Holly Dark, Senior Account Manager at local print and branding specialist Custom Planet, tells us about the work the company does with Changing Lives.

Custom Planet started working with Changing Lives back in 2012 when there was controversy around St James’ Park having its name changed to The Sports Direct Arena. As dedicated Newcastle fans ourselves and owners of a print shop, we decided we’d voice our disappointment, shared by many of our fellow fans, with a ‘St James’ Park Forever’ T-shirt. We chose to donate part of the profits to a local charity, and we knew that by working with Changing Lives we would be helping local people and families get back on their feet.

Before the ‘St James’ Park Forever’ campaign, we produced the promotional T-shirts for the Changing Lives team. Through this, we learned a bit more about the charity and thought they would be great cause to donate clothing to, as they do great work helping vulnerable people and families around the North East. Being a printed clothing supplier, we donate boxes of our unused and unworn stock to Changing Lives throughout the year.

We’d encourage any company to help their local charities as much as possible. At Custom Planet, we see it as part of our civic duty as a business to give back to the local community, and organisations such as Changing Lives do such important work, especially by helping people get back on their feet with their work placements and job coaching.

We chose to work with Changing Lives in particular because of how much they help the people right on our doorstep through real, practical solutions. One of my friends and former work colleagues has unfortunately struggled with alcohol addiction in the past, and I have seen how it has affected his life and family. The work that Changing Lives does to get people back on track who have maybe just had a bad break is something that’s very close to my heart, and we love to help out in absolutely any way we can.