In 2012 we have taken the opportunity to dig deeper on the areas of ethical performance and community investment with our employees.
In terms of looking forward to 2013 and beyond we asked our employees what we should be campaigning for. In balance there are a number of social issues that they felt should continue or improve through us doing business responsibly. Our employees worry about the community issues of:
- Unemployment and youth unemployment
- Homelessness / first time buyers
- Mental health
- Financial education - we believe everything comes down to education
- Care for the elderly
- Poverty alleviation.
In 2012 we have also launched a new breed of community investment now launched in joint venture with CAF and NESTA’s Innovation in Giving Fund www.se-assist.co.uk to add support for social enterprises to our community strategy.
We wanted to challenge the traditional views on community investment where budgets are set by companies on a yearly basis and then reported on once a year.
SE Assist is chaired by Peter Field, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and also involves the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, the Evening Argus, Business in the Community Connectors, CAF Venturesome and our own employees.
It plans to grow in 2013 for a second round of funding and looking at another of our locations to expand into with other companies.