Thank you to Noah's Star

After three fantastic years of partnership with our Charity of the Year, Noah’s Star, the team at Oaks have decided to offer our pro-bono support and services to support a new local charity. It has been a privilege to work alongside Noah’s Star over the past few years, and see them raise their profile, increase their impact, and ultimately change the lives of parents and children throughout the community.

At the beginning of 2019, we chose to support Noah’s Star, a Birmingham-based charity providing supervised, safe and fun care for siblings of sick and premature babies to play, as well as reassurance to parents, enabling them to spend time with their newborn. We had an incredible response to our initial open call for candidates, but the passion and commitment of founder Jo-Anne, alongside their local base, won them the partnership. In addition to a free sibling support service at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and New Cross Hospital, Noah’s Star volunteers provide support to parents in the form of a person to talk to, or simply by bringing a cup of tea to those unable to leave their baby.

Throughout our partnership, there have been innumerable highlights and notable moments. The Charity Quiz Night in February 2020 at Birmingham Malmaison was a fantastic evening, with local businesses invited to play for prizes and all ticket sales donated directly to the charity, resulting in almost £800 being raised. The quiz is a particularly poignant moment given the years of COVID-related disruption that followed soon after, making further large in-person fundraisers incredibly challenging.

Other highlights include:

· Oaks team members completing the 2019 Wolf Run, raising over £1000 for the charity

· The opportunity for the Oaks team to volunteer at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital and Stay and Play Groups and witness their incredible work first-hand

· Noah’s Star delivering workshops on children’s mental health and safeguarding adults at the Oaks office for local healthcare professionals and care workers

· Securing over £20,000 through grants to help them scale up their impact

Finally, supporting Noah’s Star through the process of becoming a registered charity, and seeing that come to fruition at the end of 2021, was a wonderful moment and testament to the hard work and dedication shown by their team throughout the pandemic.

Nic Skipwith, Director of Operations at Oaks, explained:

“Working with Jo-Anne and the team at Noah’s Star for the last three years has been an unforgettable experience. We were blown away by their passion and commitment to an incredible cause and felt privileged to be able to witness their vital work first-hand. Our team have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the work, volunteering their time and ultimately using our core expertise to help the organisation grow so more parents and children can benefit from their support. We would strongly encourage other organisations to get involved and support where they can, they are an exceptional charity delivering a great deal of value to the community.”

Jo-Anne Shellum, Founder of Noah’s Star, added:

“We would like to say a huge thank you to Oaks for the ongoing support they have provided to Noah’s Star and Sociability Care CIC over the last three years.

Since being selected as their chosen Charity of the Year, they have supported us in becoming a registered charity, applying for grants, outlining a strategy, and increasing our income. The support we have received has been incredible and we will be forever grateful.”

Despite Noah’s Star no longer being our Charity of the Year, we would like to thank them for a wonderful three years of partnership, through which we at Oaks have gained countless great experiences and learnings. We are committed to staying in touch with Jo-Anne and the team and look forward to seeing them continue to grow and accomplish great things in the future.

We can’t wait to get together as soon as possible to toast a successful partnership!