Every year we receive a huge number of donations from individuals concerned about youth homelessness, and it's no exaggeration to say that without this support our ability to help those in need would be severely compromised. To mark Giving Tuesday we spoke to one of our many generous donors, Patrick Fisher, about why he chooses to support homeless young people.
Can you tell us a bit about you and what you do for a living?
I’m a tech and advertising entrepreneur. I own various businesses, the one I am currently most focused on is Pulse Smart Hub which makes smart street furniture that we’re putting in towns and cities across the UK. The Pulse Smart Hubs include defibrillators, air quality monitors, free wifi and other smart city benefits all paid for through advertising, meaning it’s free for the user and for the council.
Why did you want to donate to help young homeless people?
We live in one of the richest cities in the world and several times a day you’ll see people who are in a terrible situation, to whom life hasn’t been kind form and who are suffering. I find it awful that that is happening in this day and age, especially in this city that has such wealth, it’s just incredibly jarring from a human point of view. I wanted to do something about that and so wanted to find a charity that was actually tackling the problem effectively, where my money would be well spent and go directly to where it’s really needed.
What was it about New Horizon Youth Centre that specifically appealed to you?
I felt New Horizon was big enough to make a real impact but not so big that my money would be diluted in the bureaucratic practices of some bigger charities. Also focusing on young people means you’ve got much more chance of making a change in their lives. I’d heard about New Horizon and had looked online, also I was aware of you through your Patron Jon Snow.
From my point of view, and I think this goes for a lot of people, I am actively turned off by charities that send through a lot of direct marketing, they do great things I’m sure but I really dislike being bombarded by this stuff that’s clearly a waste of money. The fact that New Horizon has a lower marketing budget is great for people like me or other more well informed business who are looking closely at the types of charities that they’re going to put money towards. Anyone who looks into it is going to be attracted by the fact that you’re spending most of your money on service delivery.
"Focusing on young people means you’ve got much more chance of making a change in their lives..."
Patrick Fisher, NHYC Supporter
What hopes or thoughts did you have about how the money would be used?
I’m not an expert in homelessness so I put my faith in New Horizon as an organisation to know how the money is best spent rather than dictating what I thought. That might be worthwhile if I was making a larger donation for a specific programme, but on this basis I accept that you spend it as you need.
Do you give to other charities regularly?
I do give to other charities, I think it’s a great thing to do so I always give generously whether that’s sponsoring people or donating. I think it’s a really positive thing. Homelessness became a more pressing issue to me because I was constantly being faced with the dilemma of seeing it but not knowing the best way to help. I feel bad when I see it, I feel it’s an issue within our culture and donating to charities like New Horizon makes me feel better about having done something to help.
Anything else you wanted to add?
Just to keep up the good work!
On behalf of the whole NHYC team we would like to say the biggest of thank yous to Patrick and all the other people who've supported us over the years in whatever way you can. With your generosity we can continue to help vulnerable young people across London to transform their lives.
If you want to get in touch or share your thoughts just use the hashtag #NHYC