Harrington Brooks is part of the One Advice Group, which employs over 480 people. When colleagues all come together from around the Group, we can make a big impact.
For colleagues in the Group, being a Responsible Business is great fun and it’s helping us to deliver some of our key objectives. For example:
- It’s anchored in our commitments to stakeholders, be they customers, colleagues, investors’ regulators or local communities.
- It’s in our vision and values; our culture – as we do the right thing for our stakeholders.
- We support local – so that the area, economy, communities, residents and local businesses, including OAG can prosper. Many of our own colleagues and their families live in the area.
- It’s helped us as we strive to be a provider of choice – to bring sustainable financial wellbeing within the reach of our customers by creating a culture that values and supports our people so they can deliver exceptional service and advice.
- And be an employer of choice – because we want to attract and retain talent, helping to create the glue that binds colleagues and the business.
- It’s also helped us to fulfil our commitment to Financial Education for Future Generations – using the knowledge and experience we have in the business, to create better financial outcomes for the future generations.
All this has provided colleagues with some great fun opportunities to give and gain, learn, develop and bring their learnings back to the business.
We firmly believe that happy colleagues provide a better service to customers.
This is what Responsible Business looks and feels like to our colleagues:
- A fund raising abseil, 10k run or mega cycle for Forever Manchester who then donate to local community projects.
- Food collections for the Tree of Life food bank, Wythenshawe. Some of the recipients will be experiencing debt problems.
- Dress up Halloween madness, cake bake sales and next – a pyjama day – because happy colleagues make happy customers.
- Testing our general knowledge at the OAG pub quiz – in aid of our Charity of the Year or course! Bringing colleagues together from all areas of the Group – “Together we are stronger”.
- Mentoring students at Trafford College, Manchester Health Academy and Newall Green High School, our adopted school, to help bring to life their work ready pathways, helping students improve their CV’s, gain interview practice and to realise their ambitions.
- Providing pro bono advice to new start up enterprises that need insight and expert knowledge on commercial aspects – Thanks to Thrive and Trafford Housing initiatives.
- Support for Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) pop up events – it’s the right thing to do to use our debt advice and expertise and we can raise awareness of our services.
- Volunteering time to support Trafford Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS), and ex offenders and the homeless at the Mustard Tree – charities that weren’t successful in becoming our Charity of the Year but who we now support in other ways.
Corporate Social Responsibility
In 2014-15 approximately 12% of the colleague population participated in volunteering and mentoring initiatives and almost all colleagues contribute in some way to fund raising. The colleague elected committee, Culture Club, are heavily involved in putting on social and fund raising, fun initiatives and events. In 2015-16 approximately 20% of the colleague population will have participated in volunteering and mentoring initiatives.
- Through our partnerships with local schools we impacted the lives of 350 children with our Financial Education for Future Generations work (including 10 youth job seekers). This has enabled us to build up partnerships with schools initially introduced to us by our constituency MP Mike Kane. We will build on this in 2015/16.
- We raised over £6,000 for our Charity of the Year, Forever Manchester.
- Donated £600 in Food Bank supplies to the local Tree of Life Centre Wythenshawe.
- 350 gifts for Key 103’s Mission Christmas 2015, in which colleagues donated gifts for less fortunate children worth approximately £2,625.
We also ran the first ever Mentor scheme with Business in the Community (BITC) of which we are a corporate supporter and member.
10 mentors participated in BITC Mosaic programmes that helped Primary and Secondary Schools students and as part of the BITC Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, a national competition that helps students compete on line to start up and run their own virtual new business.
We also forged partnerships with Trafford College and Manchester College and engaged in several careers fares and provided 6 mentors for students, helping them with decisions about their future careers, job applications and introducing them to the world of work.
Throughout 2014-15, in total we estimate that colleagues have provided over £8,000 in time, skills and experience via mentoring and volunteering schemes.
For 2015 – 16, in electing and voting for our Charity of the Year we have also forged relationships with
community groups and charities with which colleagues can support and engage on other levels, outside fund raising.
Our policies to reduce our carbon footprint also continue with such activities as car share, paper recycling and printer cartridge recycling.
And here’s what’s coming up in 2016 -17
Loads… more volunteer and mentoring opportunities, support at Trafford College careers days and for their Career Ready master classes.
Plus we are organising our Give and Gain day in support of the BITC initiative on May 20th 2016 as we’d like to deliver our PayDay board game to schools locally whilst offering colleagues the chance to use their 2 hours per person per month CPD learning and development time.
Give and Gain day in support of the BITC global initiative – delivery of our PayDay board game to schools locally whilst offering colleagues the chance to use their 2 hours per person per month CPD learning and development time.
Support for Manchester Airport Group (MAG) and BW3 initiatives such as Numbers at Work and Street Advice
More fund raising for our new Charity of the Year, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
Winners of the DWF North West Business in the Community (BITC) New Member Award 2016.
The One Advice Group – Winner of the DRF and DEMSA ‘Investing in the Community Award’ 2015.
The One Advice Group – shortlisted for Trafford Business Awards – Employer of the Year.
Adrian Hall, Group Regulatory Compliance Manager – Runner up in Employee of the Year Award, Sale and Altrincham, Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.