Helping people – Sikhi Alpha – A charity destined to make a difference

Hi all,

Hopefully you have had a great summer and despite the UK weather managed to get out an enjoy it. The rain did pause for one day in mid-August just long enough for me to make an idiot of myself. Some of you might have seen the awful fund-raising video where I attempted to do “kick ups” using a cricket bat and ball (my lack of football skills preclude me from the more traditional method). This video was for a good cause though; to raise awareness and funds for a new charity, Sikhi Alpha.

The charity has been founded by a friend of mine. We first met back in 2005 when playing table football both continuing to do so for the last 12 year and have remained good friends. I often get asked to be involved with or donate to charities but like all of you I have limited time and money. Since setting up Futures Protected I have decided to try to do more for a few charities rather than just little bit for a lot of different ones. This will hopefully be a more effective use of my time and resources.

As a result, Futures Protected will be supporting two charities in 2017 and 2018. Below are the four reasons why Sikhi Alpha will be one of those charities.

– The charity is trying to help people help themselves and bring about long-term change, development and improvements. They are not simply throwing money at problems.

– They are running a series of campaigns so you are able to see if one in particular catches your imagination, and you can donate to just that fund.

– 100% of the funds raised go to the people that need it. The operational costs of the charity are funded by the board and founder.

– They are not about political posturing or point scoring. It is about helping people and is without self-interest; it is genuine altruism.

Below is an interview with the founder. Please make a donation if you can. If you are not in a position to help financially, you can help by spreading the word and supporting them on social media.

Interview 21/8/2017 Jujhar Singh and Ben Mason

Q – It is probably best that we start with a fairly open question. Can you tell us about your aim at ‘Sikhi Alpha’ and what you are hoping to achieve?

Sikhi Alpha focuses on one core theme: Inclusivity. Our mission is to end inequality and inequity worldwide by empowering people in local communities to raise themselves up. This starts by providing basic human survival needs, including safety and education, in a prejudice-free way. We believe that when such needs are met, individuals can instead focus on fulfilling their potential and bringing further innovation to the world. By sharing resources more appropriately, we can reduce structural and economic disparities. By removing exclusivity, we can initiate change and end generational cycles of persistent discrimination.

 

Q – There are an awful lot of charities asking for money these days but one thing that drew me to your work is that you are trying to help people help themselves, it is not just about handouts and money. Could you expand on that?

We feel it is important to empower individuals so that a positive change in their lives can be made sustainable. We look beyond money to analyse what is creating the disparity and how we can address it. In one case, a lack of adequate education or even free education robs millions of people their future. In another case, many communities live without protection, unnecessarily living troubled lives. Whether it is gender inequality or humanitarian emergencies, we differentiate our work by creating long-lasting changes. We also work hard, not to duplicate efforts already being made, however we do not shy away from supporting other organizations by using our global network and expertise as an advantage.

 

Q – The backpacks for schools is your first project/cause. Can you tell us a little more about that and perhaps shed some light on future projects?

Our Backpacks for School campaign is designed specifically for children from families with low income who simply cannot afford required school supplies. We know such an impediment can affect a person’s life, so we aim to motivate and inspire about the gift of learning and ensure life-changing education for thousands of school children. Being prepared for the classroom can influence learning beyond school grounds, and we know this can expose many others to know and think differently, from family to friends to many others in local communities.

Regarding future projects, we are currently working with four themes;

  • Fairness – tackling gender inequality (legal equality, and reducing harmful practices such as discrimination and sex trafficking).
  • Education – backpacks for school
  • Safety – supporting women and child who have suffered from domestic violence
  • Humanitarian Action – employing more aid workers and purchasing basic needs inventory for places such as Yemen, Central African Republic, Syrian refugees, Sudan, Somalia

 

Q – On your website it is mentioned a couple of times that every penny or dime raised goes to the projects, how important was that for you and how have you managed to achieve this?

Administrative and operating costs are often a necessity in running charitable work as volunteering can only go so far. However, we have been blessed by our board and private sponsors who front all of these costs, so that 100% of all donations flow through towards our causes. Giving one’s hard earned savings to others can be a difficult choice, so we feel it is important to use every penny to drive more impact.

 

Q – Lastly and most importantly now my readers all know more, how can people get involved in both fundraising, increasing awareness and future projects?

All of our global volunteers have been involved in charitable work in the past, but many felt they needed a platform to leverage more expertise and insight from others. This is one reason why we exist, however the level of our success still relies on them and the public. It is important to remember that anyone can make a difference for our mission, whether it is seeking donations, raising awareness or devising strategic initiatives. Following and sharing our pages only takes a few seconds, and we can use these important channels to provide updates on our research, current campaigns, and future ones. We can also use it to engage with people globally, efficiently reaching out to individuals and non-profit organisations.

You can find Sikhi Alpha’s social media links here… Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

If you would like to get involved or find out more then please visit the website or contact them through their social media and the team at Sikhi Alpha will gladly welcome you.

Lastly if I could ask you a favour, could you please share this blog with two friends? If all my readers did that it would be amazing.

 

Take care,

 

Ben Mason

Director – Futures Protected

0117 979 0118

Ben@futuresprotected.co.uk

 

Futures Protected Ltd and Pink Home Loans are not responsible for the content of any third-party website.

One solution for three significant problems lurking in your company’s blind spot.

As the director or owner of a business, there are concerns faced every day, week, month and year that are typical to many businesses. These include; managing employees, dealing with suppliers, cash flow management, increasing profits, client retention and servicing, winning business etc… the list goes on.

It is understood that most of these concerns can cause significant issues if they are not addressed. As they are standard business areas, they are on the radar for most companies so they are being addressed regularly, planned for, and hopefully mitigated.

However, planning for a problem that is not yet seen or understood is much harder. As boxers say, “It is the punch you don’t see coming that hurts you the most.”

Below is a fairly standard business scenario and the three problems in the blind spot that can cause a significant financial problem.

 

Typical Scenario

Today a business is operating in such a way that the directors and owners are relatively happy, they are sure the turnover is going to be within a few percent of ‘x’ and that as a result profits should be close to ‘y’. All this means that the business plan is working and the company is going in the right direction. At this point a company could be looking to grow, diversify, cement market share or simply breathe easy after a tough couple of years.

Now fast forward two weeks. One of the key people in that business has cancer (1 in 2 of us will*) and they are going to be away from the company for 12 months to have treatment, to rest and to recover. Others in the company will want them to take the time needed to recover but now the picture and situation in the company has changed and the owners and directors are faced with three potentially serious problems.

 

Problem 1 – Significant drop in turnover

It’s the nature of being a key person to the business they often hold a key function such as sales, client management, innovation, product design etc. People in those functions are working on new ideas, offering an existing service, or hold strong personal relationships with clients, some or all of which stays with that person who is no longer able to work.

Solution 1 – Key Person Turnover Cover

A business protection insurance policy is taken out to cover the potential turnover that could be lost by losing that key person/s. The policy is designed to pay out on death or critical illness.

 

Problem 2 – Paying for the same job twice

When a key person is unable to work, there is the obligation to pay them some, most or all of their salary while they are off. Add this to the cost of their replacement and potential recruitment fees and a company could be looking at paying out two salaries plus recruitment costs of 15-20%.

Solution 2 – Key Person Replacement Cover

By working out the two potential salaries (plus recruitment costs if applicable) a policy is put in place to cover these overheads in the event of losing a key person to death or critical illness.

 

Problem 3 – Borrowed money needs repaying and personal guarantees

Directors loans usually require prompt payment should they pass away, causing an added headache to a business at a difficult time.  Add to this that many commercial loans and overdrafts have a recall or reduction facility built in should key members of a business be lost due to illness or death.  Any loans or overdrafts that have a directors personal guarantee now puts the families in financial danger.

Solution 3 – Key Person Loan Cover

By looking at the financial products used by the company, any loan agreements, and any directors loan agreements, it is possible to calculate what cover is needed and structure these to reduce in line with repayment of loans/debts.

 

A report surveyed business owners and directors and asked how they could cope with the loss of a key person. The results found 55% of businesses would be unable to continue trading without significant financial assistance and 77% of businesses said profitability would be seriously impacted along with the long-term survival of the company.**

If you were asked that question on how you or your business would cope with the sudden loss of a key person (temporary or permanent), what would your thoughts be?

To find out more about Key Person cover please take a look at Business Protection Overview

If you would like to discuss your companies situation, look at the risk above and workout if you require any Key Person cover, please feel free to contact our Director and head of Business Protection Ben Mason.

 

0117 979 0118 – 07702 577 452

Ben@futuresprotected.co.uk

 

*http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/risk/lifetime-risk

**Scottish Widows Business Protection Report Sept-2013

Futures Protected Ltd and Pink Home Loans are not responsible for the content of any third-party website.