Corporate and Social Responsibility
Giving something back
Corporate and Social Responsibility is a broad term that refers to a company’s ethical responsibility to the social, physical and business environments in which it operates. Activities falling under this definition are not performed in order to comply with a specific obligation, but rather to "give something back" to deserving causes within the company's sphere of influence.
PGL takes this responsibility very seriously and encourages staff to contribute ideas and effort in this area - everything from running marathons to charity cake sales, helping disabled children to contributing to recycling policies.
Given that budgets are always limited, we try to support good causes that are closest to PGL’s business activities, as well as to the geographical locations of our Head Office and centres. We therefore concentrate our efforts on requests from schools and other children’s organisations, sports of all sorts with particular emphasis on outdoor activities, and events in the communities that we interact with. We particularly favour any proposals that link several of these target areas together!
Fun, health and fitness, the environment and relief from hardship are key drivers in the initiatives we support, as you can see from these following examples:
We work with Government agencies and official charitable bodies such as the Youth Sports Trust to raise awareness of the importance of exercise and the possibility of improving young people’s lives through physical activity. We worked alongside the Department for Education & Skills and various other key organisations in the creation of the "Learning Outside the Classroom" Manifesto.
We contributed towards the development of the DfE's Quality Badge programme, in conjunction with the British Activity Holiday Association. This initiative ensures that every Learning Outside the Classroom experience with a badged provider is of the highest quality and realises the learning outcomes and enrichment opportunities that groups require.
For the last few years we have hosted “GirlsActive Initiative” days at our sites, with Dame Kelly Holmes challenging girls to try out the activities available and think about the benefits of an active lifestyle.
Almost every year a number of our staff take part in the London marathon to raise awareness for NSPCC.
Dorset Wildlife Trust
Osmington Bay’s Gordon Stronach walked the 106 miles from Osmington to Barton Hall, raising money for the Dorset Wildlife Trust. The trip took him 31 hours and raised money to help the Dorset Wildlife Trust with their environmental educational work at their local reserves, such as Lorton Meadows just outside Weymouth. Gordon is planning another walk for charity, he plans to walk the 517 miles from Osmington Bay to George Square in Glasgow in just 14 days, to raise funds for Barnados.
We have introduced a scheme of recycling paper, cans, plastic and glass at our Head Office and selected centres. It’s already had a dramatic effect on the amount of waste that’s going to landfill. Our goal is to roll this out to all of our centres and to include awareness of the importance of recycling as part of the PGL experience.
Another initiative we have introduced across the company is our list of energy saving guidelines which we hope our staff and visitors will incorporate into their home lives as well as their time at PGL. This includes reminders on turning off lights and not leaving machinery on standby, as well as an emphasis not to waste other resources, such as water and paper.
We realise that we make an impact on the local area surrounding our centres, often through increased traffic and noise. We encourage all our staff to be considerate and we intend to be responsible members of the community.
In this regard, we are pleased to contribute to local community initiatives. Just a small sample of the many initiatives we could mention are: the local police force training on climbing towers at Caythorpe Court; hosting a group of Ugandans visiting Weymouth at our Osmington Bay centre; allowing the local scout group to use our facilities at Boreatton Park and in Ross-on-Wye; and assistance with mapping for the local orienteering club at Dalguise.
In the challenging conditions of the volcanic ash event in 2011, we received a call asking for help with a group of 200 Mexican students who were stranded in the UK. Our Caythorpe Court centre took them in, did 50 bags of laundry, organised activities to keep the children busy and converted the teacher lounge into an international travel desk!
The Study Course Team at Little Canada completed a Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Beach Watch at the centre’s local beach, Woodside. The centre’s Canoe, Kayak, Beach Walk and Rock-pooling sessions are all run from the beach.
The MCS is a UK charity which looks after our seas, beaches and wildlife. The charity has have been running the Beach Watch weekend global event since 1993 and this time, 90 countries took part on the same weekend.
Our cleaning session involved nine PGL staff collecting seven bags of rubbish weighing around 40 kilos in just over an hour. The main issue was broken glass but the group also found some unusual items including tent poles, duvets, head torches and flashing fish lures.
If there is an initiative that falls within the parameters outlined here and you would like us to consider, please contact us.
As well as having a responsibility to the communities in and around our centres, we also have a wider responsibility to the global community.
Please download our Modern Slavery Statement for information about our approach to the identification of modern slavery risks and the steps we will take to prevent slavery and human trafficking.