Engaging with the community | Wates

 Working in partnership we can achieve more and ensure that community needs remain at the heart of what we do.

We support local communities  by volunteering our people’s time and expertise. We also recognise the important role played by charities to enrich the fabric of society as well as the value that skills development outside the workplace can offer in terms of transferable skills and motivation within the workplace.

Charity partnership: The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)

In May 2018 Wates Group announced a three-year charity partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), to help  connect people and green spaces to deliver lasting outcomes for both. The charity’s vision of creating healthier and happier communities for everyone is supported by our fundraising and volunteering to help transform more of Britain’s green spaces and enhance wellbeing.

Evidence suggests social projects encourage an increased sense of community and help to combat the health risks associated with social isolation, as well as improve physical health and improve the local environment.

Due to the unprecedented challenges of 2020, we have extended our partnership with TCV to 2022.

We work with TCV to target volunteering opportunities in areas close to our sites and offices.

Wates Giving

Wates is committed to the long-term sustainability of the built environment and to leaving a lasting legacy for the communities in which we live and work. The culture of giving back to our local communities is led from the top. The Wates Family Enterprise Trust, launched in 2008, is a registered charity, independent of the Wates Group that promotes responsible business philanthropy in action, to meet community needs.

The Trust has established the Wates Giving programme, which invests around £1million in community projects annually. There are four strands; Life Opportunities for Young People, Housing and homelessness, Sustainability and Group grants. The first three work with strategic partners to deliver thought leadership and change driving programmes. The fourth strand supports grass roots organisations and innovative projects in local communities.

The Trust has established the Wates Giving programme, which invests around £1million in community projects annually.

Young Women's Trust

In 2020 a secondary charity partnership was established to provide employability support to young women aged 18-30 who are on low or no pay and are at risk of poverty. Women are an underrepresented group in construction and the partnership aligns with our D&I strategy to encourage more women into the business. Wates will be providing mentoring and fundraising support.

The Young Women’s Trust is a charity dedicated to improving gender equality by supporting more women into male-dominated industries such as construction. Wates Group’s Chairman, Sir James Wates, was appointed as the charity’s first ambassador in 2017.

Fair and inclusive career opportunities are at the heart of our Guiding Framework, and are an essential element of Wates’ Diversity and Inclusion strategy, which sets out a roadmap to a workforce which is more representative of society.

Wates has committed to supporting the Young Women’s Trust in the following ways:

  • Providing advice and feedback on young women’s CVs and job applications, helping to boost their confidence and secure interviews.
  • Fundraising to help The Young Women’s Trust to fund programmes which will support 10,000 disadvantaged young women over the next three years.

Employee volunteering scheme, VIP

Our employee volunteering scheme, VIP (Volunteering, Impact, Professional Development) encourages staff to volunteer by providing 16 hours of volunteering leave each year to invest in local communities during work time. This can be through the Group’s corporate charity partnerships or with an organisation of the employee’s choice. Skills based volunteering (sharing professional expertise with organisations) is encouraged alongside traditional community- based volunteering

Over 10,000 hours were volunteered in 2019, across 153 events.

Wates Group’s annual Conservation and Community Week provides an opportunity for staff to use their volunteering leave on local projects across the country, volunteering to help communities, protect the environment, and enhance sustainability.

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