A couple of years ago, we decided to re-think and re-align our community investment activity back towards our People. Having been late to CSR as a business, we’d previously taken a more top-down “here’s the charity to support” approach which didn’t fit with our philosophy and strategy of ‘building our brand from the inside’.
Now, our programmes are structured around helping our People – either at home or with their work colleagues – to support the things that they are passionate about. Whether it’s raising money to help the daughter of a colleague get medical treatment in the US, a departmental team helping a local children’s hospice or someone volunteering as a school governor, our CSR goal is to facilitate, and in some cases, incentivise. It’s not especially sophisticated, but it is right for who we are and where we are on our journey.
Over the last twelve months, things have really begun to take shape: our plan of not telling our People what to do, but rather helping them to do the things they want to do is working. Last year, Volunteering – at work and at home - was up and our engagement survey told us that 84% of our People said community work makes them proud to be part of HomeServe. A great example for me is BBC DIY SOS. Our People watch the show, told us they wanted to be part of it, so we asked the BBC and we’ve now been involved in four amazing ‘builds’.
And I have become a believer as well. Like HomeServe corporately, I came to CSR rather late in life. But now I am in. So much so in fact that later this month, alongside seven colleagues and friends, I’m cycling 100 miles in a day as part of the Birmingham Velo event.
This will be a huge challenge for me personally but I’m driven by the fact that as a team, we’ll be raising money for a brilliant cause in the Royal British Legion, and specifically their pop-in centre in Birmingham which, amongst other things, helps former service personnel get back to life on ‘civvy street’. You can read more about what we are doing here and if you would like to make a donation to help me endure the pain, but more importantly, support a wonderful organisation, then I would be really grateful.
Right, back on that bike...