AS A PROFESSIONAL services firm with offices across the UK, we have a responsibility to our many stakeholders, including the local communities in which we operate. We try to achieve this by using our professional skills to help to solve important problems and build trust in society.
Our support ranges from informing important debates through research, analysis and insight, to volunteering, pro-bono work and sponsorship and financial support for social causes. This mix offers our people a variety of ways to both contribute to and benefit from the opportunities available to help make society better.
Our activities are supported by the PwC Foundation, a registered charity we set up to promote social inclusion and sustainable development in the UK.
In Milton Keynes, we have been working with Ride High, a registered charity that transforms the lives of disadvantaged young people by giving them the opportunity to learn to ride and look after horses and ponies. Ride High brings about lasting change in their attitude, self-confidence and life prospects so they become happy, confident young people who become positively engaged in the outside world.
This charity was flagged to us by by one of our Milton Keynes clients and we were so impressed by its vision and work that we wanted to get involved.
Recently we offered the charity funds to support a Preparing for Work programme for some of the young people. Six of our Milton Keynes-based interns have been working with some of the children to audit all the surplus equestrian equipment and clothing and sell the equipment for the charity through online marketplaces, raising funds to further Ride High’s aims. One of our interns, Nouma Zeina, said to me that the one thing that stood out to her was the genuine care and commitment that Ride High has for helping these young people.
Added to this, Ride High centre manager Jayne Clent told me that the charity’s important work with disadvantaged children in Milton Keynes would not be possible without the support and generosity of their corporate partners.
Working with the local communities around our offices has been central to our culture for many years. Our programmes are designed to maximise the value of our activities – for both our community partners and our business – by sharing our professional skills to drive positive change and using our measurement skills to measure the impact.
Five years ago, we set some targets, which we are delighted to have exceeded. Over that time, we have volunteered more than 300,000 hours of which over 50 per cent have been skills-based, with our programmes benefiting more than 85,000 people, and a community contribution that totals £37 million.