Start something that matters with Cherish Uganda
When Charlie and I first dreamed of owning our own chiropractic clinic, we were still working in Essex. Life was great, we had busy successful lists, but the time had come to do our own thing. Having worked for other people, we learnt how they did it, but it was important to spend time thinking about how we wanted to do things. Whilst on holiday, I read a book recording the success of a company called Toms Shoes. This company had the idea of tithing at its core. Whilst travelling in South America, Blake Mycoskie, the young entrepreneur who went on to create Toms Shoes, noticed how many children were barefooted. He wanted to create a sustainable way to help resolve this situation, so set up his company with the concept of ‘One for One’. For every pair of stylish espadrilles they sold, they gave away a free pair of shoes to people in South America. Not only is Toms Shoes now a multimillion pound international business, it has also helped tens of millions of people at the same time. This concept enthralled me but the big question was how do you apply it to a Chiropractic clinic?
I came back from holiday bursting with ideas. I shared them with Charlie over several glasses of wine and through the Sauvignon Blanc haze we created the core belief that our clinic is now built on. The idea was simple: our patients will gain health and at the same time give health to others. So for every treatment someone pays for, £1 will go to charity. The charity would be based in an environment where £1 can achieve far more than it would here in the UK. I’d spent a long time travelling throughout South Africa and it’s impossible to spend any time there without some of its magic rubbing off on you. I wanted the charity to be based in Africa. I’d seen first hand the beauty and joy there but also found it impossible to ignore the harsh reality facing so many people on the continent. I began searching for a charity that I could relate to. Unsurprisingly, there were many to choose from! I narrowed my search down to three that really resonated. Two in South Africa, and one in Uganda.
How we chose Cherish Uganda
Both Charlie and I couldn’t contain the excitement anymore and we slowly started telling people our plans. This is where we chose (or it chose us) to partner a charity called ‘Cherish Uganda’. A patient in Essex twigged something was up, as Charlie and I were bouncing off the walls slightly more than usual! I explained to her our move and the idea that we would be supporting a charity in Africa. She sat quietly and smiled. For Bev to get all this gossip without getting excited was unusual to say the least. I went on to explain that we had narrowed the choices to three charities. As I talked, her smile turned to a grin, and she started chuckling as I told her about Cherish Uganda. She stopped, and told me that she knew all about Cherish because she set the charity up! Even when I talk about this now, I still get tingly. It was meant to be! Cherish take in HIV positive children and love and nurture them until they are ready to lead adult lives.
Bev introduced us to Rachel, the director of Cherish who lived out in Uganda with the children. Three months later, Charlie and I were in our new premises in Bristol with Rachel hearing all about her experiences in Africa and how she set up Cherish Uganda with Bev. We set up the slogan, ‘Gain Health, Give HOPE’ and this is the principle on which our clinic was started.
Gain Health, Give HOPE
A year and a half on and the clinic is buzzing. Both Charlie and I are immensely proud of our achievements in Bristol so far. As chiropractors, we see on a daily basis how patients lives improve through our care with the help of our team. The exciting thing is that we’ve found a way to have a genuinely, positive impact on the lives of children halfway across the world that intentionally increases as our business grows. Since opening, we have donated over £7000 to Cherish; some of which is being used to build new medical facilities and increase their influence in the community. Next year, Charlie and I are hoping to spend a week in Uganda to see first hand the magic they do there!
We are less than 2 years in to our project so far and we’ve had an even bigger impact at this stage than we had envisioned. We are very excited to see what opportunities lie ahead as we further nurture and develop our relationship with such an active, loving and inspirational group of people as they make true change where it is most needed.
£1 will provide a child at Cherish Uganda with either:
- 2 nutritious meals, or
- 1 weeks medical supplies,
- All necessary academic equipment, or
- A weeks hygiene supplies!
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