Rance Booth Smith Architects provide some tips on how to make the most out of CSR in your business.
- CSR needs to be introduced into the culture of the business, and selecting specific causes from the many can be a challenge.
- Talk to your staff – learn about staff interests and ask for their suggestions.
- Think about your businesses key services and how these could potentially benefit socially or environmentally – pro bono work, work experiences placements, local charities etc.
- Use your skills to help others – seems obvious but charities and businesses don’t always just need financial support. Quite often offering your skills as a business whether it is architectural design, PR, Marketing and so forth can be just as valuable to them.
- Spread tasks across the year and across the workplace – less impact on just one person or team.
- Try to remember to keep a record as you forget just how much you do.
For us our choices have involved environmental issues, which are a core service of what we do. We have undertaken visits to schools, held a competition for the school children to design an Eco House; we have opened a drop in Eco Centre at our office in Saltaire for the days of the annual Festival.
Every year staff also vote for a charity of the year, this is ideally a local charity or with a local branch. During the year we build a relationship with the charity to offer our help and support where possible whilst also raising money through fundraising activities.
In 2018 we assisted Mind in Bradford with a re-design of their new premises as part of our charity partnership.
Read the Mind in Bradford case study below
Mind in Bradford were our chosen charity partner in 2018. During this time they moved into new premises and were finding their way around making the new space work for their clients and the services that they provide. Our Head of Interiors had been approached asking for our assistance which we provided on a pro-bono basis. Our expertise was used to provide a design strategy on how best to utilise the new space. The original brief was to create and optimise a feeling of openness in one area, whilst creating a range of flexible spaces for groups and 1-to-1 sessions. An analysis of flow and circulation of visitors was carried out to provide separation of use, improving dignity and privacy. A tailored furniture specification and space plan created a more inviting, approachable, calm and user friendly space.
The new design incorporated a welcoming and bright reception hub, flexible meeting and breakout areas that also included zoned meeting pods. The space at the rear of the office was opened up to create a light and airy environment.
“We are extremely grateful for all your expertise on re-configuring the space at our HQ. This is an important area for clients as it is often where they start their journey towards recovery. They will now be able to do this in a much more welcoming and comfortable environment, thanks to your support”Helen Davey – Chief Executive Office – Mind in Bradford