Name of Company:Rothschild
Programme Name:Rothschild in the Community
Staff in London:750
Rothschild in the Community is a new initiative which aims to involve a high proportion of London employees in community partnerships in the City's neighbouring areas. Education is the first confirmed major focus, and Rothschild are currently exploring projects relating to employability, enterprise and social inclusion.
Rothchild's work includes strengthening their relationship with Bow School providing volunteers for weekly programmes (Reading Partners, Number Partners, Engineering Club), large-scale one-off events (CV, careers and enterprise workshops), an art competition, an after-school Fairtrade enterprise club, and work experience placements.
Volunteers are also involved in running a fortnightly mentoring programme for able students with barriers to learning at South Camden Community School; organising a fundraising show for Chats Palace Community Theatre, and hopefully recruiting a senior member of staff as a trustee of the Theatre; incorporating a weeks placement at local schools into the Graduate training programme; holding team events at Walworth Garden Farm; and working with the Skyway youth project where volunteers are involved in both playing football with teenagers and sitting on a steering group which aims to develop models of small enterprise which can be taken on and developed by young people not in education, training or employment.
The programme was launched in January 2008 by the chairman, Baron David de Rothschild, at a lunchtime event attended by more than half of Rothschild's London employees. A new Volunteer Leave policy encourages staff to use two days per year for volunteering (for any charity, but with an emphasis on our chosen community partners). In addition, staff may use their discretion in volunteering for short amounts of time (eg lunchtime reading partners, or contributing to a careers workshop for an hour) and there is no fixed limit to how often they volunteer in this way. In year one 18 percent of staff volunteered, against a target of 10 percent and in the current year, 15 percent of staff had already volunteered by the end of quarter one.
Rothschild in the Community is managed by a full time Community Manager and guided and supported by a Community Committee made up of senior representatives of all the bank's divisions, including four Managing Directors from Investment Banking and the Head of Human Resources.
At Bow School 300 students have been helped by Rothschild volunteers. Students who have a number partner have this year achieved one level higher in maths than pupils of similar abilities who do not take part. At South Camden School, 10 pupils have been mentored which has resulted in two pupils staying in education post 16 and one pupil being spared permanent exclusion.
At Chats Palace, £25,000 in staff donations was leveraged through the production of a fundraising show. The whole of the local community is affected by Chats' ongoing financial viability and ability to stay open (which was at risk). Last year there were at least 17,000 take-ups of community outreach activities.
"Rothschild's involvement in Chats has come at a crucial time for us. The money they have recently raised will enable us to improve our facilities and develop our work with Hackney people who are excluded from accessing high quality arts. A huge thank you to everyone involved"
Sarah Wickens, Director of Chats Palace.