Superhero stories part two: Colleagues on a personal journey
Looking back over the past year, there have been countless examples of selflessness and heroism that have inspired us throughout the global pandemic.
In part two of our superhero stories we caught up with some more of Barclaycard Payments colleagues who have gone out of their way to support those around them, either by volunteering in their local community, or fundraising for charities. These are just some our everyday ‘heroes’ who wanted to share their story.
Jai Gohil: Volunteering for the NHS and marathon running
Jai Gohil is Digital Content Delivery Lead in the Marketing team at Barclaycard Payments. One way he wanted to give back to his local community was by becoming a steward volunteer to help the COVID-19 vaccinations rollout, by either supporting people on site arriving for vaccinations, or as a ‘Check-in and Chat’ volunteer who offers a friendly voice on the phone for anyone who may be suffering from loneliness during the pandemic.
“So far I have completed six shifts, totalling 36 hours as a steward volunteer, and I have put myself down for every Saturday I can do going forward. I started ‘Check-in and chat’ just over six months ago. Both experiences have been very humbling, and I’m thankful I am able to give something back,” said Jai.
Jai’s charitable efforts don’t stop there, and he’s also earned a place in the London Marathon this October through Crohn's and Colitis UK after several years of trying. Jai, who has Crohn’s disease himself, said: “I am very thankful to get a place in the iconic race through the charity which is close to my heart and I hope my fundraising efforts will raise awareness to the charity. I’ll admit I’m not a much of a runner, so the 26.2 miles around the UK capital will be a test for me.”
Jane Jones: Fundraising for the Armed Forces
Jane Jones is a Barclaycard Payments Relationship Manager who has been actively fundraising for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), a UK Armed Forces charity that provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents.
Alongside her husband, who has just completed 23 years in the army, they have set themselves a personal goal it to raise £10,000 for the charity. This fundraising challenge began two months ago mostly led by selling raffle tickets via social media to win cash prizes with the winners being announced on ‘Flash Fridays’ for the live draw.
SSAFA is close to their hearts as the family suffered a personal tragedy after Jane’s husband lost his two year old son over nine years ago; he sadly went to sleep and never woke up. SSAFA were a massive support to the family during this time and continue to be. “We are hoping that our donations will support military families in some way, either as transport to medical appointments, or help to keep their gardens tidy, or to support with mental health problems including depression, anxiety and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” said Jane.
So far we have given away £2,100 in prize draw money, and we’ve raised £590 through our fundraising.”
Gulgun Mammadli: 42k step challenge for bowel cancer
Did you know that each year 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK? It’s the second largest cause of cancer death. Gulgun Mammadi, Commercial Strategy Manager, Barclaycard Payments partnered with Bowel Research UK and Gut Stuff, a UK charity who aim to empower gut health in everyone, to raise awareness of the 42k Step Challenge in November 2020.
“I am proud to be part of the team of colleagues at Barclays that helped raise £4,486 for Bowel Research UK. They did this by taking part in the six week 42k Step Challenge either running, walking, jogging at their own pace,” said Gulgun.
“We also partnered with Gut Stuff, who gave up their time to talk to our colleagues about digestive health, and why exercise is good for our gut. This is helping to raise awareness of this dangerous and silent disease, and the importance of doing exercise which can help combat it,” Gulgun explained.
Thank you to Jai, Jane and Gulgun for sharing their stories. They are certainly not alone when it comes to volunteering for good causes - whether you’ve recently entered into a challenge, made a charity donation, or helped a neighbour in your community, you are making a heroic difference. We’ll be connecting with more colleagues in the final part of superhero stories coming soon.