Working with communities for lasting social impact
At Interserve, we are passionate about creating social value. This means making a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate and supporting people to realise their potential. We do this by sharing our expertise, providing jobs, supporting the local economy and our supply chain partners – helping communities grow and thrive.
Other examples include building long-term relationships with charities through regular volunteering, undertaking maintenance work or helping the people such organisations support. In this way, our actions to build strong community relationships and our aim to encourage more volunteering complement each other.
Working together to achieve lasting impact
We don’t just want to fly in and fix things. We want to work alongside people, create a legacy and to be a major part of the communities where we work.
We hold a number of valuable relationships with the ‘People Who Know People’ that we want to work with in the community. We have partnered on numerous projects with major charities and trade organisations such as Business in the Community and Social Enterprise UK, to:
co-produce the annual Social Value Summit, an event bringing together the private, public and VCSE sectors to find new ways of working together to create a positive social impact;
promote Ban the Box, BITC’s campaign to remove the criminal conviction tickbox from recruitment processes and removing employment barriers for ex-offenders;
support social enterprises with skills and know-how from volunteers within our business as a corporate partner in arc Yorkshire.
And really, that’s the good stuff. The rewarding bit. The great feeling of seeing the difference we’ve made in peoples’ lives.
These are all long-term community relationships, but they also open doors to more connections with the organisations and members they support and serve.
Making a real difference
In 2017, we reached 8.1 per cent employee volunteering across the business and we invested £1.4 million into local communities through fundraising and volunteering. These investments help address an identified need at that time, but in the future we want to strengthen these relationships, working in partnership over a period of time and capture the long-term impact of our intervention.
For example, we’ve maintained and grown a number of relationships developed through employee volunteering such as with Grimm & Co’s ‘Apothecary to the Magical’ in Rotherham, where we’ve volunteered since 2015 to help create a magical space for storytelling and creative writing workshops for children to help them build confidence, and inspire their imaginations. Furthermore, in London we support Providence Row’s work to tackle the root causes of homelessness to help people get off, and stay off, the streets through supporting English, Art, IT and employability classes, and serving delicious brownies as part of the Rise Bakery social enterprise.
Why are we doing it?
The benefits are numerous – firstly we create a stronger and lasting impact when we work alongside communities through sustained contact and support. We generate goodwill and a sense of place and wellbeing for both our colleagues and our friends in the community, and which often results in new connections, discovering talent and supporting local employment. Not only that, but we can help our customers tackle social issues present in their regions and cities.
It just makes sense in every way.