WATES GIVING FORMS A VITAL – AND TANGIBLE – PART OF OUR COMMITMENT TO BEING ENGAGED STEWARDS OF A COMPANY THAT COMBINES GOOD BUSINESS WITH SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. THROUGH THE TRUST, SET UP BY THE FAMILY SHAREHOLDERS OF THE WATES GROUP, WE CONTINUE TO INVEST IN CHARITABLE AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES PROPOSED AND CHAMPIONED BY WATES PEOPLE.
I WAS DELIGHTED TO TAKE ON THE ROLE OF CHAIR OF THE WATES FAMILY ENTERPRISE TRUST GIVING DURING 2016, ANOTHER YEAR IN WHICH WE WERE ABLE TO SUPPORT SOME REALLY INNOVATIVE PROJECTS THAT WILL BRING A LASTING BENEFIT TO SOCIETY. 2016 WAS A RECORD YEAR FOR WATES GIVING FOR SUPPORTING THE PERSONAL CAUSES OF WATES EMPLOYEES. ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY OUR GRATEFUL THANKS GO TO BRIAN WHEELWRIGHT WHO RETIRED AS OUR DIRECTOR AFTER 16 YEARS OF SERVICE AND ACHIEVEMENT IN JULY.
A FOCUS ON EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
Wates Giving provides grants to support projects in the local communities where the Wates Group works and backs the charitable efforts of Wates employees. In 2016, £1.1m was spent on charitable activities to support 278 causes across the UK. All the recipients of the grants were proposed and championed by Wates people or the Wates family.
The Trust has six main themes: Employment and Training, Education, Community Building, Social Enterprise, Sustainability and Thought Leadership. During 2016, Wates Giving provided a large number of awards focused particularly on the themes of Education and Employment and Training.
These helped to fund a broad range of projects nationwide. Schemes included the development of a new skills hub to provide vocational training for young people not in education, employment or training at Kirkstall Forge in Leeds and support for an innovative organisation called The House of St Barnabas in London. This Soho-based charity is a not-for-profit private members club whose mission is to support homeless people into work by providing work experience, mentoring and employment opportunities. Funding was also provided to The Mount School, York which runs an annual 'Hovercraft Day' to create enthusiasm for science, maths and creative engineering amongst schoolgirls in the area.
Wates Giving helps to realise the projects and programmes at the core of the Wates Group’s sustainability strategy, Reshaping Tomorrow. In 2016 this included the youth employability scheme, Building Futures; the school engagement programme, Build Yourself and Seeing is Believing, an initiative that showcases and promotes the growth of Social Enterprises. Wates Giving also helps to supports the Group’s chosen Charity of the Year, The Prince’s Trust, contributing almost £30,000 in the year.
A RECORD YEAR SUPPORTING EMPLOYEE PROJECTS
In total, 120 awards involving 197 individuals were made and almost £177,000 was donated in total to the charities that employees support personally, through sponsored activities from fun runs and “tough-mudders” to cake sales and sky-dives. The Trust also saw an encouraging increase in the number of applications from SES, as new colleagues became familiar with our programmes.
As well as supporting the fundraising activities of Wates employees, Wates Giving also backs volunteering efforts though the award of community grants. Wates people are generous providers of their time and resources for the causes they believe in. Awards were granted to a number of employees who between them hold a wide range of volunteering roles including sports coaches, music teachers, school governors, scoutmasters, trustees and even a mountain rescue volunteer.
Wates Community Week is an annual event that gives Wates people the opportunity to support a local cause. In 2016, over 1,000 people took part assisting 72 local projects across the UK. Many volunteers chose to help Wates flagship community projects such as Julia’s House Hospice in Wiltshire for children with life limiting conditions and ‘Renew your Nottingham’, helping to regenerate the Silverdale Community Centre. In addition, Wates Giving awarded a total of £40,000 to the charitable projects involved.
GIVE AS YOU EARN
Wates Giving also backs the charities that Wates people support through the Wates Give As You Earn scheme. This boosts employees’ personal giving if they choose to make regular donations from their salary. Once again, the amount raised by the scheme increased and in 2016, £17,000 was given to a wide variety of employee- nominated charities throughout the UK.
MEASURING THE SOCIAL BENEFIT
In 2015, Wates Giving introduced Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis to measure the impact of its programmes. Conducted by the New Economics Foundation, this analysis was extended in 2016, this time focusing on the impact of Social Enterprise initiatives in order to better understand the full range of social and economic benefits they create. The results were extremely positive and concluded that the programme generates £1.77 of social value for every £1 invested.