Celebrating acts of kindness
5th September marks the United Nations’ International Day of Charity.
Martin Laing, Integrated Business Management Champion and Rachel Morris, Sustainability Leader – who are both members of British Gypsum’s Charities Committee – highlight some of the charitable acts and donations made by colleagues throughout the business.
What sort of charitable work does British Gypsum get involved in?
There are two key streams to the charity work we do: financial donations from the good causes fund to support employees in their own fundraising activities and physical engagement activities, where colleagues are given the opportunity to contribute their time and skills to local causes.
We find that this works well for us, as it means the charity work is largely employee driven. We’re able to support colleagues that are running in marathons or competing in events for example, and it gives them the chance to take part in something that really means something to them.
We also have a lucky draw each month, where an employee is selected at random and then can nominate a charity of their choice to receive £200. We’re also able to support some of the smaller charities that we might not have known about this way.
Tell us a bit more about the local community work you’re involved in?
This is a really important area for us, as it allows us to become more closely engaged with the communities in the areas we work in. For example, one of our most successful projects recently has been with The Farnborough Academy, a school close to our East Leake head office. We’ve worked intensively with a group of pupils over a number of weeks, as part of an employability skills project designed to help the students learn about writing CVs, preparing for interviews, gain work experience and accelerate their confidence.
These projects are a great opportunity for staff to ‘give something back’ at the same time as picking up useful experience they can bring to work with them – such as practicing their presenting skills, for example. It’s also a good way of promoting the business in local communities and showing the next generation of workers what a huge variety of careers the manufacturing industry can offer.
Are there any other particular examples you’d like to highlight?
We’ve just completed a project with Derbyshire House in East Leake where we worked with a group of young people from the National Citizens Service to complete a major renovation. We donated £350 towards plants for the garden and materials to create a crazy golf course for the residents. The care home ran a “design the first hole” competition for the crazy golf course where Year 5 student, Leighton, won with his pirate ship design. The project has had over £1000 donated from local organisations, as well as materials from local residents and businesses which has made a huge difference.