Over the years at TUAid, we’ve helped create some of the most successful collaborations I’ve ever seen. Probably some of the examples demonstrate better than any explanation I could give. Often when a big opportunity comes along for a charity, such as the chance to occupy rent-free premises in the perfect location, it may seem too much to take on.

For example, a former department store, such as Debenhams in Woking, Surrey. On this face of it – Wow! You could not wish for a better prime location in the heart of a bustling shopping centre. Then you realise it’s 140,000 sq feet over four floors, far too big of a space for any single charity to take on. At this point, understandably, most interested parties would simply walk away. Not TUAid. We love this kind of challenge. More importantly, we know how to fill this size of store because we’ve done it before at Debenhams, Wandsworth in London and M&S in Rochdale. This is where collaboration really comes into its own and I for one love seeing it come together.

Collaboration works at its best when everyone gains additional benefits they weren’t expecting. For charities, it could be learning from the considerable experience of another similar organisation.

In the case of very large retail spaces, such as former department stores like Debenhams – large collaboration is essential. Once in place it opens up a world of opportunities that charities had not considered before. Sharing volunteer recruitment programmes, active expansion, new, repeatable / scalable fundraising initiatives are all far more likely to succeed once you have established premises.

We connect charities with great spaces they can use to further their mission across the UK. Working closely with Temporary Use Aid and Rainbow rising, no other organisation has the scope or the scale of our ethical operational network.

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