Barnsley Businessman Offers Charities New Horizons

A retired businessman rekindles entrepreneurial spirit by revealing charity arm to franchises

Bored with retirement after 17 years of running his own successful training company, Barnsley businessman Steve Fisher decided to become involved with highly successful Bournemouth based travel agent Not Just Travel. Starting a business, which he named aptly New Horizons, Steve wanted to stay active throughout retirement.

1 in 5 people of retirement age suffer from mental health issues, which Mr Fisher considers to be due to “not keeping the brain active”. He said, “When you’ve had the success and drive for your job for as long as I have, it’s not easy to retire. I just got… bored.”

Within 3 months of starting New Horizons, Steve launched a new initiative to help charities and voluntary organisations raise much needed funds, by telling all their friends and supporters about the benefits of booking their holidays with New Horizons.

Cause Related Marketing – to give it its formal title – works by helping voluntary organisations and charities raise money by working on a clever consumer theory. People are assuaged of guilt for making luxury purchases if they are also donating at the same time. Local charities have successfully raised funds by promoting a full range of holidays, via Facebook, Twitter and other social media in return for 10% of the commission on all holidays booked with New Horizons. “That’s only when the fun started” said Steve, a prostate cancer patient at St James Hospital in Leeds. As such, he felt an allegiance to supporting Prostate Cancer UK, but his wife Liz wanted to support Marie Curie Cancer Care, where she is a volunteer fund raiser in the local area.

So Steve issued a challenge to Liz: the first one of the pair to raise £10,000 for their charity gets to pick a week-long holiday in the sun, paid for by the loser. This then started a thought process that resulted in both Liz and Steve deciding that the main focus of their business would be to raise funds for both local and national organisations by selling holidays to the organisations' supporters, in return for 10% of the commission.

Since that decision was taken, they have received enquiries from many organisations, both local and national, needing to raise funds, and by the end of January they will be launching this new venture by going live with purpose-built, fully bookable websites for both Prostate Cancer UK and Marie Curie Cancer Care supplied at no cost by Not Just Travel.

Liz commented “when you ask the question 'who do you know who goes on holiday?’ the answer normally comes back 'most people', so why not raise much needed funds for your own particular cause?” Liz added that she fully intends to beat Steve to the £10,000 goal and make him pay for a week in Madeira for them both!

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