Most businesses would agree that they play an integral role in their communities, both in terms of employment and improving the environment. In the business world, this, along with other charitable and community activities, is often known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
As well as benefitting society, CSR can also benefit the business itself, especially reputationally. Often attracting positive publicity for your company, this builds your reputation, which in turn can help you to develop and enhance relationships with your customers, networks, suppliers and staff. Corporate Social Responsibility can contribute to winning new contracts and can also help to secure investment or funding opportunities.
Two businesses in particular that are leading the way in terms of CSR are the North East’s top football clubs.
Most of the world’s top football clubs now have their own charitable arms, community engagement platforms and fair employability procedures, and Newcastle United FC and Sunderland AFC are prime examples of this being put into practice.
From helping tackle climate change to running summer schools and events for local children – there are many ways businesses can help shape the world we live in – creating a sustainable future not just for themselves but for the wider community.
Here are a few examples of how the two clubs are leading the way in terms of CSR. Consider how you could use their ideas in your own business, no matter how far away you may seem from being a sports club!
Apprenticeships are a great way to build up skills and knowledge in a real-life working environment and both clubs have their own apprenticeship programmes where local youngsters can gain qualifications and vital working experience.
They are supported throughout their apprenticeship by professional mentors employed by the clubs who offer assistance and guidance throughout their training, making sure they benefit from the programme.
No matter what size business you operate, apprenticeships allow you to grow your business and solve recruitment challenges through bringing young talent up through the ranks and providing training that’s tailored to the needs of your business. Find out more about apprenticeships for all sectors via the business support pages of our site.
Both Newcastle and Sunderland run a huge range of football and sports sessions across the North East giving everyone the chance to take part, develop, have fun and be part of the team.
All of their coaches are qualified to at least FA Level 2 which means that youngsters receive high quality training and support from professionals.
The clubs also invest a lot of time in developing their staff, with ongoing training and quality checks ensuring that all sessions employ the best coaching techniques and methods at a consistently high standard.
Gifted and talented youngsters can also progress into their academies, giving them the chance to hone their skills with professional coaches and become better players. Potentially, even professional players.
Every role in business requires some sort of education whether it’s in a textbook or a hands-on craft, could you implement something similar to help young people better themselves? There’s a wide range of colleges and training providers in the region that could help, whether you’re looking to provide training on IT, admin, customer service, first aid or even something specialist - it doesn’t necessarily have to be football coaching!
From the glitz and glamour of their annual fashion show featuring the club’s star players to the exhilarating atmosphere of their race days, Sunderland AFC run a number of fundraising events for local charities.
And Newcastle are no different. There are many ways individuals, schools and companies can support the club’s charitable arm, the Newcastle United Foundation. As well as hosting their own fundraising events, the club also helps businesses and individuals plan their own fundraising events as part of the Foundation’s CSR commitment.
Does your business have a dedicated charity, or something close to its heart? Launching fundraising events is a great way of doing more to support those that need your support and can also help you to engage more with the wider community and your employees.
Could your organisation do something similar? See if you can make a change today as a more responsible business…