In addition to literacy and learning, we also want to make positive contributions to the environment and the community.
Our environmental credentials
In 2021 we attained the Investors in the Environment Silver level. Now we’re working for the Green level.
- We buy certified offsets from Forest Carbon to offset all our carbon emissions.
- Wherever possible we now use online meetings with schools and local authorities rather than travelling.
- When we need to travel, we go by train where possible, and we don’t fly within the UK.
- We are cycle-friendly – we have indoor cycle storage and we operate the cycle to work scheme.
- The refurbishment of our building won a Green Apple Award and we’ve made further improvements to reduce our energy use.
Community support: Filling in the Blanks
For 2021, we are proud to be working with US charity, Filling in the Blanks. Based in Norwalk, Connecticut, Filling in the Blanks provides food bags for thousands of children who suffer from food insecurity.
For these children, weekends, summers and snow days are scary times. They may not know where their next meal is coming from – and the COVID pandemic has only escalated these fears. Filling in the Blanks works to relieve these worries by ensuring that these children have nutritious meals.
We have lots of ideas to support Filling in the Blanks, including an ongoing virtual food drive, assisting with their holiday backpack drive, and opportunities for us to (safely) volunteer to pack food bags.
You can find out more about Filling in the Blanks and our plans to support them in our blog.
Community support: Magic Breakfast
With children’s education at the heart of everything we do, it only made sense for us to support an education-oriented charity. For 2020, we chose to make Magic Breakfast our charity of the year.
Magic Breakfast works with 480 Primary, Secondary, Special Educational Needs schools and Pupil Referral Units to provide healthy breakfasts to ensure that more than 48,000 vulnerable children across the UK start their school day in the best possible way.
Children in Magic Breakfast schools make on average the equivalent of two months’ additional progress compared to children who do not have breakfast at all. This is not only because breakfast gives children the energy to learn in the morning, but also because of the valuable social experience that a breakfast club provides.1
Throughout 2020, we ran several events in support of Magic Breakfast. In February, we organised a breakfast club for staff members in the UK and US offices, which was an excellent opportunity to catch up with each other.
During the COVID pandemic, we had to adapt our fundraising plans. In spite of this, we were still able to organise an Easter quiz, a virtual pumpkin carving competition and a Christmas jumper day! One of our ongoing efforts was a ‘Book Swap’ campaign. In December we took part in the Big Give initiative, which doubled all the donations we made.
1 Education Endowment Foundation. (2019). Magic Breakfast | Projects. [online] Available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects-and-evaluation/projects/magic-breakfast/#research-results.
Community support: Hope Centre
The Hope Centre is an organisation based in Northampton that works to improve the lives of anyone affected by poverty, especially homelessness. Since its foundation in 1974, it has worked with tens of thousands of people in Northampton.
The Hope Centre:
- provides practical services that help people to survive poverty and homelessness;
- helps people to leave poverty and homelessness through training and skills to improve employability;
- campaigns against poverty, negative attitudes and poor treatment towards people experiencing homelessness and poverty.
Because of cuts to social services over the last few years, more and more people have been utilising services like foodbanks.2 We wanted to work with the Hope Centre to support their invaluable work helping those in our community who are most affected by the problems caused by poverty and homelessness.
In late 2018, we started with a few collection boxes for our staff to donate supplies to the Hope Centre, such as food and clothing. Due to the overwhelming success of this initiative, we nominated the Hope Centre to be our ‘charity of the year’ for 2019. In addition to the collection boxes, we also organised several company events to raise money.
We put our baking skills to the test for the Crick Software Bake Off and channelled our inner artists for a Pumpkin Carving Competition. Our Marketing Manager also successfully completed five 5k races across Northamptonshire. By the end of 2019, we had raised over £1,000 for the Hope Centre.
2 Clarke, D. (2020). Foodbank users UK 2019 | Statista. [online] Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/382695/foodbanks-emergency-food-needed-united-kingdom-uk/.