Causes Supported at SQLBits 2024

Every year a variety of causes are supported though and at SQLBits. From our headline sponsor Microsoft’s volunteering in the local community to our planting trees for feedback, we challenge ourselves to find ways of raising awareness and funds for great causes. 2024 is of course no exception; read on for an outline of what’s planned.

Momentum in Fitness

Momentum is a charity that provides and facilitates accessible fitness sessions for people across the South Coast, aiming to break down and overcome the barriers which prevent some individuals and groups in our community from being physically active.

One of their key projects Project PiamBrown specifically supports children and young people with cancer to participate in exercise and physical activity. Two exercise professionals visit the Piam Brown ward on a weekly basis to provide guidance, support and encouragement to patients on either a 1-to-1 or small group basis. This project is currently running as a pilot project, but gaining the required funding they need would ensure the continuation and potential growth of this project. One of the lead consultant oncologists on the ward at Piam Brown is a huge advocate and enabler of this project, since recent studies and research have demonstrated the positive impact of exercise on patients recovery. 

Participating in regular physical activity when having cancer treatment may also help young people to manage the side effects associated with their treatment and improve their overall quality of life.

Momentum will be fundraising at SQLBits, raising money to support Project PiamBrown amongst their other key projects and you can visit their stand in the exhibition hall to find out more about what they do and help support their work. The proceeds from the usual SQLBits swag sale on Saturday afternoon will be donated to this cause, and you can also support them directly here.

The Tree

We are paying tribute to Leila Etaati at this year’s SQLBits and encouraging fundraising to Cancer Research UK in Leila’s memory.

The latest statistics show that cancer touches 1 in 2 people during their lives. All week in the DEI Lounge, anyone affected by cancer or anyone wanting to offer messages of solidarity and support can contribute to the Tree, writing a personal message to hang on the tree’s branches. Visitors can leave these messages anonymously or include their names. Our hope is that the Tree will grow and evolve during the week as people contribute, providing both an outlet for people to express themselves and a collective message of hope and defiance in the fight against cancer.

Neurodiversity Week

This year SQLBits falls during Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Inclusivity and making everyone feel welcome has been at the heart of SQLBits from day one; you can read about all the measures we have introduced to make everyone feel comfortable here.

We will be displaying some of the posters promoting Neurodiversity Celebration Week in our DEI Lounge, and some of our volunteers will be sporting neurodiverse lanyards – whether you’d like a chat about what it means to be neurodiverse, or are neurodiverse yourself and in need of a chat, they will be only too pleased to chat to you. You can read one of their stories here.

A number of the sessions in our main agenda are also aimed at raising awareness of the neurodiverse – check out:

  • Winging It: My Neurodivergent Non-Technical Journey into Data
  • Flying in Formation: A Dual Perspective on Tech, Life, Parenthood and Beyond
  • Anyone can be an alphabet soup ally
  • Gender 101
  • How to run code clubs for neurodiverse children

If you’re interested in finding out more about Neurodiversity Celebration Week and to register for any events, visit the website here.

Guide Dogs for the Blind

Joining us in the exhibition hall from 10am-4pm on Friday and Saturday will be Guide Dogs for the Blind along with a number of working Guide Dogs, puppies with their raisers and rehomed ambassador dogs all from the Farnborough area.

Guide Dogs are here to help people in the UK living with sight loss, live the life they choose. The charity’s expert staff, volunteers and life-changing dogs help people affected by sight loss live actively, independently and well. There are 2 million people living with sight loss in the UK and this number is set to double by 2050. For many people with sight loss, guide dogs are the key to a life of independence and freedom – something most people take for granted.

Founded in 1934, this is a charity that is almost entirely dependent on donations. Any funds raised during their showcase at Farnborough Exhibition Centre will help the team to continue supporting people with sight loss, through providing information and advice, rehabilitation support and of course their life-changing dogs. It costs approximately £55,000 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement and the charity are currently supporting nearly 3,500 active guide dog partnerships in the UK.

To learn more about the services of the charity and our volunteering opportunities, visit:

Hart Voluntary Action

This year, Microsoft are supporting Hart Voluntary Action, who are hoping to take 25 YCs aged 13-15, two young leaders aged 17 and three Support Workers to the annual Young Carers Festival hosted by YMCA Fairthorne Manor, over weekend of 28-30 Jun 24.  

This respite is often the only break the children get from their caring responsibilities and enables them to have a fun break and enjoy activities that ‘mainstream’ children often take for granted. The total cost of this weekend is £4500; if you would like to join Microsoft and Guy in a Cube in supporting this drive; you can donate here.

How will you support?

For every piece of feedback we receive, we will donate to one of three charities; you choose as you submit each feedback form. You can submit one piece of feedback per session you attend, so that’s multiple opportunities to support these fantastic causes. The three charities you can choose from will be Momentum in Fitness, Cancer Research UK or Guide Dogs for the Blind. Make sure you download the event app and join in.