14 April 2020
At British Sugar we understand the value of supporting colleagues in their local communities. Whether it is fundraising or giving time and skills we want to be able to support the people who work for us in whatever way we can.
We wanted to come up with a programme that had the maximum impact but with a minimal administrative burden, leading to effective and rewarding engagement.
We devised a community programme, with three strands.
One Team One Community
Through this scheme we allocate funds to each of our factories in Bury St Edmunds, Cantley, Newark and Wissington and our head office in Peterborough.
Individuals apply for funding for causes that they’re either directly involved in, or indirectly through family and friends. This application is then considered by a committee made up of peers from across the five sites. The flexibility of the scheme means that, while the full funding requested may not be allocated, in most cases a sum is granted meaning that more people can make use of the scheme.
One Team One Community isn’t just about giving money, it’s also about donating time and skills, whether it’s converting an abandoned piece of land into a kitchen garden, re-designing day care centres or improving the efficiencies at local foodbanks. On quite a few occasions these types of activities have turned in to effective team building activities.
Supporting You to Support Others
The second feature of our community programme is aimed at a more individual level and recognises that our people are passionate about the causes they support themselves and do a lot of great fundraising for both national and local charities. We operate a scheme whereby we match fund up to £250 on any money raised by the people who work for us. Both teams and individuals are eligible for funding.
Charity of the Year
In Peterborough, in line with the flexibility theme, we also nominate a charity of the year. Charities who apply are voted on by all our staff members, with the winner taking the title for the following 12 months. During their year in post, it’s not just about fundraising but also about raising awareness of the charity we’re supporting.
Our people individually making a difference in their own neighbourhoods is extremely important to them and we are very proud to support them being good neighbours.
By operating the programme in this way we believe we can help some of the smaller groups, who may be overlooked, make a difference in the communities they are trying to help. Everyone at British Sugar is proud of our community activity and we continue to consistently look out for some great causes and opportunities where we can help make a difference.
Over the last five years we have given £150,000 to local community groups and projects, charities, schools, sporting teams and other great causes across the East Midlands and East Anglia.
Through Supporting You to Support Others, over the last five years we have supported over 200 individuals or team events through matched funding to their causes. We’ve seen some great fundraising by our colleagues through this scheme, from a head shave for agricultural mental health charity Yellow Wellies which raised £1,550 to a ‘Bake, Taste & Donate’ sale at our Wissington factory for Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s Teenage Cancer Trust, which raised £1,415.
Over recent years, we’ve held a number of fundraising events in aid of our Charity of the Year. In 2017, we raised £3,000 for Magpas Air Ambulance, in addition to volunteers from across British Sugar moving hundreds of boxes into the charity’s new store, and helping them to prepare for their grand opening. In 2018, we supported East of England-based children’s brain tumour charity Anna’s Hope, which included a British Sugar team taking part in the Great Eastern Run 5K fun run to fundraise in fancy dress!
Over 2019, we supported Peterborough Foodbank and Peterborough Soup Kitchen as our Charities of the Year, including through an office collection point, and events where attendees were asked to bring an item to donate in lieu of a ticket. Through our Christmas appeal, we were proud to have donated 173.5 kilos of food, which equates to 411 meals.