Support and encourage our employees to make a difference in their communities.
From ballroom dancing competitions to historical garden preservation and cross-country charity bike rides, our employees love getting involved in their local communities. We encourage this by:
- providing up to three days of paid volunteer leave per year,
- matching individual employee fundraising efforts to any UK-registered charity up to £250 per person per year, and
- covering the admin fees of payroll giving, or Give As You Earn.
We know that these activities have many personal benefits, such as increased happiness and confidence, but they also translate to business benefits, such as a healthier, more engaged and more productive workforce, and meeting business objectives, such as building trust with residents (our customers) through volunteering.
In 2016/17, almost 300 employees delivered more than 13,000 volunteering hours on company time – equal to a £260,000 investment by our business. Activities included:
- tree planting with the RSPB on Dovestone Reservoir in Saddleworth to improve the catchment land surrounding our reservoir,
- beach cleaning with BeachCarealong the Fylde coast to improve bathing water quality,
- scrub clearance with Groundworkto preserve the culturally significant landscape at Rivington Terraced Gardens near Bolton,
- attending road shows to help customers who are struggling to pay by raising awareness of available resources and services, and
- talks and workshops in secondary schools to encourage study and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Maths).
In April 2017, we ended a successful partnership with North West Air Ambulance (NWAA) and welcomed Macmillan as our new corporate charity. Thanks to our employees’ enthusiastic and innovative fundraising, and UU matched giving, we’ve donated £330,000 over four years to help operate NWAA helicopters and save lives. We’re looking forward to making a difference to those affected by cancer, the number one issue of concern to our people.