Page 4: Investment
There are three main strands of the Community Investment Programme. These are:
- Business Education Partnerships
- Volunteering and support for the voluntary sector
- Local social and economic regeneration
Business Education Partnerships - In 1991, the company established the Whitbread Education Team, which consists of a national manager, responsible for the overall management and direction of the programme and five regional managers, who facilitate activity between Whitbread employees and educational establishments.
Recognising the importance of support for education, a campaign entitled “Brighter Futures” was launched to inspire even more Whitbread employees to become involved with schools, colleges and universities. The main activities of the programme are the provision of work experience for young people (over 1,000 young people benefit from work experience with Whitbread each year), the development of teachers through teacher placements with Whitbread (over 350 teachers per annum benefit through teacher placement in a real business environment and share some of Whitbread’s management techniques), providing business projects for pupils in line with the National Curriculum and the representation of Whitbread employees on appropriate education bodies such as Boards of Governors. An examples of a Brighter Futures project:
- A Beefeater manager who arranged a project involving her local primary school. 30 pupils took part and were asked to design and draw up their favourite non-alcoholic cocktails! Their work was displayed in the restaurant, and parents and relatives came along to sample the final products.
Volunteering and support for the voluntary sector - Whitbread sees employee volunteering as a fundamental part of its Community Investment Programme and ensures employees who take part receive the support and recognition they deserve from top level management. Pioneered in the U.K. by Whitbread in conjunction with Business In The Community, and resourced by an Employee Volunteering Manager, Whitbread now has 30 volunteering committees, providing their experience and skills to the voluntary sector. These activities can involve anything from clearing a river bank, decorating a new hospice wing, raising money for charity or organising a sports day for the disabled. Individual volunteering is also recognised by grants from the company to the organisations supported, through the Whitbread Awards for Volunteer Effort (WAVE).
Local social and economic regeneration - One of the major concerns of CIP is the “health” of local communities. A community’s health can be measured environmentally, socially or economically and Whitbread plays an influential role through involvement with organisations such as Enterprise Agencies, Business Links and Local Partnerships. Whitbread’s local community network, administered by nine Regional Community Affairs Directors, has discretion to respond to local issues such as crime prevention, homelessness, facilities for the disabled, unemployment and youth exclusion. Links between our local businesses and other groups help provide solutions.
Whitbread currently supports 22 Enterprise Agencies across the UK through the provision of both core funding and human resources. Whitbread recognises the vital role the voluntary sector contributes to societies’ well being. It donates significant sums through the Whitbread Charitable Trust as well as other forms of support, including management time and expertise.