We are determined to play our part in transforming the communities surrounding the offices from which we deliver our services. We are committed to being a good neighbour and will work with local communities to help tackle issues that affect their financial, physical or mental wellbeing. We will listen and fully engage to ensure we provide solutions and opportunities for local communities to thrive.
We have appointed a governing board to approve the delivery of community schemes consisting of Gary Beeston Group Managing Director, Nicki Sunderland Central Services Director and Stuart Parsons HSQE Director.
Our most recent project which was delivered in conjunction with our supply chain partners was supported by colleagues operating from our Cannock Chase office. In response to a local community appeal, they provided skilled labour to help with the renovation of grounds and the set up of a memorial garden for the Wednesfield & Woodend Royal British Legion club in Wolverhampton, contributing to the circa 700 volunteering hours to help complete the work.
Ray Giles British Legion Club Secretary explained that this project had been set up to commemorate members who have been lost during the pandemic, most of whom had gone without any tribute or ceremony that would have been rightfully theirs under normal circumstances which is truly heart breaking. Following the site clearance and development a commemorative stone and plaque will be installed for remembrance and reflection.
2020 was a challenging year for smaller local charities and we felt strongly about supporting them in difficult times which saw the introduction of our Christmas Cheer Campaign in December last year.
We involved colleagues from our regional offices throughout the UK and asked them to nominate a local charity to receive a financial donation and an offer of practical support. All of the following charities responded with heartfelt thanks as each one of them had faced a difficult time in various ways in providing support during the pandemic:
- East Kilbride – Women’s Aid South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire
- Carlisle – Eden Valley and Jigsaw Hospices
- Manchester – Children’s Adventure Farm Trust
- Doncaster – DIAL Disability Services
- Derby – Arena Community Support
- Cannock – Cannock Chase Advice and Community Support Centre
- Northampton – Hope community owned anti-poverty charity
- Caerphilly – Caerphilly Churches foodbank
- Maidstone – Maidstone Homeless Shelter
We have continued to support these charities during 2021 with practical support and volunteering and as a result we have been nominated for a Business Volunteer Star award through Supporting Staffordshire by one of our charities.
We work with our community engagement partners to reach a diverse audience and make sure no-one misses the opportunity to develop skills and have open access to work and career development. We are currently supporting the Government’s Kickstart Scheme which provides support to 16-24-year-olds on Universal Credit whose work opportunities may have been affected by Covid-19.
The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) is acting as the gateway for the rail industry and at the scheme’s launch in October 2020, we committed to creating 26 new placements for the initial tranche of 30. As such, NSAR has designated us as the pilot lead for the Kickstart initiative first bid.
We have equipped, trained and provided these individuals with the necessary skills to work alongside existing employees in the rail industry. They will be based across our offices and depots and will experience all rail disciplines. Those who demonstrate the aptitude, initiative and self-discipline for further training, will enter our Apprentice Scheme.
An NSAR representative said: “We are delighted that ISS Labour has taken the initiative with the Government’s Flagship programme, Kickstart. Moving quickly to raise the visibility, understanding, and uptake of Kickstart across Industry. ISS Labour has also played a critical role in enabling the first Industry bid by securing an initial 26 work placements. We look forward to working with the Team at as they support the Industry’s objectives of social value, ‘Levelling Up’, inclusion, and diversity of talent within the Rail Industry.”
Earlier this year a further 20 young people have joined us through the scheme and are undertaking their training with a view to entering our apprenticeship programme after their initial six months
Our 2021 Social Value Plans:
- We will nominate a Social Values Champion for each of our offices.
- We will continue to support the Government’s Kickstart scheme and commit to a further 30 “Kickstarters”
- We will provide opportunities for young people to connect with us through our partnerships with Solutions for the Planet and the WISE Campaign.
- We will support local schools with on-line mentoring, career advice, mock interviews, job fairs and work experience.
- We will provide employment opportunities for those facing barriers to work including long-term unemployed, ex-offenders, care leavers, recovering addicts, homeless people, single parents and military veterans through our partnerships with RFM, Novus and See Potential.
- We will engage with communities which are under-represented within our business to continue to create a diverse workforce.
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