2014

The Social Inclusion category has now been discontinued

The Social Inclusion category has now been discontinued

2013

Logo: Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel

Providence Row Catering Trainee Programme

Small business Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel partners with Providence Row, an east London charity which has been working with London’s homeless for over 150 years.

Andaz’s relationship with Providence Row developed from simple donations of towels and toiletries beginning in 2009, to financial sponsorship of ten trainees in their catering programme in November 2011 and now encompasses a partnership to build employment skills and training opportunities for homeless people. This involves offering workshops at its hotel kitchens and work placements with a formal recruitment process; providing real world
employment experience for trainees.

Involving 30 Andaz employees, 24 trainees have completed the scheme since 2011, with five trainees having moved into paid employment, four into accredited training and six into further volunteering. There has also been a change in perceptions from both staff and beneficiaries. Andaz’s staff have increased empathy towards the homeless and trainees view hotel staff in a more welcoming and non-judgemental light.

Logo: ZenithOptimedia

Partnership with Castlehaven

ZenithOptimedia adopted Castlehaven in 2009, that time they have raised over £56,000 and volunteered 450 charity days. They have a committee of 35 people from all levels - from graduate to the Chairman, who organise events throughout the year to which their people sign up to volunteer at. Some examples are tea dances for the elderly, digital training for the youth members, homework club for the school children and activity weeks for the
under 5s.

Every year, ZenithOptimedia hold a fundraiser to raise much needed capital for Castlehaven that goes towards making a big ‘difference making’ project happen – such as an adventure holiday for the children, keeping the radio station open and funding for an intergenerational project leader.

In the last year, ZenithOptimedia’s support of Castlehaven has moved to the next level; the UK Chairman is currently offering them monthly consultancy to help create a more sustainable business model. This year 240 (48%) of their people signed up to volunteer at Castlehaven and 80% say it’s a wonderful way for them to give something back through their work.

2012

Logo: Reed Smith

Creative:u~turn

Create/U-Turn is a project aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable and socially excluded women in East London and enabling them to build their confidence and self esteem, learn new skills and become integrated into the wider community. The project, which started in 2010, is run in partnership with Create, a creative arts charity, and the U-Turn Project, a small shelter which works with vulnerable and hard to reach women.

The project consists of a series of weekly creative courses, including jewellery making, art, creative writing, photography, drama and music, preceded by a shared lunch. Participants work with Create’s professional artists and Reed Smith volunteers who, due to the vulnerability of the participants, are all female.

Reed Smith wanted to work with this project as they knew that a long term partnership would have a significant impact on the participating women. All 15 participants of the 2011/12 project, agreed that the project helped them to develop their creativity and teamwork, enhanced their communication skills and learnt other new skills and ideas. Reed Smith will build on this success with a new round of the programme starting this autumn.

2011

Logo: ISG

Downside Fisher Youth Club Community Engagement

Construction management company ISG undertook the fit out of Man Group’s new head office on Upper Thames St during 2010. As part of their corporate sustainability strategy ISG engages with communities local to their projects, aiming to leave a positive legacy in neighbourhoods after their time on site.

The ISG team and their subcontractors donated their time, labour and materials to refurbish Downside Fisher Youth Club’s boxing gym and raised funds for the Club through a variety of activities – the total contribution was valued at £41,000.

ISG found that as well as engaging with the youths of Bermondsey and enhancing the Club’s rundown facilities, the project enhanced relationships between their employees and their subcontractors, as well as providing valuable project management experience to junior employees.

Moving forward, ISG is planning to engage with Downside Fisher Youth Club on two new projects, bringing with them different supply chains and client teams who will add further value.

2010

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Logo: Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett Foundation

Taylor Bennett’s core business is partnering with clients to identify and appoint the best communications professionals to match their needs. It has become apparent that there is an under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the corporate communications sector and Taylor Bennett has taken proactive steps to address this problem.

They devised a 10 week training programme for talented BAME graduates excited about the PR industry. Through formal training and hands-on work experience, participants are equipped with the skills, knowledge and contacts they need.

This year 18 BAME graduates will complete the internship and out of last years intake of six, five are now employed within the sector. The company involves all 18 of its staff in the programme and believe it promotes employee engagement and staff retention – no one has resigned from Taylor Bennett in the last three years.

2009

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Broadgate Estates & Knightsbridge Guarding

'Reaching Out' Cambridge House

Overview

Cambridge House is a voluntary organisation based in Southwark since 1889, that provides community projects to service users across 14 London boroughs. 1,200 people access Cambridge House's services every week.

In 2007, Broadgate Estates launched The Reaching Out programme in order to build the management and administrative functions of Cambridge House. Knightsbridge Guarding became a programme partner in 2008, and brought the skills and experience of their corporate partners Eurotech and Vault IT.

Management

Broadgate Estates chose Cambridge House as a partner following a visit organised by City Action. Senior executives were deliberately targeted in both companies in order to ensure that the partnership focussed on skills transfer and professional expertise.

Broadgate Estates have nominated a Director to manage the partnership on behalf of the service partners who has monthly meetings with Cambridge House.

Impact

Cambridge House has benefitted from services worth over £212k and 28 days of pro-bono specialist consultancy. This has enabled the charity to become more commercial and efficient, and the staff and trustees are able to focus the service provision for all their clients. Services provided include: IT advice, use of a human resources management system, property management consultancy, CCTV, a key holding service, health and safety and reception management training for Cambridge House staff, and cleaning contract advice.

"This partnership has made our charity more business like and increased our self-confidence...with support functions taken care of, we are able to focus on what we do best; which is helping the community."

Claire Gilhooly, CEO, Cambridge House

2008

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Logo: St George's, University of London

The Experiments Roadshows

Overview

The Experiments Roadshows are fun-filled, interactive sessions delivered by fully trained St George's student volunteers that bring a range of professions to life. The Roadshows give students in years 8-11 a chance to try their hands at being Medics, Radiographers, Paramedicine or Physiotherapists. All sessions are suitable for whole classes and link well to Science and Personal, Social, Health and Education teaching, offering a new angle on established elements of the Curriculum. Schools choose from a range of Roadshows including: Prosthetics (Medicine), Radiography, Paramedicine and Physiotherapy.

Not only do the roadshows help the pupils, they also offer a wide range of professional development benefits for the volunteers, all of whom will move into front-line healthcare service provision in the NHS. The programme has grown over the years from just four student volunteers in 2003 to over 80 volunteers in 2008.

Management

The roadshows are organised by The Widening Participation Unit which is committed to developing interactive and innovative ways of engaging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Widening Participation Unit commits a nominal £6,000 budget to this work, to cover all training, equipment, travel and an awards/reward event at the end of each year for the volunteers.

Training is designed not only to prepare the volunteers for their sessions, but also to offer key skills appropriate to their development as healthcare professionals. As well as extensive child safeguarding, training covers delivery of the sessions, classroom management, problem solving and finishes with voice coach training from an actor and an opera singer! Feedback is received from a sample of participants throughout the year, as well as formally from volunteers on an annual basis. Volunteers are also able to make informal comments at the end of each session. Our unique management set up allows senior volunteers ('Roadshow Consultants') to incorporate feedback into a regular review of the sessions, leading to regular improvements.

The programme is managed by the Head of Widening Participation, who receives strong support from senior staff. The principal was involved in the last volunteer awards ceremony.

Impact

There are currently in excess of 80 student volunteers delivering over 110 sessions per year, in inner-city comprehensive schools right across London. The project reaches in excess of 3,000 pupils per year. Recent evaluation showed that 93 percent of participants agreed that the activities were interesting and had taught them new things, and 80 percent agreed that the Roadshows had helped them reach a decision about going on to Higher Education.

"The roadshows also show the students the diversity and importance of the health professions. They have introduced many students to the range of opportunities that are available to them, and the skills and qualifications that they will require if they desire a career in this field. They have been an invaluable resource that links into a co-ordinated diet of widening participation activities that encourage Wandsworth students to stay on in education in an attempt to fulfil their true academic potential."
Alex Purssey, AimHigher coordinator Wandsworth

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Logo: Deloitte

Deloitte Parasport - Disability Sport Programme

Overview

In 2007, Deloitte launched their Parasport - Disability Sport Programme. The Programme was chosen due to the strong synergy with the firm's values, the lasting impact it would have at grassroots level and with the hope it would enhance Deloitte's own understanding of key issues and application of their skills and talents.

The programme works with the British Parasport Association and SportsAid to develop disability sport in the UK. Through cash donations and employee time Deloitte support many different aspects of Disability Sport including: Deloitte Parasport, a website which supports disabled people in the community - encouraging them to get active in sport, to find the best sport for their disability, and to take up competitive opportunities and the Talented Athletes Scholarship Scheme (TASS) which provides financial assistance to athletes. Deloitte is looking at opening up opportunities in their Graduate scheme to TASS athletes.

Management

The programme works through and with experts disability sport, to ensure real needs are met. Both partners, the British Paralympic Association and SportsAid have a clear governance and oversight structure in place with Deloitte, enshrined in a legal agreement, and with accountability at Managing Partner level in the firm. One Partner working with a Manager takes responsibility for the activation of the programme with our people: creating opportunities for us to get involved through volunteering, as well as maintaining Deloitte's long term financial commitment. Every Deloitte office has a Paralympic Programme Champion. Champions are used to promote volunteering opportunities and recruit suitable candidates.

Impact

Deloitte's programme has had a huge impact on disability sport, not least in leveraging match funding from the government, and hence providing a huge investment into disability sport and the Paralympics. More than 20 young people who were funded by Deloitte competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the GB Paralympic squad. 15 Deloitte employees volunteered to help with the general running of the Paraylmpic World Cup and British Wheelchair Athletics trails, and 10 Deloitte volunteers assisted with the kit-out and send-off of athletes. Deloitte Parasport is accessed by 17,000 people per month.

Deloitte's contribution has been hailed as a 'transformational investment' in disability sport. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has praised the firm's vision and the excellence of our programme

"Basically, after an operation on my leg to remove a tumour I conceded that I probably wouldn't be able to do sports anymore. However, after looking on the internet and stumbling across www.parasport.org.uk, I realised that I could still do sports"
Tom, Parasport user

2007

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Logo: Lovells LLP

10 Year Anniversary of Lovells' Pro Bono Unit

Overview

In 2007 Lovells celebrated the 10 year anniversary of their Pro Bono Unit. The Unit co-ordinates over 450 volunteer lawyers and trainee solicitors who take part in a diverse range of pro bono activity including advocacy work, charity advice, human rights and mainstream corporate matters.

Much of Lovells pro bono work is not high profile but addresses an unmet legal need. Their assistance represents a considerable relief from the anxiety faced by their clients in handling such matters alone. Lovells understanding of the issues affecting pro bono clients, allows them to use litigation expertise in public interest litigation and advocating public policy changes. They use their commercial expertise in a similar way; for example in advising hundreds of charities and start-up social enterprises, who in turn bring immeasurable benefit to their communities.

Examples from the Lovells pro bono programme include: taking referrals in relation to Disability Living Allowance Appeals from Community Links, a charity which helps vulnerable people build a ladder out of poverty; providing volunteer lawyers to attend Bow County Court 7-10 afternoons a month to act as Duty Advisors; working with the National Council for Domestic Violence to provide vital legal assistance to men and women who are victims of domestic abuse but ineligible for legal aid; and building on their knowledge of victim compensation in the UK, to work with British victims of terrorism abroad

Management

Throughout the past 10 years Lovells has ensured that its Pro Bono programme is underpinned by a robust institutional structure. Lovells has a Corporate Responsibility panel that oversee effective policy development and implementation across the areas of pro bono, global community investment, diversity, environment and client facing Corporate Responsibility expertise.

Lovells have developed strong support networks throughout every department of the firm. In each department, they have built up a wealth of expertise and support for new lawyers and trainees undertaking pro bono work for the first time. In addition, they run training sessions on various aspects of our pro bono practice for staff.

Impact

In the past 10 years Lovells has provided over 120,000 hours of free legal advice to thousands of pro bono clients. This has included, increasing their pro bono hours from 300 hours of work per year in 1997 to over 16,000 hours per year (2006/07), encouraging over 450 members of legal staff in the London office to get involved with providing pro bono assistance, preventing 10 prisoners from being subjected to death sentences, providing pro bono legal advice to over 500 charities, NGO's and not for profit organisations, and advising over 250 disabled people claim disability living allowance.

"the partnership between our advice team and Lovells is an inspirational example of a mutually beneficial pro bono programme. Without their support, we could not provide the appeals and tribunal service that we need".
- David Robinson, Senior Advisor at Community Links (2005)
Community Links runs an extensive walk in advice service in the London Borough of Newham - one of the poorest areas of Europe. Lovells lawyers have provided free appeals and tribunal representation for clients who are battling with welfare benefit cases.

2006

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Logo: Community Links, Lovells & Barclay

Bow County Court Advice Network (BCCAN)

Overview

BCCAN provides a housing debt advice and representation to residents facing eviction, who come before Bow County Court. This service is the only one spread across four London Boroughs, covering all of the London Borough of Newham and parts of the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Redbridge. In 2004/5 BCCAN faced possible closure after 15 years of operation due to lack of funding and support. Through a joint partnership with Barclays Bank, Community Links and Lovells, it has managed to secure the future of the Bow County Court Scheme such that the service can continue to provide vital help to over 1,000 people a year that face the very real prospect of losing their homes in court hearings where legal aid is not available. The Scheme has now been able to mobilise volunteer lawyers from firms across East London (including Lovells). Without the service these vulnerable people would be forced to represent themselves. Not only has the service been saved, but it has been extended by providing a debt advisory service on site, to help those facing eviction to better manage their finances. As a result, the service can now offer "all round" support which will be more effective.

This is not a high profile project but seeks to tackle some of the hardest and most complex debt issues individuals face and helps to relieve some of the anxiety of those facing loss of a home.

Management

Primary responsibility for the service had been with Community Links in conjunction with the Lovells Pro bono unit. Volunteer duty solicitors are recruited and trained using mentoring techniques and shadowing, plus a formal training session. The mentoring is provided by a current adviser and continues until the new adviser becomes confident to undertake the representation alone. In that way each new adviser is given tailored support. An e-mail noticeboard has been created to circulate new legal points and issues that have come up at Court amongst duty solicitors so they are kept fully informed.

Each adviser completes an advice summary, and all summaries are reviewed by a qualified solicitor. The feedback helps to ensure a consistent service to the client and provides a basis for constant review of the performance of the service.

BCCAN clients are offered discrete assistance, advice and representation tailored to their specific needs and circumstances. Generally there is no need for follow-up work from a solicitor. If the client requires debt and/or welfare advice, as is often the case, they are referred to Community Links. Community Links have recently devised a form whereby they are given express permission by the BCCAN clients to contact them directly, rather than wait for the BCCAN clients to come to Community Links for advice, thus providing the BCCAN clients with well-rounded advice and services.

Impact

With financial, technical and volunteer support, the BCCAN service has been put on sound financial footing after the threat of closure. In the last financial year the partner organisations have:

  • Ensured an orderly take over of the service from BCCAS (Bow County Court Advice Service) to Community Links (BCCAN) without a break in continuity for clients.
  • Ensured 1,000 defendants a year are represented in eviction warrant hearings with 90% being successful.
  • Helped to strengthen the duty solicitor volunteer network so that there are now other high street law firms participating.
  • Provided an expert debt advisor on site at Court.
  • Sponsored and delivered training and materials on debt advice for Lovells and Community Links advocates and volunteers.
  • Provided an appeals representation service at Social Security tribunals for over 50 elderly and disabled people a year, many of whom also face the threat of eviction.
  • Provided follow up case work for those who are about to be evicted and need additional support.
  • Provided help with policy issues such as the scope of the judges authority to act.
  • Provided facilities such as access to training rooms, meeting spaces, covering all providing admin support eg photocopying services.
  • Facilitated additional funding by introducing other partners to the Scheme eg Chelsea Building Society and Matrix Chambers.

"The gratitude felt by clients for whom you have acted through possibly one of the most difficult events that they may ever have had to face is very humbling but above all demonstrates why the work is so important."
- Lovells Duty Solicitor