Varna Business Run 2019

We were delighted to take part in the second Varna Business Run organized by Begach Runners Club on the morning of Sunday, 9th June. Business Run is the largest team building event in Bulgaria and takes place at the Bulyard shipping factory. Two teams from Taxback Group took part in the 4km relay race which […]

12 Jun 2019

We walked and ran for the Twomey Family Remorial Weekend!

On Friday, May 17th, Taxback Group held our annual 5k in aid of the Twomey Family Remorial Weekend. While on a family holiday to Devon in 2012, tragedy struck as the Twomey Family were involved in a horrific crash with Marek [RIP], a suicidal driver. Regretfully, the crash claimed the lives of Elber’s husband Con, […]

24 May 2019

Tutu 2.2 for Big Brothers Big Sisters!

For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. It all started in 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could […]

09 May 2019

Varna Beach clean-up with The Taxback Group

  April 6th 2019 marked the biggest beach clean-up in Varna to date and we’re thrilled to say that nearly 30 Taxback Group volunteers participated in it. It was absolutely freezing on the day of the beach clean-up, but that didn’t stop nearly 1000 people in Varna coming along to clean the beach from cigarette […]

03 May 2019

Hannah and Rachel Kelly are doing Kilkenny proud!

Rachel and Hannah Kelly are twins from Kilkenny, and are the only two girls representing the South East Region on the Irish U18 Hockey Team. They were members of the Irish Squad at U16 Level and are delighted to have progressed to U18 Level through hard work and commitment. They’re both members of Old Alex […]

17 Apr 2019

The Taxback Group raised some much kneaded dough for Temple Street!

At The Taxback Group, the only thing that we like better than Fridays is cake. Now imagine what you get when you mix Fridays with cake and sprinkle in some charity fundraising too! We were absolutely thrilled to take part in the Great Irish Bake for Temple Street Children’s Hospital. The national event sees companies […]

11 Apr 2019

We went green for BUMBLEance!

Every year to tie in with the St.Patrick’s Day celebrations, we hold our annual Green Day Fundraiser. This year, we raised funds for BUMBLEance, the world’s first state-of-the-art ambulance service specifically designed and tailored exclusively for all children in Ireland. BUMBLEance provides safe and comfortable transportation for Ireland’s youngest patients who require transportation between their […]

09 Apr 2019

The Taxback Group Supports Kilkenny Stars U14 Girls

  It’s not long now until the Kilkenny Stars U14 Girls Team travel to Barcelona to compete in an international tournament. This amazing trip will be a great opportunity for the girls to improve their skills and develop new ones. It won’t be all work and no play however as in between the several games […]

28 Mar 2019

The Taxback Group supports Karin Dom’s professional supervisions program

Interview with Zhenislava Sapundzhieva – Director of the “Children and Families Services Centre” and Trainer at the Karin Dom Foundation. Karin Dom was founded in 1996 and Zhenislava is working with its team since day one. She currently manages the Social Rehabilitation & Integration Services in the Early Intervention Centre. She has been involved in […]

22 Mar 2019

International Volunteer Day at The Taxback Group

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Did you know that International Volunteer Day mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December? It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among […]

20 Dec 2018

Varna Business Run 2019

We were delighted to take part in the second Varna Business Run organized by Begach Runners Club on the morning of Sunday, 9th June.

Business Run is the largest team building event in Bulgaria and takes place at the Bulyard shipping factory. Two teams from Taxback Group took part in the 4km relay race which takes in some seriously breath-taking views. In 2018, over 1,600 runners from 200 of the biggest companies took part in Business Runs across Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv.

Not only is the Business Run a really great day out, it’s also a great way to give back to charity as 30% of the registration fees from the Business Run are donated to “Life with Down Syndrome”, an organization that support families and children with Down syndrome. Further to that, the Business Run was also nominated for two awards at the Bulgarian Charity Forum.

On behalf of Taxback Group, we would like to thank Kaloyan Vitanov, Aleksandar Kadanov, Stanislav Ivanov, Klimentina Rasheva, Sergey Ushakov, Petya Petrova, Yasen Petrov, Elka Kolemanova and Marina Nedelcheva for their participation. We can’t wait for next year’s run!

We walked and ran for the Twomey Family Remorial Weekend!

On Friday, May 17th, Taxback Group held our annual 5k in aid of the Twomey Family Remorial Weekend.

While on a family holiday to Devon in 2012, tragedy struck as the Twomey Family were involved in a horrific crash with Marek [RIP], a suicidal driver. Regretfully, the crash claimed the lives of Elber’s husband Con, 16 month old Oisín and their unborn daughter, baby Elber Marie. Elber established the Twomey Family Remorial Weekend, an action-packed weekend of sport and fun, to remember with love and to honour Connie, baba Oisín and baby Elber Marie. Their mission is to promote the value of how precious life is.

This year’s Twomey Remorial takes place in Meelin, Newmarket, Co.Cork (the highest village in Ireland) on June 8th and June 9th with something to suit everyone. There’s still time left to register, and you can do so here. If you can’t make it but would still like to help, you can donate online or simply support them by liking their Facebook page.

Nigel O’Donovan [Taxback International] and his wife Marguerite are life-long friends of Elber Twomey and her late husband Con, and needless to say, the charity has become very close to all of our hearts here at Taxback Group. To date, the Twomey Family Remorial has raised over €150,000 for a number of organisations and charities that help those in need including Torbay Hospital in Torquay, Devon, Pieta House, ReachOut, Brú Columbanus and many more.

Teac Tom, a local mental health support facility in Kilkenny, are one of the beneficiaries of this year’s Remorial Weekend. Teac Tom is part of the Thomas Hayes Trust, which was established in 2014 by Angela Hayes, her family and friends following the tragic loss of her son, Thomas to suicide (2010) on the anniversary of his dad’s suicide. The trust’s goal is to offer free and immediate counselling, in a safe and nurturing environment for those directly affected and their families, those suffering from suicidal ideation and emotional distress.

They offer a number of services including emergency response to suicide, counselling services, a 24 hour help-line [056-7796592], and both a school and work liaison service. Their centre on Ormonde Road in Kilkenny opens Monday to Friday from 9:30am – 4:30pm and no appointment is needed. A listening ear in a safe and confidential space, Teac Tom give hope to those that need it the most.

It was an honour to have both Elber Twomey and Angela Hayes attend our event and we’re extremely proud of our employees for getting out and supporting this cause. We’d also like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to Gillian and all of the team in VHI Healthcare who come out in numbers every year for this event.

Tutu 2.2 for Big Brothers Big Sisters!

For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential.

It all started in 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.

At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.

Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states and in 12 countries around the world.

Every year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties (BBBSMMC’s) hold their Tutu 2.2 Mile Run / Walk. A percentage of the final proceeds are donated to benefit BBBSMMC’s and the local youth that they serve. We’ve been taking part in this event for a number of years now and this year saw over 600 participants take to the Ashbury Park boardwalk kitted out in their tutus!

We’d like to say a massive well done to our New Jersey office for taking part, and of course to all of the other participants, volunteers and event organisers. We’re looking forward to next year already!

Varna Beach clean-up with The Taxback Group

 

April 6th 2019 marked the biggest beach clean-up in Varna to date and we’re thrilled to say that nearly 30 Taxback Group volunteers participated in it.

It was absolutely freezing on the day of the beach clean-up, but that didn’t stop nearly 1000 people in Varna coming along to clean the beach from cigarette butts to set an example for the children who, regardless of their age, learned a lot from this initiative.

The beach clean-up originated in Germany and has evolved from a small idea shared between friends to a campaign that now runs across 16 cities.

Kristina Ilieva caught up with Valentin Dimitrov, BIS-founder and main organizer of the initiative to chat about the beach clean-up campaign. Take a look at their talk below:

 

Hannah and Rachel Kelly are doing Kilkenny proud!

Rachel and Hannah Kelly are twins from Kilkenny, and are the only two girls representing the South East Region on the Irish U18 Hockey Team. They were members of the Irish Squad at U16 Level and are delighted to have progressed to U18 Level through hard work and commitment. They’re both members of Old Alex Hockey Club in Dublin and travel to train at least once if not twice a week, spending their weekends playing matches. We’re absolutely delighted to support them on this exciting journey! Hear what the girls had to say below.

“All Irish Hockey Underage programmes are self-funded and Taxback Group have generously donated to our great cause. The programme looks to develop younger players through coaching and international playing experience and all funds raised go towards coaching, playing kit and matches. Recently, we have played a two match series in England and we have just come back from a three match series versus the Ulster U21s last weekend. Scoring 3 goals each, we helped the team to three wins from three and enjoyed the trip immensely. Now it’s back to training with upcoming trips to Belgium and Scotland before our main competition in July, the 6 Nations Tournament in Holland.

Hockey is a huge passion of ours and we love all the different aspects of it! We travel to Dublin for weekly training sessions for our club and all weekends going forward until July will be Irish Training camps in Dublin and Belfast. This would not be possible without the kind generousity of companies like Taxback Group and we appreciate the great opportunity they have given us by contributing not only to us local hockey players but to the wider community here in Kilkenny aswell. It’s fantastic to have such a high calibre company here on our doorstep.” – Hannah and Rachel Kelly.

The Taxback Group raised some much kneaded dough for Temple Street!

At The Taxback Group, the only thing that we like better than Fridays is cake. Now imagine what you get when you mix Fridays with cake and sprinkle in some charity fundraising too!

We were absolutely thrilled to take part in the Great Irish Bake for Temple Street Children’s Hospital. The national event sees companies and individuals across the country rally together and put their best bakers forward for a good old-fashioned bake sale. Both our Stephen’s Green Office and our HQ in Kilkenny took part and there was no shortage of treats (or treat-eaters!) at either location.

Congratulations to Lisa Murphy (Kilkenny) and Carrie Grant (Dublin) who were crowned the best bakers in their respective offices, and a massive well done to Temple Street on the success of the Great Irish Bake 2019!

Temple Street provide care to hundreds of sick children in need of world-class medical care and they raise funds to ensure that these children have access to the very best paediatric equipment, facilities and supports when they need it the most. The Taxback Group aim to support Temple Street in any way that we can, and we’ve been supporting their Pet Therapy Program for the last six years.

We went green for BUMBLEance!

Every year to tie in with the St.Patrick’s Day celebrations, we hold our annual Green Day Fundraiser. This year, we raised funds for BUMBLEance, the world’s first state-of-the-art ambulance service specifically designed and tailored exclusively for all children in Ireland.

BUMBLEance provides safe and comfortable transportation for Ireland’s youngest patients who require transportation between their home and children’s hospitals, hospices, national paediatric treatment centres, and respite centres nationwide.

We were absolutely delighted to have the BUMBLEance Team on site so that our employees could see exactly what they were supporting. Here’s a look at how they got on:

 

If you’d like to see how you can help raise funds for this fantastic service, head to bumbleance.com.

The Taxback Group Supports Kilkenny Stars U14 Girls

 

It’s not long now until the Kilkenny Stars U14 Girls Team travel to Barcelona to compete in an international tournament. This amazing trip will be a great opportunity for the girls to improve their skills and develop new ones. It won’t be all work and no play however as in between the several games they’ll play during the visit, they’ll also get a chance to visit some of the top sights.

Participation at this event is by invitation and the “Stars Girls” are being included based on their performance in recent times. For two years running they have won the Under 12 and Under 13 South-East double, the league and the cup and are the Under 14 Midlands champions for this season.

The onward and upward momentum of the team is fuelled by the girls’ enjoyment of the game, their willingness to train, the support of their parents and the excellent guidance of the coaches, Lisa Dunphy, Grainne Timmons, Helena Burke with a special mention for their head coach Wayne Edwards who eats, sleeps and breathes basketball.

The girls are part of the local basketball community and Kilkenny Stars has grown immensely in popularity with both boys and girls. Two of our clubmates have made the U17 Irish Basketball squad, namely Ava Coogan and Fay Scanlon. These girls are blazing a trail for the future of these U14 girls.

“I am so thrilled to be getting this opportunity to travel to Barcelona with my basketball team. It will be a great experience for our team to compete against other international teams. A huge thanks to Taxback for sponsoring our very exciting trip.” — Ruth Breen, Player, Kilkenny Stars U14 Girls.

Rachael O’Shea, Engagement and Communications Officer for the Group, believes that supporting local clubs and teams is very important. “The Taxback Group are absolutely delighted to be supporting the Kilkenny Stars U14 Girls. I played a number of sports myself throughout secondary school and I believe that it’s an escape for kids where they can have some fun away from the books! In a day where social media and technology is all around us, it’s more important now than ever before that we, as a community, rally together and support our local clubs and teams as much as possible. We’re proud to support a number of local teams, including Dunnamaggin GAA who were recently crowned All Ireland Junior Club Champions! We wish the Kilkenny Stars the very best of luck on their journey of a lifetime”.

The Taxback Group supports Karin Dom’s professional supervisions program

Interview with Zhenislava Sapundzhieva – Director of the “Children and Families Services Centre” and Trainer at the Karin Dom Foundation.

Karin Dom was founded in 1996 and Zhenislava is working with its team since day one. She currently manages the Social Rehabilitation & Integration Services in the Early Intervention Centre. She has been involved in the Department of Early Intervention since 2011. She ensures a family-orientated approach in all of the services that they provide to the families with children with special needs.

We talked to Zhenislava about Karin Dom`s brand new project, called Professionals supervisions program, that helps their specialists to deal with specific emotions and stressful situations that arise in the process of working with children with special needs.

What’s the purpose of the professional supervision of Karin Dom’s specialists?

The daily work with clients, parents, colleagues, and different institutions can bring on a wide variety of emotions. Our professionals need a special place and time where they can share what they have experienced throughout the day. This is done through both individual and group supervision sessions. All professionals working with children and people with special needs should be able to express their thoughts and emotions in a safe and confidential environment. Professional supervision is a positive and enabling process that allows them to take control of their emotions and reflect on their work practice. The process can also provide answers to any questions that may arise.

 

 What impact has the professional supervision sessions had on the         employees to date?

As a result of the professional supervision program, my colleagues and I can get a   better picture of our emotions and look at how our job affects us. The program also encourages us to put ourselves into different scenarios and look at situations from the perspective of children with disabilities, their families and the institutions.  As a matter of fact, each supervision session is tailored and has its own, specific goal. These goals depend on the different situations that we encounter, and the person that we are supervising.

The greatest outcome that we have achieved so far is that people’s ability to understand and deal with different temperaments has improved, which has in turn improved their ability to prevent and resolve any problems that may arise. The emotional support and advice available to our colleagues is vital in maintaining the high quality of service that we provide to the children and families that avail of Karin Dom’s services.

 

How important are programs like this in achieving better work-life balance and preventing burnout?

They’re undoubtedly very important. Thanks to the professional supervision program, each individual can define their own working style that incorporates their personal qualities, their theoretical knowledge and their experience. In this job, it can be incredibly difficult to separate your emotions from your work and professionals often feel angry, sad, and even depressed, all of which can lead to them becoming burnt out. The professional supervision program is the tool that helps our specialists to deal with their negative emotions, while enabling them to express their emotions in a safe and confidential environment.

Zhanina, you are also working as a specialist in Karin Dom. What in your daily work motivates you the most?

Working in Karin Dom is an honour for each and every one of us. The satisfaction that we get from supporting the children and their families is what motivates us the most. We can see the positive impact that we have in the results from the children’s therapy. Constantly expanding our knowledge and skills through various conferences and events is what keeps us “hungry” for improvement. The combination of our daily professional supervisions with teamwork and a great work environment helps us to achieve the right balance between our professional and personal lives.

 

 

 

 

International Volunteer Day at The Taxback Group

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

Did you know that International Volunteer Day mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December? It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities. Following the good example of UN, we at The Taxback Group decided to show our appreciation to all Bulgarian colleagues who volunteered in any of the charity events that we organized within the past year. We invited the chairmen of the three biggest organizations that The Taxback Group supports – ARTON, Karin Dom and the Vinitsa Orphanage, and let our employees meet and talk to them in person. Furthermore we shared with each other some amazing volunteering moments from 2018 with a glass of mulled wine. What better way to end the year than recognizing all amazing ambassadors of goodness?