Paxton MIND Charity Day
Paxton - MIND Charity Day

Sussex Business Promotes Community Spirit – Supporting Local Charities, Food Banks, Schools, and STEM Students

Paxton is a Sussex-based technology manufacturer that continually develops community support initiatives. In this article we explore Paxton’s motivations and current projects.

Paxton launched in East Sussex in 1985, and since then they have evolved into one of the UK’s leading security technology manufacturers. They distribute to over 60 countries and employ more than 400 people. Their flagship security system Net2 helped them establish a solid reputation and their newest security innovation, Paxton10, is a unique combined access control and video management platform. Their products are designed to be simple-to-use and supported by Paxton’s world-class customer service. This enables them to grow year on year.

Alongside the company’s security industry legacy and financial success, Paxton reach out to their local community by developing meaningful initiatives that resonate with their employees.

Kate Hotson, Project and Events Manager at Paxton, organises many of the community projects Paxton work on. She explains: “At Paxton we want to create great company culture and an innovative working environment that is not just about work. 

“Paxton people are passionate about helping local charities and organisations. It is motivating and important work that gives our employees a chance to give something back to their community.” 

Supporting Local Charities 

Each year Paxton employees vote on a local charity to support. This year they are helping MIND Brighton and Hove, which support local people with mental health issues. So far this year they have secured over £2000 in fundraising for the charity with efforts still well underway. 

Kate explains: “To raise money for MIND, we have been taking part in various fundraising activities throughout 2022. These include charity days where we sell special breakfast baps and create fun social games, as well as competitions our employees can take part in. Additionally, all entry fees from our social calendar activities such as wine tasting, pub quizzes and football tournaments go to the charity.”

Jodie Wallis, Director of Operations for MIND Brighton & Hove, said: “We are quite a small charity and do not have a dedicated fundraising department. Working with companies like Paxton enables us to continue achieving our mission of helping our community and raising awareness about mental health.” 

MIND Brighton & Hove is not the only charity Paxton employees work to support. Last year they raised almost £6000 for the Clock Tower Sanctuary, which support young people affected by homelessness in Sussex. This was achieved by Paxton people taking part in Paxton’s Around the World Challenge where they virtually travelled 53,709 miles around the world, running, cycling & walking to meet their target.

Lorna Beaumont, Fundraising & Communications Officer for the Clock Tower Sanctuary said: “We receive no statutory funding, so we rely on the fantastic support by local businesses and individuals, as well grants given by Trusts & Foundations to keep our doors open.”

Delivering to Food Banks 

When the pandemic began in 2020, like many businesses all over the country, Paxton sent their employees home to work. This meant that their on-site café was being left unused. So, Paxton started donating hot meals to food banks daily. To date, they have delivered over 12,000 meals. This initiative continues today.

Kate Hotson explains: “We decided to continue providing meals after social restrictions ended because of the positive feedback we received from the volunteers at our local food banks. So, every month 150 freshly cooked meals are made, packed, and collected, then distributed.”

Mike Jourdaine, who runs the Brighton Food Bank, said: “Paxton’s contribution means a lot to our clients as they are receiving the benefit of a well-cooked hot meal. Having someone give them that thought can really make a difference.” 

Delivering to Food Banks

Volunteering in Schools 

Alongside working with charities and food banks, a group of Paxton employees are volunteering to mentor 30 Year 9 students at Patcham High School in Brighton, and Willingdon Community School in Eastbourne. The aim is to give students an opportunity to speak to other adults who are not their teachers or parents about their future and the often-daunting world of work.  The project is called ‘Dare to Dream’, and is organised by the LoveLocalJobs Foundation, and led by More FM presenter Jack Hayes. 

Jack Hayes explains: “We cannot do the things that we do without the support of companies like Paxton. What we love about Paxton- is they are a Brighton based business, but global. They are the right kind of people, and they really do care about the next generation coming through.”

This is the second year that Paxton have taken part in the initiative. Their mentors meet with the students 3 times throughout the school year and then will host all students from each school at their headquarters.

Mike Newman, Deputy Head at Patcham High School, said: “We have been incredibly grateful to be paired with such an innovative, community spirited and caring company. The Paxton mentors are really committed and inspired our students no end, simply by listening and being incredibly supportive.” 

Dare to Dream mentoring programme

Alison Borrell, Director of Learning for Technology and Enterprise, Associate Assistant Head at Willingdon Community School, said: “We aim to prepare our students for the careers of tomorrow and raise aspirations for jobs in the STEM sector. Working with Paxton will enable our students to gain a valuable insight into the different employability skills and careers that a forward-thinking worldwide manufacturer can offer.”

Another group of Paxton employees volunteer at Moulsecoomb Primary School, which is local to the company’s Brighton campus. The volunteers attend the school gardens during their lunch break to help students take care of their outdoor space. This happens at the end of every month on a Thursday. 

One of the School Governors, Warren Carter, said: “Our award-winning school grounds are a fantastic space for children to learn and play. We have orchards, chickens, vegetable gardens and our roundhouses where we teach pupils from across the city the pre-history curriculum. But with school budget cuts these would be impossible to maintain without the fantastic support from companies like Paxton.”

Offering STEM Students Scholarships 

Schools are not the only type of education establishment that Paxton run projects with. For the last five years Paxton have been running a Scholarship Programme in partnership with the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. Each student receives a three-month paid internship to get hands-on work experience, and £10,000 towards the cost of living in their final year of university.

Adam Stroud, CEO at Paxton champions the programme. He said: “We have built a longstanding partnership with our neighbouring universities to help foster local talent. The Paxton scholarship means we can promote careers in technology and the breadth of roles available to the students while they are in their second year. 

“I remember my time well at university. What strikes me now is the massive difference between academic study and working for a company that designs and makes products. The value of a paid internship at a real company is opening your eyes to the world of work while you are still learning.” 

Marnie Middlemiss, Director of Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement at University of Brighton, said: “Working in partnership with Paxton, who are committed to nurturing local STEM students, provides an exceptional opportunity and transformative experience for them. These scholarships enable our students to gain real life industry experience in a global company that helps build the skills they need for their future careers.” 

Paxton are often recruiting locally for a variety of roles across different departments. If you are currently looking for a new job, you can check out the recruitment page on their website.

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