and I’m lucky enough to run a small business called Perspective. In early 2015, Harlands Accountants introduced me to a lady called Jane … I was told I’d get on with her very well, and the rest is history!
So, of course Jane is the talented, devoted and lovely Mum of Henry, and founder of Henry Dancer Days (in Henry’s memory). When Jane and I met, I instantly knew that I liked her very much and that there was interesting stuff ahead!
At the time my office was in Consett and we had spare desk space, so Jane moved in, together with a photo of Henry that lived on her desk. Those of you who’ve worked in an office know what it’s like; heaps of hard work, a bit of banter, the usual natter about the soaps and food!
I read Jane’s book about Henry’s illness and found out she loved Maltesers. To quote Henry himself:
“I know they’re your favourite” (page 34, ‘348 Days’)
So I’d occasionally surprise Jane with a packet of Maltesers on her desk for her arrival. I lost one packet for about 3 months, but found them when I finally hoovered the corner under my desk. Jane thought that was hilarious!
Talking of soap operas, we had a talented young journalist on our team at the time (Francesca Boyle), who challenged Jane to consider blogging about a controversial storyline in ‘Coronation Street’ about a young child with cancer. The response to the blog and to the Charity’s social media was unbelievable and still remains a statistical record for Henry Dancer Days.
It became clear that, as online communicators and marketers, Perspective had to do more. We decided we wanted to help and that is why Henry Dancer Days are our charity of 2016.
For us, it goes further than that though. When Jane told me about the new Corporate programme, I wanted to know lots lots more (that’s the businessperson in me!). I knew I could help, so as well as raising awareness of the Charity as a whole, I donate time to focussing specifically on the Corporate side.
I’ve learned that, generally, people do want to do their ‘bit’ – as individuals or businesses. With Corporate sponsorship starting from £15 per month, that becomes very easy. If you go up to the next level of sponsorship, you even get free Ball tickets.
‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ is an important aspect of being in business – even more so these days. I suspected ‘CSR’ could be fun and, with the upcoming Wineathlon in the Autumn, I know it will be!
The Perspective team have evolved a bit and we have moved into the countryside. The office gang of 2015 (Francesca, Simon, Jane and myself) may have moved on but we all have fond recollections of the time we spent getting to know each other better – more importantly, getting to know Henry better.
Chocolate still plays a massive part in the relationship between Henry Dancer Days and Perspective. We met to talk Corporates and to eat chocolate cake yesterday….
I stared straight into Henry’s eyes as they twinkled back at me from the 6’ banner in Jane’s new office and said “I’ll write a blog for you this week” and promptly burst into tears.
Henry, you’ve done it again! You’d be so proud of your Mum, although we think you’d be constantly borrowing her car ;).
Fran Williams, Perspective