BPS Birmingham, the membership organisation for the city’s business professional and financial services sector, has announced the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity (QEHB Charity) as its charity of the year for 2015.

BPS Birmingham, which incorporates BPS Birmingham Leaders, BPS Birmingham Future and BPS Birmingham Aspire, will support the charity for a 12-month period. The project will see the organisation supporting the team at the Teenage Cancer Trust with professional volunteers, as well as a financial donation at the end of the 12 months. 

The Teenage Cancer Trust Young Person’s Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is for 16-24 year olds; it has 11 in-patient beds and a day-care facility. QEHB Charity already funds a specialist teacher, who helps patients continue to study whilst undergoing treatment, and with the help of BPS Birmingham the charity will also be able to offer support from the city’s business and professional services sector, with volunteers taking the time to visit the unit and provide one-to-one mentoring.

BPS Birmingham members will help young patients to develop vital skills, including presentation, communication, and CV development. There will also be an opportunity, once the patients have completed their treatment, for them to be referred to the city’s top firms for work experience placements.

Rachel Seaton, chair of BPS Birmingham Future’s Engage Committee, which manages the organisation’s charitable and corporate social responsibility activities, said: “This is the eighth charity that BPS Birmingham has chosen to support and it is something that sits at the heart of the organisation. Businesses have an important role to play by interacting with the wider Birmingham community, and we are in a fortunate position to be able to offer that support to our chosen charity.

“We had over 25 applications for this year’s charity of the year and our panel of judges selected three to interview. It was an extremely difficult decision as all of the charities that applied are doing fantastic work across Greater Birmingham. QEHB Charity came out as the winning charity as this project fit perfectly with our commitment to supporting and developing the opportunities available to young people within the city through education.”

Over the past two years, the organisation has raised a total of £11,000 for youth charities including Envision and Birmingham Leadership Foundation. Money is raised through fundraising activity and events, including the flagship Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) Awards, which takes place in May.  The fundraising efforts will begin with BPS Birmingham Future’s annual sports quiz, taking place at Pure Bar on March 2. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.birminghamfuture.co.uk/events/charity-sports-quiz/

As well as a financial contribution, QEHB Charity will benefit from other invaluable support provided by BPS Birmingham and its members. In addition to the mentoring, volunteering and work experience opportunities for patients in the Young Person’s Unit, there will also be support for the charity’s VIP Treatment Appeal, a project that will improve the journey of young patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with new facilities introduced on site.

BPS Birmingham Future’s Engage committee, previously named Future in the Community, is dedicated to encouraging members to interact with the wider Great Birmingham community. This is done through volunteering and the charity of the year selection.

“Giving something back is important and our support not only provides an opportunity for members to do their bit but it also raises their individual profile, helping to open yet more doors,” Rachel Seaton added.