A purpose beyond profit
Our people carry out a range of activities in support of our community investment work. They mentor young people and support them on work experience. They give talks in schools and give mock interviews. They help people facing significant personal challenges achieve the confidence and skills they need to get them back on their feet. They renovate community areas and facilities. They organise fundraising events – and much more! In 2017, 80% of our people took part in these activities. Our business donated nearly 47,000 hours of their time, valued at around £1.95m.
Chaired by Group Chief Executive, the Willmott Dixon Foundation sets the strategic direction for these community activities, and measures, monitors and guides what we do.
Caption: We carry out a wide range of community activities. Here, one of our people is visiting HMP Elmley as part of our ‘Ready for the Gate’ initiative, which supports prisoners into work on release.
Our community target is to ‘To contribute at least 6,185 to the Willmott Dixon Foundation target of having enhanced the life-chances of 10,000 young people, compared with 2012’.
By the end of 2017, we had enhanced the life-chances of 5,112 young people, making us 83% of the way towards our 2020 target.
Our target is unique, because it is based on impact. Traditionally, a business’ community performance has been expressed in terms of outputs, or cost to the company – for example, the number of apprenticeships, or the cost of staff time. Using these measures as targets, however, risks encouraging teams to favour undemanding interventions over ones which will make the most difference.
Some interventions – for example, assisting with CV writing or mock interview practice – are helpful, but unlikely to have the same impact that an extended period of work experience would. And for some people facing significant barriers to work – for example, someone in the criminal justice system – the impact of a successful intervention is likely to be significant – not just for the young person but for society as a whole.
Our target focuses and encourages our teams to develop activities which are genuinely life-changing.
Community investment through the Willmott Dixon Foundation
You can find out more about Willmott Dixon’s 2017 community activities by visiting the Willmott Dixon Foundation Review here.