Community involvement

Target

Status

Deliver a financial education programme which provides 200 UK teachers a year with the ability to run their own financial education programme in 2016

Partial

Deliver community investment programmes around our major locations in the UK and US that get as many employees as possible involved with their money and time

Completed

Deliver a social investment fund in Wales to stimulate new forms of finance and jobs for social enterprises in 2016 and 2017

Completed

It’s always been in our culture to work with the local communities around our offices. This is integral to being a responsible business and it creates value for our communities and for us.

We support our employees to help them give something back to society, by letting them volunteer during working hours. Volunteering enables our people to experience so many diverse opportunities that are available. Our research shows that volunteering improves confidence, health and engagement. For many years we’ve linked this to our behaviours, helping employees identify how volunteering can be a part of their overall development.

Our community programmes

Our community programmes focus on four key areas:

  1. Education
  2. Social Enterprises
  3. Encouraging our employees to fundraise and become active in their communities.
  4. Trustees

Our commitment to education

Education has been an important part of our involvement in our local communities. We encourage each of our locations to partner a local school, co-ordinating volunteering activities and bringing in interventions to address important issues for them.

Such activities can include:

  • Facilitated workshops
  • Inspirational speakers
  • Acting as school governors and trustees with grants available
  • Acting as role models to students through our mentoring programmes
  • Supporting students with their literacy and numeracy. Giving students an insight into the world of work and business, through activities such as CV/interview training, office visits and work placements

Our long term commitment to financial education focussed around getting 14 – 16 year olds ready for the world of work. We have reached over 4,000 young people. Working with ‘EdComms’, we have moved to focus our work on providing financial education for teachers as well as pupils.

The current programme has involved over 200 teachers from across UK with a common responsibility for integrating financial education into their schools. We see financial education as an important contribution to prepare the next generation for the challenges of adulthood.

Our commitment to social enterprises

We welcomed a further six social enterprises, benefiting from our Social Enterprise assist funding and mentoring programme. Our social investment initiative provides essential support to build sustainable local social enterprise infrastructure.

The Welsh Fund was launched in January 2016, in partnership with the Welsh Government, Wales Co-operative Centre, Business in the Community Wales and the Institute of Directors Wales.

With a record number of applications from across Wales we were delighted to see a broad range of businesses and sectors represented.

Our commitment to fundraising.

We have a long history of supporting charities and good causes. Finding new and innovative ways employees can support communities and charities close to their hearts.

Matched giving programme

Our matching programme allows employees to boost their fundraising by claiming company matching. They have the opportunity to turn their volunteering time into cash for their charities or community groups. We see this as an important part of supporting communities. We don’t have a charity of the year, we encourage our locations and business units to support a wide range of charities rather than a few.

In 2016 over 900 people applied for matching contributing. We contributed over £365,000 to more than 500 UK charities, voluntary organisations and community groups.

Helping small charities grow

During small charities week, employees had the opportunity to claim £100 for a small charity of their choice, close to their heart and community. £12,700 was given to 127 small charities and local community groups.

Chairman’s awards

Our new chairman, Sir John Kingman hosted his first community awards attended by all the group board. Because so many of our employees give their own time and skills in the communities around them, this is a chance for all the finalists to be recognised by the Chairman and Board highlighting small acts of kindness to dedicated courage to make a difference.

Over 100 employees were nominated for their community work with a chance to win £1,000 for their charity. Employees, friends and family are given the chance to vote for over 30 finalists. Winners this year included ‘home from hospital volunteers’, ‘Glamorgan Hospital radio service’ and ‘Birmingham support group for the homeless’.

Payroll giving (Give As You Earn)

Payroll Giving is a simple flexible scheme to donate to charity on a regular basis, direct from pre-tax salaries, operated by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). Our participation rate remains strong with over 10% of our staff contributing over £700,000 each year.

Our Commitment to charities through trustee appointments

First launched in 2014, the SMART (Senior Managers recruited as Trustees) programme with Careers Volunteers, connects our talented senior managers with charities and organisations.

Sponsored by our Chairman, this programme is a fresh approach to leadership development, enabling senior talent to gain new skills and experience through serving on a charity board and at the same time contribute to society.

We want to understand issues better. If we can do that we can problem solve better. It's research and development in its purest form."

Graham Precey