IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality


Sponsoring a Day at Emmanuel House
  • 3 Feb 2020
Sponsoring a Day at Emmanuel House: Will Other Businesses Accept the Challenge?
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead Warm showers, a hot meal and a strong support network might be essentials that many of us take for granted. But, at Nottingham’s Emmanuel House, all of these things come as part of the vital service that they provide to the city’s homeless and vulnerable adults. In December, Retail Assist took part in Emmanuel House’s Lunchtime Scheme, where businesses could sponsor a December lunch. After a visit and tour of the centre by Retail Assist’s Chief Executive Officer, Dan Smith, Head of Marketing, Alex Broxson and Communications Lead, Anna Murphy, they found it to be a very humbling and emotional day, understanding the stark reality that many people face daily. It costs an average of £1,400 per day to run the support centre and, following the December visit, Retail Assist sponsored this amount to fund the centre for one whole day on 1st February 2020. And now, Retail Assist’s Dan Smith has a challenge for other businesses, too. Dan explained: “Retail Assist has been supporting Emmanuel House for many years now, in reflection of the incredibly important work they do. It was a privilege to contribute towards their daily lunch service and, as a result of our visit, we decided to pay for the centre’s costs for the 1st February. I want to strongly encourage any other business to take on the 1st March – and hopefully the rest of the year! So, we want to know… who else out there will join us?” Denis Tully, Emmanuel House’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “We are delighted that Retail Assist has pledged to cover the cost to run our Support Centre on 1st February: it is very much appreciated. We provide a range of support services aimed at giving practical help to prevent homelessness and enabling people to recover from homelessness. The donation will contribute to these support services along with basic services including food, showers and laundry. “Emmanuel House is an integral part of the plan to reduce homelessness in the city of Nottingham. With the help of business support, such as this generosity shown by Retail Assist, we are able to continue to help people out of homelessness. We’d like to thank Retail Assist, not only their financial support, but also for helping to raise our profile within the business community. More and more Nottinghamshire companies are now getting involved to help and it’s great to see how our community of supporters are growing. It is this business support – and the support of the local community – that makes the difference.” If you’d like to support Emmanuel House, please visit their website here.…
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Charity, Emmanuel House, Fundraising, Retail Assist
  • 24 Dec 2018
Spreading a little joy this Christmas: Supporting Emmanuel House, Retail Assist’s Charity of the Year
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Executive Every year, Retail Assist picks one charity to be our ‘Charity of the Year’. Whilst we have supported many different charities with many excellent causes, this year, we decided to support Emmanuel House: a Nottingham-based charity that supports homeless and vulnerable adults. Throughout the year, we have held a variety of fundraising events, from our Great British Bake Off cake sale to taking over 200 Degrees’ kitchen in their Carrington Store. So, for Christmas, we decided to end our year with a fundraising extravaganza! With our generous clients and partners donating gifts, members of staff from across all of our sites bought raffle tickets in the hope of winning a fantastic prize. With the draw taking place just before Christmas, a brilliant time was had by all as our CEO, Dan Smith, compèred the proceedings, raising over £875. So, cue drumroll…this year, with all of our fundraising events combined, the grand total raised for Emmanuel House is just over £1,250! A huge thank-you to all of our colleagues, customers and partners who have been involved in raising this impressive amount – it is very gratefully received. Just some of the amazing raffle prizes that were up for grabs! One More Gift Along with the fundraising raffle, staff at our Nottingham Head Office also brought in food donations to give to Emmanuel House. To top up the donations, the Marketing Team battled against the festive crowds to complete a festive supermarket haul! The team filled their trolley with essential items such as tinned tomatoes, non-biological washing powder, tea and stock cubes. Afterwards, they took all the donations to Emmanuel House’s support centre, meeting their Marketing Assistant, Gill. The Marketing Team with all the food donations A Warm Welcome Being met at the door by Emmanuel House’s service users, the team were greeted with smiles and offers of help, with people jumping up to help carry in the bags of food. Speaking about Emmanuel House’s provision, Gill said: “Whenever people turn up, they are guaranteed a warm welcome.” The service provision at Emmanuel House was certainly impressive. With a pool table, a large eating and seating area, and a bustling kitchen, the centre felt cosy and welcoming. Gill said: “Often homeless people have lost an entire support network of family, friends and colleagues. Because of this, isolation is one of the biggest issues that they face; we have a range of services, with choirs such as Streetwise Opera and the Opera Dudes, Art Group and the Women’s Group to encourage socialising and to build trust.” Eating times also provide a great way to chat and connect with others, and Emmanuel House’s Head Chef, Joe, cook a meals from scratch, using fresh ingredients – often for over 70 people at a time. Outside Emmanuel House’s Support Centre Gill explained: “December is our busiest period for donations as people’s thoughts turn to those less fortunate over the festive season. However, as our centre is open all year round…
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Retail Assist Emmanuel House
  • 21 Nov 2018
This year, give hope: why our charity of the year, Emmanuel House, needs your support
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Executive A warm bed, a hot bath, and a steaming cup of a tea are all things that help us get through the harsh, freezing winter months. But, instead of this, what if your priorities involved finding bedding, food or even a safe place to sleep? Emmanuel House is Retail Assist’s charity of the year and today, we attended the launch of their Winter Appeal. Whilst homelessness is a year-round issue, the focus of their Winter Appeal is to work with beneficiaries to help find a home of their own – something that many of us take for granted. Speaking at the launch, Denis Tully, Emmanuel House’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘Ultimately, our ambition is to ensure that people recover from homelessness, forever.” Emmanuel House’s services, and the Winter Shelter they co-ordinate, are an integral part of the plan to reduce homelessness in Nottingham city. In 2017-2018, over 900 individuals used the service, amounting to over 17,000 visits to the centre. The services they provide are varied, with the provision offered covering everything from advice and advocacy around tenancies, benefits, mental health support, training and workshops, drug and alcohol support, and a daily nurse, to a core programme of social activities including art projects and a choir. They also have an on-site charity shop, which brings in much-needed income and is also a place for service users to gain all-important work experience. With the support centre costing £1,000 a day to run, plus extra funding needed to finance the Winter Shelter, and no statutory funding received, donations are vital to provide support and services to the centre’s users. However, whilst monetary donations are crucial to keeping the centre running, contributions of food and clothing also make a significant difference to the work of Emmanuel House. Their ‘most-needed items’ include tinned tomatoes, cooking oil, stock cubes, tea, coffee and gravy powder, with other essentials listed such as rucksacks, trainers, sleeping bags, jeans and jogging bottoms. This December, Retail Assist will hold its annual Christmas raffle, which takes place across all of our sites. With an office fuddle, fundraising activities and a Christmas Jumper Day, all proceeds raised will go to Emmanuel House. Many of us will be looking forward to a joyful Christmas, filled with loved ones, parties and presents. However, perhaps this winter, you might want to consider supporting vulnerable adults and the challenges they face. Because, as Denis summarises: ‘Without hope, we wither.’ Emmanuel House is Retail Assist’s charity of the year. You can read more about some of our fundraising efforts here and here, and for more information regarding how you could support Emmanuel House, visit their website here.  …
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Retail Assist's Great British Bake Off
  • 29 Aug 2018
Retail Assist try their hand at the Great British Bake Off
#GBBO The Retail Assist team have turned their hands to baking to raise money for charity… but who received the Hollywood Handshake? Guest judges, (left to right) Lynette, Lucy and Matt. On Tuesday 28th August, Retail Assist colleagues downed tools and picked up their baking bowls to raise money for Emmanuel House, a charity that helps support homeless people in Nottingham. With three guest judges including Matt Douglas and Lucy Hickling from Nottingham’s own 200 Degrees, and Lynette Pinchess, Nottingham Post’s food and drink editor, there was a tough crowd to please. The Retail Assist team had brought in every kind of baked good, from cheese scones to a unicorn cake – and not a soggy bottom in sight. With so much choice, there was something there to tickle everyone’s (fondant) fancy. However, with so many top contenders, judging the winner was not a piece of cake. 200 Degree’s Marketing Manager, Matt, said: “There have been so many tastes and textures, with savoury as well as sweet. We’ve also been really impressed with the presentation.” Lauren Howatson, Marketing Manager for Emmanuel House, added: “Everyone has made such an effort. We were so impressed!” The Showstopper – A unicorn shaped cake with a matcha and lemon sponge The overall winner was Helpdesk Call Analyst, Kay Thompson, with a chocolate extravaganza showstopper. Gifted by 200 Degrees, Kay won the chance to not only replicate her cake in their kitchen, but to see it being sold in 200 Degrees stores. Kay said, “I’m delighted to have won! I put lots of effort in and I’m so pleased that we are raising money and awareness for Emmanuel House. They are such a great charity.” Head Chef at 200 Degrees and fellow judge, Lucy, added: “There was a massive array of colour and when we saw the winning cake, we knew we would love to replicate it. It will fly off the shelves!” The winning bake, made by Kay Thompson The Nottingham office raised a current total of £208.67, with all proceeds going to Emmanuel House. Offering support to the city’s homeless and vulnerable adults, Emmanuel House provides vital help and guidance to those most in need. They have over 1,000 visits a week where they offer essential survival services such as hot food and drinks, an opportunity to change into clean, dry clothing, shower and laundry facilities as well as support in the following areas: mental health, tenancy and resettlement, benefits and welfare, training and workshops and access to the Winter Shelter. Well done to Kay and thank you to everyone who took part! Think you could add to our cake skills? Retail Assist is expanding! Visit our careers page at for more information.…
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  • 21 Dec 2015
A Christmas Wish and Charitable Gifts
As the year draws to a close, and we reflect on another great year at Retail Assist, our thoughts turn to those who are more vulnerable at Christmastime. For two years now, our chosen charity has been Emmanuel House, a homelessness charity based in Nottingham City Centre. The charity provides invaluable services and support to those who are homeless or vulnerably housed in Nottingham. Founded in 1976, Emmanuel House welcomes between 60-90 visitors each weekday and 30-50 on weekends. This equates to almost 2000 visits a month, with approximately 200 new visitors each year, all of whom have complex and multiple needs. Having recently launched their ‘Cup of Kindness’ winter appeal, Emmanuel House is hoping to raise £40,000 to be able to provide visitors to Emmanuel House with food, drink, shelter and support. Last year, we donated half towards the total cost of Christmas Day at Emmanuel House. On Friday, we held a Christmas fundraising day across all our UK sites – Nottingham, Northampton, London, Stanton Harcourt – including a Christmas raffle, desk decorating competition, fuddle and Christmas Jumper Day, and have raised £1000. It’s great that this beats our fundraising total last Christmas, as we raised £750. Our Chairman, Alan Morris, said that: “Whilst we enjoy the Christmas festivities at this time of year, it’s more important than ever to remember the spirit of giving, and including those in our thoughts that are most vulnerable. With no statutory funding, Emmanuel House relies on donations, allowing the charity to continue to provide their amazing services and support to the homeless and vulnerably housed in Nottingham. Contributions will help to make a real difference on someone’s Christmas Day, in the form of a hot meal, a safe and friendly environment, and people to share the festivities with. That’s what the Cup of Kindness appeal is all about.” Here’s some photographs from across our sites, of the fundraising activities we have been up to!      …
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Emmanuel House
  • 12 Jan 2015
We gave Emmanuel House a ‘Cup of Kindness’ for Christmas
Founded in 1976 Emmanuel House was established to support homeless, vulnerable and isolated adults in and around Nottingham. They provide services that meet the basic needs of the individuals who visit them, also providing support and advice to help those individuals feel empowered and able to start making positive changes in their lives. Having recently launched their ‘Cup of Kindness’ appeal Emmanuel House aims to raise more than they did last year and still have a way to go before they achieve the £40,000 milestone. As a local Nottingham company we wanted to contribute towards this extremely worthwhile cause. It is more prevalent than ever, especially during the winter months and Christmas period to be able to provide visitors to Emmanuel House with food, drink, shelter and support. This winter Emmanuel House is expecting a higher demand for its services and will need to increase funding to be able to respond to service user’s needs. The charity serves an average of 80 hot meals every day and also manages the emergency accommodation Winter Shelter for rough sleepers between November and February. The winter shelter provides approximately 22 beds per night to rough-sleeping individuals. Individual needs are assessed at Emmanuel House where, if necessary people are referred to temporary accommodation which is often provided in local church halls. We held numerous activities over the Christmas period in a bid to raise as much money as possible. Through the sale of raffle tickets, Christmas jumper days, an office quiz and much more, we are pleased to announce that we raised enough money to contribute half the total cost for Christmas Day at Emmanuel House. This money will pay towards, Christmas food, a small gift for service users and decorations – all in a bid to make the day slightly better for individuals visiting Emmanuel House on Christmas Day. Alan Morris, our Executive Chairman concludes; “With no statutory funding Emmanuel House rely purely on donations to fund them and enable them to continue with the amazing work they are doing. The service they provide is never more important than in the winter, providing much needed services and support to the homeless and vulnerably housed in Nottingham.”…
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  • 20 Oct 2014
Adventure Ashram’s Great Big South Indian Adventure – November 2014
Adventure Ashram is a wonderful charity whose aim is to support communities throughout India, helping to make education and healthcare accessible to the people and places that are hardest to reach. As such we are really proud to be supporting the ‘The Bullet Boys’ team on their adventures, motorcycling through India to raise funds for Adventure Ashram.   The ‘Bullet Boys’ are a group of friends who have decided to undertake an adventure that not only pushes the boundaries but also gives something back to those less fortunate than themselves. So they are taking part in a charity motorcycle ride, travelling over 2000km across Southern India in November 2014.   The ride will expose them to a huge variety of different terrains, from towns and cities to desert plains and dense forest trails, moving on to mountain passes which will prove to be a real test of endurance. The ‘Bullet Boys’ will be undertaking this challenge whist riding the famous “Royal Enfield Bullet”, a classic single cylinder 500cc bike which is now built in India. The Bullet uses 1950′s technology, so will provide another very challenging dimension to the journey. The ride will be a demanding trek on challenging bikes and will certainly test the ‘Bullet Boys’ both physically and mentally, constantly testing confidence, spirit and determination. They will be able to enjoy and experience the dramatic and amazing scenery that India has to offer but this also means they will be exposed to some extreme environments and situations; needless to say this will not be a walk in the park. Everything raised will go directly to Adventure Ashram. The ‘Bullet Boys’ are still looking for sponsors and contributions, every pound raised will really help to make a difference. Please click here if you would like to donate and help raise money for this very worthwhile cause.   Here at Retail Assist we are really looking forward to following the progress of the ‘Bullet Boys’ on their challenging journey and wish them all the best on their forthcoming adventure. We hope they not only make amazing memories but help gain the support funds they have worked so hard to obtain for Adventure Ashram’s Great Big South Indian Adventure. If you would like to read more about the Adventure Ashram charity then please click here. Also if you are interested in our IT systems and support services you can visit our website: or get in touch, email: and telephone: 0115 853 3910. Also keep up to date with our latest news by searching ‘RetailAssist’ on Twitter and Instagram.…
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