Being a great community partner has proven to be a powerful tool for waterparks and aquatic venues looking to raise their goodwill profile. There are a couple of ways to launch a charitable initiative that can make a difference in your community while elevating your brand.
One way is to create your own charitable programme from scratch. For example, in 2008, Merlin Entertainments founded Merlin’s Magic Wand, a charitable organisation that enables seriously ill, disabled and disadvantaged children to enjoy a day out at a Merlin attraction. Over the past decade, this program has helped more than 377,000 children and their families make precious happy memories.
A second way is to find a well respected partner and put your full support behind them to raise money or awareness. Since June 2016, Center Parcs has partnered with Together for Short Lives, a UK charity that raises awareness and funds for children’s hospices. Center Parcs matches fund donations made by guests and donates 25 breaks a year to the charity. As well as national support, each Center Parcs village fundraises for their local children’s hospice, allowing them to make a real difference to their local community.
Both examples have merit, However, if creating your own programme seems daunting, the second option can be a more manageable way forward. Whether you choose to host a duck race in your leisure river to raise funds for your local children’s hospital or you hold a canned food drive once a month to support your local food bank, there are endless ways to become a force for good.
Aleatha Ezra, Director of Park Member Development, WWA