After supporting the region’s charities during the coronavirus crisis, a North East PR agency has announced it will continue to donate a portion of profits to good causes as the country emerges from lockdown.

Harvey & Hugo, which is based in Darlington, took the decision to donate 20 per cent from the fee of all new Pay-as-Hugo PR and marketing services to a charity of the clients’ choice.

The scheme started on April 14th and has proved such a success – raising £600 for charity – that Harvey & Hugo managing director Charlotte Nichols has decided to extend it.

Charlotte said: “I found it really upsetting to hear the plight of charities across the country, but especially those in my home region of the North East, so I decided I wanted to do something to help.

“As former PR and marketing director for Wag & Company North East Friendship Dogs, I understand how challenging funding can be for charities so by offering a simple solution we hoped to make a small difference.”

The firm’s Pay-as-Hugo services aim to make PR and marketing services accessible to all, by removing contracts and breaking down services into fixed-fee, bite-sized products.

Charlotte added: “Pay-as-Hugo was created in the recession of 2009 with the aim of being simple, cost effective and contract-free, meaning every business has access to our services regardless of budget.”

Among the charities supported by the scheme were Daisy Chain, Suited and Booted, Stroke Association and the Yorkshire Children’s Trust, via High Bank Nursery’s appeal.

The Daisy Chain Project, which is based in Stockton, was established in 2003 to support families living with autism across the Tees Valley. Events manager Tracey Wright said: “It was lovely to hear that Harvey & Hugo were making a donation to us as part of its Pay-as-Hugo charity campaign. As I am sure you can imagine, it’s a crazy, difficult time for charities like ours, so support like this is genuinely appreciated and gratefully received.”

A Pay-as-Hugo customer who took the opportunity to support a local charity was Rameez Kaleem, founder of specialist pay and reward consultancy 3R, who chose to donate his 20 per cent to Suited & Booted, a London-based charity that provides suitable interview clothing to vulnerable, unemployed and low-income men.

He said: “Harvey & Hugo are a pleasure to work with and as a small business it’s great to have access to marketing support, whenever we need it, from a team that already understands our brand and values.

“It’s an added bonus that they also donate to charity of my choice and I was delighted to give to a cause I regularly support. It’s brilliant that they will be offering this moving forward and speaks volumes about the sort of company they are.”

Charlotte added: “All of the charities we donated to were so appreciative of donations during this time and it felt lovely to be able to offer support. I appreciate £600 isn’t a lot of money to most large businesses, but for a small firm like ours it is a significant amount, especially during these times, so I’m proud to have helped where we can.

“If there’s one good thing that will come out of the pandemic it is that we’re going to keep offering the charity discount. We can’t afford to give away 20 per cent on an ongoing basis, but we will pledge to donate five per cent to a charity of the clients choice.”

Charlotte believes the firm’s Pay-as-Hugo services will continue to provide valuable support over the coming months, as businesses are reluctant to commit to long-term contracts due to ongoing financial uncertainty.