A Burton-based electrical company is encouraging fellow business owners to come forward and donate to a Thai charity aiming to stop child trafficking.
Woodward Electrical owner and managing director Alan Woodward, 53, set up a branch of his business in Thailand in November 2012 when the country began going through a “huge building programme”.
Over the years working in the country, Mr Woodward got involved with the charity Oasis Global.
Oasis aims to raise awareness of children who are the victims of trafficking as well as rescuing them and finding them a safe house to live in.
Mr Woodward himself donates heavily to the charity and even visits the children during his weekends whenhe is in Thailand.
He said: “I’ve set a target of raising money in Thailand of £12,000 a year. I have a charity that I work at the weekend with, to stop trafficking and abuse of children, it’s a foster home-type thing.
“They take them out of the circle and put them in safe homes, then move them on from there to foster homes. I work very closely with them.”
Mr Woodward has come back to Burton to visit his business based in Wetmore Road, which employs 22, and to raise awareness for the charity as he tries to get nearby businesses to dip into their pockets to donate.
He said: “I got involved heavily in it. I spend my weekends with the kids and it’s something that I’m passionate about. We really want people to realise that it’s something that is happening.
“These charities need funding and any help is great. It’s very difficult in Thailand and it’s very hard to raise money because nobody has got any money so we rely on coming back here.
“A bit here can mean a lot out there.”
Several businessmen have already been contacted and are interested in donating to the cause, but are yet to officially come forward.
Mr Woodward was speaking as his company celebrated 30 year of business.
Alan Woodward set up the business as a sole trader in 1987 in Burton, and eventually it became a limited company. He handed the business down to his son, Aden, four years ago when he his son was 23.
Aden has spoken of what he believes the company does differently to their competitors to ensure they are still in business after all these years.
He said: “Everybody here has the same values; they have to do a good job because you’re only ever remembered for your last job. Our people have self-respect to know what they’re delivering is of quality.
“Everybody who works for us wears the Woodward badge and stay by that – through and through.”
Matthew Myatt is the company’s business development manager said: “We’re advertising the anniversary to our customers, with one of the things we’d like to do is charity event. I think with 30 years of business, we have really built up the business within the community but now is the time to start giving back as much as we possibly can.
“We are thinking of doing a mud run for charity, getting all the engineers together to do it.”
For more information about how Woodward Electrical will be celebrating their 30 years in business keep an eye on their website at http://www.woodwardelectrical.co.uk/ or to donate to Oasis worldwide visit http://www.oasisglobal.org/donation .