Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme
Albion in the Community and American Express
Albion in the Community (AITC) and American Express (Amex) have been working together to deliver ground-breaking community programmes since 2011.
The shared aim behind the collaboration remains to positively impact the community, engaging beneficiaries in innovative learning initiatives and inclusion programmes, co-ordinated by AITC and supported by Amex volunteers. The two organisations now have a strong reputation locally for delivering impactful and evidence-led interventions.
The partnership continues to flourish. In 2017 alone Amex volunteers benefited from 341 volunteer opportunities with AITC – up from 235 in 2016. That involvement saw 1,400 participants take part in sessions benefiting from volunteer involvement – up from 1,311 the year before.
The range and number of programmes and sessions delivered by AITC in tandem with Amex continues to grow, with initiatives now directly targeting local need to ensure maximum impact on communities throughout Sussex.
The relationship between AITC and Amex is something that is benefiting all involved: the charity, the company and, most importantly, the local community.
Everton in the Community
In November 2016, Everton Under 23 Manager David Unsworth and his entire team of backroom staff and players slept outside at Goodison Park at Everton in the Community’s ‘Goodison Sleepout’ event to raise awareness of homelessness in the city of Liverpool.
After taking part in the Sleepout on the coldest night of the year, David Unsworth and Everton CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale devised a fundraising campaign called ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ (HIWTHI) to support young people on the brink of homelessness across the city. Supported by a committee made up of staff from across the Club and charity, the group set themselves a fundraising target of £230,000 with the final goal of purchasing, and operating, a house close to Goodison Park to offer 16-23-year-olds who have fallen on hard times, or have perhaps fallen out of the care system, a place to stay in Liverpool. Aside from offering young adults a roof over their head in difficult times, the Club’s official charity will play a large part in their development by providing them with access to key services including health and wellbeing support and assistance with education, employment and training as well as encouraging them to volunteer.
Huddersfield Town FC
Huddersfield Town’s ‘Keep It Up’ campaign is a unique and innovative CSR partnership between the football club and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which aims to raise funds for the lifesaving charity as well as for other deserving local causes. Now in its 9th season, the campaign has raised over £1.9 million and this year saw £200,000 raised via its main event, the Pedal for Pounds 9 bike ride 175 Town supporters cycled 300 miles over five days through France and Belgium to commemorate the lives of six Town players who were killed in World War One, in its 100th anniversary year. In addition to raising funds, the campaign and its Pedal for Pounds events have engaged hundreds of Town supporters of all different ages, abilities and backgrounds to get on their bikes, get fit, raise money and make friends. Moreover, it has successfully engaged our local business community to undertake their own CSR activities. At HTAFC, we have never lost sight of the important role we play in our community and being able to impact so many people and causes through our Pedal for Pounds events over the last 9 years is something we are incredibly proud of.
Luton Town FC
Luton Town’s Club Charity of the Year Programme has been established since 2015, and helps to raise in the region of £25,000 for the beneficiaries each season.
The Club are committed to continuing the programme long into the future, to demonstrate our passion for local community-matters, proving that we are a Club at the heart of the Community, with community at its heart.
Each season the Club select 3 official charities of the year, a Club Charity, Supporters’ and Players Charity – each of whom benefit from a dedicated matchday and the focus of our fundraising and awareness drives.
Swansea City FC
The Swansea City defibrillator programme was launched following the tragic death of local footballer and fan Mitchell Joseph, who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for his local league team. There was no defibrillator available at the playing field and Mitchell sadly passed away in hospital.
After Mitchell’s friends and family raised £10,595 for his pregnant partner with a bucket collection before a home game, the club came up with the defibrillator initiative.
The club matched the funds raised and initially purchased 15 defibrillators before pledging to add an additional defibrillator for every goal the team scored until the end of the season, taking the overall total so far to 38.
Teaming up with Cariad, a Welsh defibrillator charity, the 38 defibrillators have now been placed in sporting venues and schools in the area, with Mitchell’s family and friends at the heart of the selection process.
The club has also held training events at the stadium where members of the public can learn how to use a defibrillator, together with a schools’ programme to raise awareness of the life-saving defibrillators.
Through such a tragic loss, the initiative has helped the community come together in Mitchell’s memory and potentially save lives.
The Aston Villa Foundation
Aston Villa launched the ‘Supporting Our Own’ initiative in September 2017. Managed by the Aston Villa Foundation, Supporting Our Own provides an identity for the club’s work in the community and its approach to corporate social responsibility.
The aim of the scheme is to connect the club to the local community and make the club, the Foundation and its community work something staff and fans can be proud of.
The scheme supports volunteers and community groups near Villa Park through recognition, training, development and financial assistance to ensure the club is a ‘good neighbour’ and community asset, contributing to key local issues and priorities.
At the same time, Supporting Our Own is there to benefit the wider Aston Villa ‘Family’, whether through helping fans facing difficult personal circumstances, or supporting them with their own fundraising efforts.
Supporting Our Own is financed in a number of ways – many involving fans, who also get a chance to determine how resources are best deployed.
Supporting Our Own is unique in providing a collective identity and brand for the club’s CSR work that engages players, employees, fans and the local community alike.