Food for the soul: our award-winning pro bono partnership

Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) is an arts and well-being organisation that KISS has worked with on a pro bono basis since 2013. The team says: "We’re thrilled to say that together we won the National Arts Fundraising School #emcees award for the Best Corporate Partnership 2020."

A day in the woods

KISS writes:

CCI works with people of all ages to inspire and enrich communities; supporting them 'to believe in themselves and find their own voice' and strengthening their capacities to be curious and imaginative. Our relationship with them has been a positive way to align our core values with the desire to create social good/change and at the same time partner with a creative arts organisation and charity that supports the development of communities and the improvement of mental health.

Initially, we designed and developed a website to showcase their work with the local community, and over the years we have supported them on a number of initiatives across marketing, PR and social media. Our work and relationship have grown in ways we really hadn’t expected – the mutual respect between our MD Sarah Reakes and Ruth Sapsed of CCI has enabled frank and genuine conversations about the need to diversify income streams that provide regular funding for the charity. CCI works extensively with the arts, education and mental health sectors and historically has led professional development days for teachers. Sarah and Ruth have worked together to identify how existing skills and opportunities within CCI are relevant to other organisations, while keeping with the core values and principals of the charity.

We’ve helped create entrepreneurial change within the small charity by supporting the development of a new business model to provide a commercially driven income: A Day in the Woods – a unique professional development offer targeted at corporations to bring their staff together outdoors in a unique environment in woodlands near Cambridge.

A Day in the Woods was launched in June 2019. As visibility was starting to build the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This meant a temporary pause for plan, but KISS has helped CCI to develop a revised marketing strategy, designing new communications, e-comms and support across social media. They successfully adapted the ‘away days with a difference’ to ensure they still met Government guidelines on social distancing and in September this year we were lucky enough to gather safely as a team for our own Day in the Woods, which gave us a totally fresh perspective in these extraordinary times.

After months of being locked away, only able to see each other through screens, this was an amazing day which allowed us to gather in a very special place and regroup as a team. We had a day of full immersion in nature, combined with delicious foods, warm fires and fresh coffee – all without the formal structure and pressure imposed by your typical corporate away day. As we emerge from this current lockdown, I really would urge you to give this a go – being together and truly connected after so long was incredibly powerful and food for the soul! Head to where you can learn more about these sessions and make contact with CCI.

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