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Growing business engagement in local communities

24 March 2015

Most business leaders recognise that corporate responsibility is about more than minimising harmful impacts and means enabling their employees and encouraging their customers to become more active in creating flourishing local communities. Our strategic partnerships with business result in real, visible improvements to neighbourhoods and help companies develop the skills and competences of their people.

Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, M&S
"What Groundwork offered us was a way of connecting with the community to work out what they actually needed,and that having invested the money up front there would be some sort of commitment and ownership in the community to protect and preserve our green space."

We have significant experience of working in partnership with utility companies to help educate people about water, waste and energy and work alongside construction and facilities management companies to provide opportunities for local people to access jobs and get more involved in the way assets are developed and maintained.

A history of strong partnerships

We work with a wide range of businesses to help them connect with their customers and provide opportunities for fundraising, team building and personal development among their employees.

We build national relationships that add value to local programmes, using the power of big brands and business resources to stimulate community action. This includes encouraging employees to volunteer on projects to improve and manage open spaces or to provide career inspiration alongside our Achievement Coaches in schools. Our business partners include M&S, Deutsche Bank, Skanska, PWC, Direct Line and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Groundwork in Action:  Cadbury Spots v Stripes

Groundwork was the delivery partner for the Cadbury Spots v Stripes Community Programme, designed to encourage participation in volunteering as part of the 2012 Olympic legacy. Long-term volunteers with the programme said it had improved essential skills required by employers, including communication and social skills and organisation and management.

Following the programme 51 volunteers went on to higher education and another 70 started other forms of training, with 80% saying this was influenced by their involvement in the scheme.

A social return on investment analysis of the scheme found that more than £13 million of social value was created, a return of more than £3 for every £1 invested.

Groundwork in Action:  United Utilities

Groundwork’s long standing partnership with United Utilities continues to deliver results. Our United Futures partnership helps to mitigate the environmental impact of United Utilities’ capital works in the north west of England by delivering community projects that leave a lasting legacy. Over the past decade the programme has delivered nearly 200 projects that have improved or maintained over two million square metres of land.


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