Gaenor Bagley - PwC
We’ve always had one firm one day and this year we decided to do one firm one May, so there is a whole month of activity. We are helping an organisation called Cultivate get this building site you can see behind me ready to grow plants and give the prisoners a chance to learn about gardening and get a qualification.
Ben Simpkins - Cultivate London
Today we’ve been building wooden rose beds. We just basically put wooden planks down either side and connect them together with struts and once we got a rose bed, we’re putting a weed suppressant matting in it, a liner, we’re tacking that in and then we’ve just got a big pile of soil and running soil to the beds.
Definitely didn’t have a clue about building a flower bed before I came here today.
Adrienne Attorp - Cultivate London
Cultivate London is a social enterprise and a charity. So, we run urban farms on derelict land around West London. We work with long-term unemployed youth and get them work experience and training on site with us and our business and we sell all the produce that we grow – flowers, herbs and veg – and all the money gets fed back into our training programme.
Margaret Cole - PwC
At PwC we’ve got an awful lot of skills to offer across the board. Sometimes we can offer our professional skills as accountants and sometimes we can just use our physical skills like today.
The honest thing it is really good just sort of giving back to the community.
Yes, I’ve enjoyed doing this, you know. It’s a hands on job, something I’m pretty good at, something I enjoy doing.
Being here gave me a lot of things. It has boosted my confidence. It’s made me better to be able to talk to people. The place is really friendly and I just really like it here.
Kevin Nicholson - PwC
Five years ago when we started this as a sort of regional activity the idea was we know we do lots of volunteering and lots of activity but wouldn’t it be great if we got together on one day and did something across the country and I think there were about nine or ten teams and today here we are in 2013 86 teams and actually many, many more in the build-up to this day.
So, today here, the PwC team have been helping some of the volunteers develop their own CVs and in doing that, learning new skills so that they can go out and help others to develop CVs, to help them get jobs. There are some fantastic people here who will make fantastic employees and it’s about giving them some confidence and giving them just a little bit of help and getting on that employment ladder.
It’s been really good for the PwC guys and my team to come here and really complete the journey. We’ve been going to the prisons and training the prisoners there and so this is the next step. Once those prisoners come out, to meet them here and give them the skills that they need to actually get a job.
It was great. When I saw this opportunity come up I reached out and said I definitely want to be involved with it. It’s something PwC does and I want to do more of and I hope to see PwC do more of.
Thanks to this lady here, I’ve learnt a lot. So I can take what I’ve learnt here, take it away.
David Adair - PwC
I think we get very cosseted at PwC in our own world, so to get out and see what it’s like outside in the real world and some of the issues people face is really important and they bring that knowledge back into the firm and look at things from a different angle and perspective.
Junior Smart - SOS Gangs
Today I saw many young people being presented with opportunities and a chance that they otherwise wouldn’t have had thanks to PwC.
Our community programmes have supported social entrepreneurs for several years, offering mentoring and training by our staff and partners whose business and financial skills are of real benefit. At the same time, our people are greatly rewarded by taking part, experiencing a different environment, new challenges and applying their talents to businesses focused on social impact.
In 2011, we established a social enterprise hub, the Fire Station, next door to our More London office. It houses some of the leading players in social enterprise, including the national body - Social Enterprise UK - and the PwC Centre for Social Impact, a network we set up to share best practice in maximising and measuring social value. We also set up our own social enterprise as a partnership spanning the private, public and voluntary sectors. ‘Brigade’ is a restaurant providing training and apprenticeships to people at risk of homelessness; it has already helped over 45 vulnerable people into employment.
Our latest large-scale community initiative took place in May this year. ‘One Firm One May’ bringing together 86 teams from across the country for a concentrated burst of volunteering. Over 1,800 people took part in a number of different activities and even the executive board rolled up their sleeves to join in. Activities ranged from running workshops to revamping offices to fundraising. We supported 166 different social enterprises and more than 1,800 benefitted directly from the work done by the teams. Over £45,000 was raised to support social enterprises across the UK.