Howden Group Foundation
The Howden Group Foundation is one of our proudest achievements – established in 2014 to celebrate and extend the charitable work of our people around the world. As they are at the heart of our work, everyone in the Group gets a voice and a choice in the causes we partner with. By making the Foundation a shareholder in our business we have also ensured that it – and the good work we can do through it – will continue to grow as we do.
As a group, we have six key objectives that we strive to achieve through our charitable work. These are causes we hold close to our hearts, and every one of our initiatives is designed to:
- Relieve sickness
- Relieve poverty
- Relieve disasters
- Relieve unemployment
- Advance education
- Environmental sustainability
We believe in effective altruism: not just giving money to feel good about ourselves, but dedicating our resources to make the greatest possible impact. That’s why we carefully select the organisations we partner with around the world. We want to ensure we are more than just “doing good” - we are doing the very best we can for the most people.
How we work
Our people are passionate about the causes they support, completing hundreds of personal fundraising challenges a year. From climbing mountains to octopus knitting, they give up their spare time to raise money and awareness for charities large and small. We use match-funding to help their efforts go that bit further. The Foundation offers to match up to £750 of donations raised per employee, per year, when they raise money for the charities of their choice.
At key moments throughout the year, the Foundation makes one-off donations to charities supported or selected by our employees. These are sometimes in response to global initiatives like disaster relief or annual awareness-raising events – for example, raising awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week or World Environment Day.
We also offer donation prizes for group-wide competitions and challenges. For example, the winners of our annual Christmas card competition and our Spring Art competition all chose to support local charities.
We are a global Group, with offices and employees around the world. Each country has their own charity partners that they nominate and vote for locally. Every charity partner must align with at least one of the Foundation’s six objectives.
Once a partner has been chosen, the local CSR champions and their colleagues organise fundraising activities and integrate the partner’s work into the wider business through volunteering and raising awareness events. Some of our current partners include The Black Dog Institute in Australia, the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK, and A Roof for my Country in Colombia.
In addition to our local charity partners, we also have long-term strategic partnerships with global organisations.
Each year, our people nominate charities for us to support through our Investing in the Community Awards. These are one-off grants of £5,000 for grassroots organisations that are making a big difference in our local communities.
This year, we granted seven awards to charities offering relief from the impacts of COVID-19. We distributed the awards across the regions we work in, asking our people around the world to nominate charities in their local area. The winning charities work with families, communities, and hospitals hit hardest by the pandemic, and we are proud to support their vital work.
Alongside our work with local charity partners, we also support global organisations through long-term strategic partnerships. These multi-year relationships link closely with our group CSR strategy to support Education, Entrepreneurship and the Environment, as well as offering our people the opportunity to make an impact through volunteering and fundraising. They also align with Howden Group’s Sustainability Charter, helping us to create a cleaner, fairer, healthier, safer world through our business and charitable work.
In March 2020, we proudly announced our long-term partnership with The Prince’s Trust UK and Australia, a charity that works to help young people develop the skills and confidence to live, learn, and earn. This is a multi-year partnership – the first of its kind for us as a group – through which we will support thousands of young people on their journeys of education and entrepreneurship.
We chose to partner with the Prince’s Trust because they align with Howden Group's CSR strategy of entrepreneurship, education, and the environment. The Prince’s Trust helps young people aged between 11 and 30, who are unemployed, disengaged from society, or struggling at school. Many of these young people are vulnerable and facing adversities including homelessness, health issues, or abuse.
Through our partnership, we have committed to supporting over 13,000 young people at risk of exclusion from school, and almost 500 young entrepreneurs and 1,780 veterans embarking on the journey to self-employment. We will also be working with the Trust to embed environmental and sustainability modules into these education and entrepreneurship programmes.
We will support the Trust through volunteering, awareness-raising events and employability opportunities for young people. Since the launch of our partnership, Howden Group employees have taken part in virtual volunteering opportunities to support young entrepreneurs. Future volunteering will include mentoring, career insight talks and office visits to inspire young people to continue their further education, set up their own business and find out more about the world of work.
We are not looking to stop here. Our next focus is on finding organisations worldwide which support the CSR strategy’s key values, our group sustainability initiatives and of course complement The Prince's Trust partnership.
Foundation in numbers
Through match-funding, volunteering, grants, and more.
Organised by our employees and CSR champions.
To charities around the world.
Supporting our people’s personal challenges.
How far our donations have reached.
Paula Lennon’s O2 climb
This March I climbed the O2 for Mummy's Star, which supported me when I was diagnosed with breast cancer while 16 weeks pregnant with our second child. I have undergone chemo, surgeries and other treatment and take daily medication, but I’m thankfully now in the clear.
The climb was a great opportunity to give back to Mummy’s Star and raise awareness of their fantastic work. With the support of friends, family, colleagues, and the Foundation’s match-funding, I raised £2150 - far more than my £500 target! It means a lot to help a charity so close to my heart.
The Unusual Recital
We were thrilled when world-famous pianist Odelia Sever offered to perform a series of fundraising recitals as part of our Million for a Million campaign. The concerts took place in Turkey, India, and Spain, with performances organised by Howden Group's CSR champions and all proceeds going to our local charity partners in those countries.
The recitals were a huge success. Odelia brought together over 1,000 people in three countries and raised $68,000, which was shared between the Darüşşafaka Society in Turkey, the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, and the Hospitaller Order of San Juan de Dios in Spain.
John O’Groats to London
In just seven days, 30 keen riders cycled the gruelling 800 miles from John O’Groats to London. Five teams competed to reach the finish line fastest – and in the process raised £275,212 for the Foundation.
The money was donated to Hague Primary School in Tower Hamlets and cancer care charity Maggie’s. At Hague Primary, the donation paid for the creation of a creative art, science, and family learning space. The donation to Maggie’s contributed to the construction of Maggie’s Centre at St Bart’s Hospital, where patients, carers and families are supported through cancer diagnosis and treatment.