Investing in Local Communities
We monitor our input into community initiatives, and are proud of our contributions. Each year we invest a percentage of our turnover, as well as donating resources and materials on community initiatives with our partners. But we believe it’s the non-quantifiable benefits that really matter. Leaving communities with the confidence and skills to have their say; knowing when and how to influence decisions; building social capital and community capacity, and leaving a legacy of pride and hope in their future are much stronger indicators of sustainability.
Giving something back to local communities
This can take many forms, such as giving donations to community initiatives, and providing materials and resources to refurbish local eyesores and community facilities which may benefit the wider community. This is not simply to achieve KPIs or produce a photo opportunity. We see these activities as an investment in communities. By focussing on selective initiatives that provide a legacy within the community, we can encourage pride and hope. Emanuel Whittaker have invested in a number of such initiatives such as refurbishing a facility within a community centre to provide an IT suite for local residents, and cleaning and adapting a local pond, enabling access for disabled residents.
We also support a wide range of good causes:
Dr Kershaw’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for adults with non-curable life-threatening illnesses in a peaceful and homely environment. In addition it provides support for patient’s relatives and carers.
Emanuel Whittaker have chosen Dr Kershaw’s as our preferred Charity to support in our 175th anniversary year.
The Respect Our Community Awards (ROCA) started in December 2007 through the support of First Choice Homes Oldham, and other local businesses including Emanuel Whittaker, who have contributed to funding since it began.
It has since developed into a local fund supporting projects that help communities to help themselves.
These annual awards raise a glass to the real heroes of neighbourhoods and communities, people who have volunteered their time to make a positive difference to other people’s lives and the environment that they live in.
Emanuel Whittaker are sponsoring the awards for the second year running.
175 Little Acts of kindness
Emanuel Whittaker supported 82 community projects in 2011 and we plan to more than double that to mark our 175th anniversary. Our ‘175 little acts of kindness’ initiative is designed to thank the communities which have helped us remain in business for 175 years and remind staff of the importance of being a contractor with a social conscience.
Supporting community events
Such as open days and fun days, to break down barriers and help communities to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Emanuel Whittaker have been hosting such events for many years, and have developed some innovative techniques for engaging communities and helping them to see their ideas turn into reality. An important feature of community engagement is to ensure that communities are made aware of how their involvement has influenced decisions. We use events as an opportunity to gather information, not merely to demonstrate products and introduce our team.
Investing in local business
From using local shops and businesses to developing and mentoring local SMEs, we believe in reinvesting money into local communities, enabling them to flourish and leaving a legacy once our work is complete.
Emanuel Whittaker are not afraid to support businesses who may otherwise struggle to survive against the competition of larger, leaner and more cost efficient businesses. We have taken two such organisations through intense mentoring programmes, and have entered into sub-contracting relationships with them, to ensure their viability.
Local training and employment initiatives
To give local people confidence that investment is being retained and utilised within their own community, developing skills and opportunities for local people, and helping to build confidence.
We assist our clients by agreeing the number of employment opportunities, training opportunities and work placements in relation to each project. Our performance on these commitments ranges from 40% to 100% local labour. Wherever our partnerships with clients allow for a long term workload in an area, we agree minimum training placement targets. These currently stand at employing a minimum two apprentices per million invested, which we are meeting or exceeding in all projects.
Targeting local people and addressing under-representation
Our approach to recruitment is to work with our partner clients to target local people through trade/industry taster days; open days with local schools and colleges; work experience programmes with both young people and adults. We require all vacancies to be notified through agreed local agencies. We also target specific groups where these are under-represented in the industry. Again, our commitment is demonstrated by our industry beating employment figures: Local labour: (average) 56%; BME employees: 5.6%; Disabled employees: 5.12%; Women: 17.9%.