With a history stretching back over 100 years, we recognise the importance the contribution that businesses like ours should and can have on the local community. Whether through the involvement of staff on a pro bono basis or through charitable giving, we believe it is essential to give back to the local community in which we live and work. We have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee who meet on a regular basis to develop and lead on projects and activities within the local area. Each year through a staff ballot we all agree to support and raise funds for a particular charity for that particular year.

This year, via our Corporate Social Responsibility policy, we are supporting the Great North Air Ambulance Service who operate three helicopters, 365 days a year, across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. The GNAAS crews respond to around 1,000 call outs each year and on board their aircraft are specialist trauma doctors and paramedics, who bring accident and emergency expertise to the scene.

In 2015, we supported Tiny Lives, a local charity that supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the Neonatal Unit at the RVI hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne and raised over £10,000.

In 2014, we supported Macmillan Cancer Support and raised over £27,000. The donation to Macmillan has played an important role in helping to launch the pioneering Care Closer to Home project, a partnership between Macmillan and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In 2013, we supported Down’s Syndrome North East, a leading charity which helps and supports all people with Down’s Syndrome and their families and friends. We raised over £12,000 which will help to fund activity and leisure breaks for our members.

In 2012 we raised over £7,000 for Charlie Bear Cancer Appeal which is a dedicated charitable fund based at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care and our money has helped to establish a world leading Cyber Surgery facility.

In 2011 we supported The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which focuses on the early detection and treatment of cancer and the clinical trials of new drugs that will eventually beat it. Fundraising events are held throughout the year in support of the firm’s nominated charity.

In 2010, we managed to raise £3,200 for The Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) at The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. This money donated to the unit has been used to buy eight new home monitoring machines. This really makes a difference as home monitoring, rather than repeated hospital clinic visits, means less trauma for the child and more time to have as normal a childhood as possible by not missing school as much.

Other good causes supported in recent years include The Variety Club North East and the Marie Curie Cancer Trust.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility stretches further than corporate activities and many of the staff are personally involved in a wide range of charitable activities and are encouraged to do this as part of their personal commitment to helping others.

In 2014 we became a delivery partner for the Building My Skills programme that provides a broad introduction to the world of work through high quality ‘non qualification’ activities, engaging with students from multiple study pathways, irrespective of their academic ability, interests or the job they wish to pursue.

Focussing on ‘what employers want’, the programme supports the development of ‘softer’ employability skills and the tools young people must have when they tackle the job market.

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