2021 Round-up: Fair Society
Working within our communities is a huge part of how we live out our purpose of Creating Thriving Cities. We do this by partnering with vital organisations across our regions and encouraging our colleagues to take part in making a difference within their communities.
Creating a more equal society is crucial to us, which is why when developing our communities, we pursue local partnerships that focus on harnessing talent and creating equal working opportunities for people from all different backgrounds. Doing this internally is just part of the picture — we also help our customers to create diverse workforces and benefit the community by growing in a socially-responsible way.
Here’s just a snapshot of how we’ve been looking to create fairer societies across our towns, cities and regions this year…
Disability Confident scheme
As part of our effort to become a truly diverse and inclusive place to work, we are proud to have this year become Disability Confident Committed and strongly encourage applications from people living with disabilities.
We want to support everyone to grow to their full potential and this scheme is a commitment to offer an interview to any candidate living with a disability who meets the essential criteria of the job. No matter what the job vacancy may be, individuals can request their application to be considered under the Disability Confident Guaranteed Interview Scheme.
Launched our diversity and inclusion allyship programme
We introduced our Diversity & Inclusion Allies, a group of passionate colleagues working proactively to bring attention to the experiences of people whose voices may not be heard. The allies work alongside our People team to help to build trust and guide our D&I strategy.
We hope that this group of colleagues will help raise awareness of issues relating to diversity and inclusion within the business, highlight our diversity & inclusion strategy and support colleagues in engaging with and supporting our ambitions. The allies will also help to continue to build a speak-up culture, where all voices are heard, by providing a safe space for discussion of issues and a source of support for individual colleagues.
Throughout the year, our colleagues have used their Bruntwood Cares allowance, 24 hours of paid leave to spend volunteering in their communities, to support a multitude of causes. From tree planting to vaccination centre support, we’re so proud of the efforts our colleagues have made to help make their communities a better place.
Most recently, a team of Bruntwood colleagues volunteered at Manchester Youth Zone’s ‘Mixed Bag’ event, where local students will be given the chance to hear from inspirational speakers, and ‘have a go’ at activities. Our team were able to support the young people with the activities to ensure everyone got the chance to learn.
OCT & BeeWell initiative
The Oglesby Charitable Trust supported the Greater Manchester initiative, #BeeWell, a new programme making the wellbeing of young people everybody’s business and supporting schools to embed long-term improvements in wellbeing.
Mayor Andy Burnham invited secondary schools across Greater Manchester to sign up to #BeeWellb and implement the survey in their classrooms. Participating schools will receive confidential reports and insights over the three years to inform and complement the work that they already undertake to support the wellbeing of their pupils. To make a difference across the city region, the hope is to secure the commitment of as many of the 267 secondary schools in Greater Manchester as possible.
Belonging at Bruntwood series
In an effort to bring the topic of diversity and inclusion to life, we invited colleagues to share their stories: sharing different life experiences, challenges and hopes for the future. Ultimately, these stories are all about our relationships as human beings, and this is exactly why diversity and inclusion has been, and always will be, so important to us at Bruntwood.
From these stories, we created a series entitled Belonging at Bruntwood: the brave conversations. Intended to show the huge range of perspectives and outlooks we have at Bruntwood, the films give the opportunity to reflect on the different ways that each of us can create and build an inclusive culture, where we can all reach our full potential and be ourselves without fear or favour.
It takes courage and vulnerability to share your personal story and we thank every one of our colleagues that took part.
Our aim for the videos and for the colleagues who took part was to bring to life the challenges and opportunities presented by diversity and inclusion, and to potentially challenge us all to consider what diversity means; the wide range of personal experiences and perspective that makes us all individual and our world a more exciting and interesting place to be.
A trek for charity
One cold, wet Sunday in October, customers and colleagues from our Birmingham team set off on an immense 2-day scenic route 40k trek of the Peak District to raise money for Grand Union’s Growing Project.
Over the 13 hour walk, the group battled through wind, rain, more rain and eventually some sunshine - even scrambling wet rocks at times. Every single team member showed just how determined they were to make it to the end and complete the whopping 40k distance. An enormous amount of teamwork shone through and when those steep hills seemed tough, each team member really showed the "no man left behind" mentality.
When we set out, our goal was to raise £5000 for our Birmingham-based Charity; Grand Union, The Growing Project. We're pleased to share that by the time our sore legs reached the finishing point, we had hit our donation target!
We're so grateful for all of the generous donations thus far & the amount raised will go a long way to helping The Growing Project.
Our third year of the Wishing Tree
We ended the year with our third Wishing Tree campaign, working with our charity partners to spread joy to those in need across our regions this Christmas. The charities and the people that they support have asked for gifts that would make their Christmas extra special.
Over the past two years, we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our customers who have donated over 3,000 gifts. This year we had 2,500 tags across our regions: that’s 2,500 chances to help us give those most in need the chance to have the Christmas they deserve.
Customers and colleagues across our buildings could find present tags on the Christmas Trees in our buildings with gifts detailed on them. People simply take a tag, purchase the gift, and return it to the team. We’ve then taken the gifts to the charities to give to the people they support on Christmas day.
What a wholesome way to end the year!