As the pandemic hit, many people across Scotland and the UK began working from home and we got the opportunity to meet our colleague's human family members and their pets as well. With every guest appearance at virtual meetings, everyone in attendance couldn’t help but smile.
According to an article in the Guardian, more than 3.2 million households in the UK acquired a pet since the start of lockdown and many have reported an improvement in their mental health as a result. Whether it be to provide companionship or to help get fit, we all know our furry (and sometimes not-so furry) creatures can always cheer us up.
While our pets never fail to make us smile, many people aren’t aware of why they make us smile and the ways pets can support our mental health. Over time, our pets become attuned to our behaviours & emotions, they help to create & maintain a structured daily routine and provide companionship.
When our mental health is negatively impacted, pets can help to ease unwanted feelings by providing comfort or a judgment-free ear to listen. Spending time with your pet playing, cuddling, or stroking them can provide almost instant relief from stress and anxiety through the release of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine (feel-good chemicals in your brain). An Israeli study showed that holding an animal helps to reduce stress levels in adults and that the type of animal made no significant impact. The same response was seen with a tortoise as with a rabbit, so fluffiness isn’t always a necessity!
Pets rely on us to provide them with food, love, and entertainment. This can help bring structure to our days, and routine benefits both you and your pet. A routine can help keep you feeling grounded and give a sense of purpose to your day. Part of a good routine is regular exercise through walks or play sessions. These help build a bond with our pets but can improve physical & mental health too. Walks or play sessions are great fun, but can also provide social interactions. Most dogs can’t walk past each other without the obligatory sniff to say hello and as a result, owners are more likely to engage and socialise.
And most important of all, pets provide us with unconditional love. They don’t care if you have the latest gadgets or if the house is messy or that you don’t feel your best, all they want is to feel like part of the pack and for the pack to be safe and happy.
So during Mental Health Awareness week, spend some time with an animal. Cuddle your pets, take them on an extra big walk in the sunshine or spend some time playing in the garden. If you don’t have a pet of your own go walking with a friend and their dog, offer to pet sit for a few hours or find a local Pet Café and enjoy some snuggles with a coffee!
Zenergi can now help support customers in Scotland
We are delighted to be able to announce that DB Group (Europe) Ltd has joined the Zenergi family.
The acquisition of the business is great news for DB Group and Zenergi. With shared customer service cultures and values, we believe the acquisition will enable customers to benefit from the increased capability of the enhanced group.
DB Group will continue to trade under its own brand as part of the Zenergi Group for the immediate future, with more news to follow as we move into the next phase of this journey to assess how each organisation can benefit from this great opportunity.
Martin Brown, Managing Director of DB Group is staying on to oversee the integration into the wider group, and said;
“We’re delighted that DB Group are joining the Zen family. Both of our organisations share a great passion for our customers and our teams, something that was so important for me in finding a home for DB Group that would enable fantastic opportunities and a continuation of the values we cherish.
Our team has worked very hard over many years to establish DB Group as a trusted advisor to our customers so I’m looking forward to working with the Zenergi team to integrate DB Group with the rest of the group and the positive results this will deliver.”
Graham Cooke, Zenergi CEO commented;
“This represents a superb opportunity for Zenergi to benefit from the addition of an award-winning and very likeminded business, with similar values, ethos, and a real focus on customer service that we hold in such high regard.
The team have clearly been delivering on their promises and the commitment to the Race to Zero, as well the accredited supplier status with the Carbon Trust, which are great examples of how aligned we are. We are all looking forward to welcoming the team, nurturing our first presence in Scotland, and seeing what we can achieve together.
We look forward to welcoming Martin and the team into the Zen family.”
About Zenergi Group Ltd
Zenergi is an energy and environmental consultancy aiming to make a positive difference in the world of energy, and to do so in a manner that is simple, sustainable and achievable. Making a difference to over 4,000 educational facilities and organisations across the United Kingdom, Zenergi is built on the belief that there is a better, brighter way forward for the energy industry. Our long-term ambition for the future of energy is to help customers reach their vision of energy freedom and to invest in building a future that supports those organisations through the transition to Net Zero and tackling the largest challenge of our generation head-on – responding to a changing climate. For more details, please visit https://zenergi.co.uk
Joining "Break the Cycle" with Social Bite
On Sunday 5th of September 2021, a few colleagues at DB Group took part in charity Social Bite’s "Break the Cycle” Campaign with Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, cycling 60 miles from Glasgow to Granton, Edinburgh.
Social Bite is a social enterprise, a movement to end homelessness across the UK. Beginning in 2012, their enterprise has grown from strength to strength. From organising a range of fundraisers and projects to beginning their Social Bite Village project. This project involves creating a small village, made of prefabricated houses and a community hub. The aim is to give people struggling from homelessness to give them support and a sense of community.
Break the Cycle aims to create two more social bite villages, one based in Glasgow and one based in London. The purpose is to put empty land to use to build villages to support those affected by homelessness. The fundraising will also go towards Mental Health Support and Social Bite's overarching mission for ending homelessness.
When we at DB Group saw this opportunity, we were eager to help support their message and raise funds. We had 3 colleagues take part - Kirsty Christie, Head of DB Water, Ian Pritchard, Account Manager, and Paul Farrell, Account manager. All our colleagues worked hard and trained hard for the big cycle.
To support our DB cycling team, the rest of the team got stuck in by taking part in an in-house fundraiser. On Friday 3rd September, we held our own Virtual Race Day, where we raised donations for the cause. Altogether, we raised £1,188, bringing up into one of the Top 20 Teams for Social Bite!
Our cyclists did a fantastic job on the day and were lucky enough to meet Sir Chris Hoy after their hard work. Unfortunately, one of our members were unable to attend in person although was able to take part from home and done a great job from home.
Homelessness is a serious issue in society. We are proud we took the opportunity to help support this cause and will continue to do so in future.
Can your social values compliment your property investments?
We fundamentally believe that the E, the S and the G in Environmental and Social Governance should not only be interlinked but should have become common practice for all modern businesses. Recent investment and sustainable bonds performance have proven that businesses with a sound ESG strategy, demonstrating social values are outperforming those that have not. We have even seen comment from some major investors in the past year that they themselves envisage rerouting investment away from as many as half of their existing partners (if they do not develop a strong ESG strategy).
An important area where your social values can be demonstrated is in becoming involved in community initiatives and charitable work. This could be in the form of sponsorship, donations to national and local charities which may be suggested by your team, and the funding of community projects. It is important that every suggestion is given due consideration.
We conducted a similar process recently and the charities we support are:
Edinburgh Soup Hamper – an organisation in Edinburgh who supports the community by providing free soup packages containing fresh vegetables to those living on the breadline.
SAMH– an organisation who work with adults and young people providing mental health social care support, services in primary care, schools, and further education, among others in over 60 communities.
Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity– they support over 100,000 children every year, ranging in age from just a few hours old to aged 16 in some specialities. The hospital treats patients from all over Scotland primarily across Edinburgh, the Lothians, and Fife.
Simon Community Scotland- supports adults and young people who are suffering homelessness by providing individuals with emergency shelter as well as homes in the community.
As well as this we are currently compiling a team to cycle with Chris Hoy from Glasgow to Granton with Social Bite to help with their crusade to end homelessness.
In addition, we have extended our help out to members of the Scottish Charities and Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and their members as well as other community partnerships where we have offered our expertise in utility management to help these organisations manage their utilities better, either at no cost as part of our staff’s voluntary work, or on a not-for-profit basis.
Another area to review is customer interactions and committing to treating every one of your staff, customers, suppliers, contractors, partners, and stakeholders with the same standard, regardless of any protected characteristic under The Equality Act (2010). As a Company, with our social values, we have built a strong culture of integrity, respect and caring for our people, which is something we carry to our service levels daily. In terms of remuneration we are a living wage employer and give each member of staff an additional 2 duvet days to compliment their holiday entitlement and to take at short notice when life away from work requires. These steps have helped improve our overall staff morale and internal surveys have charted year on year improvements in terms of our staff’s happiness at work. We would suggest that these surveys are carried out anonymously to provide an equal voice to all stakeholders and a true benchmark to build on.
Involvement - keep your staff fully informed of policies and procedures and encouraging them to share their ideas on both internal processes affecting them and the way our service is provided to customers/clients and strive to maintain an open and honest approach to all your communications. It may be worth considering setting up an employee forum with nominated employee representatives. This will allow all your employees to take an active role in the organisation and allow them to be fully involved in the future of the business.
It is also important to recognise the value of education in your community and supporting individuals during this process is key to advancement. Actively encouraging your employees to take up company funded training courses is great for retaining and developing staff and considering offering several work experience placements in partnership with local schools and agencies is another good way to build stronger community links.
With regards to your office space and local environment look for opportunities to be a good neighbour and share your work with your expertise freely, the word of mouth and positive feedback will help embed you in the local community and further your reach beyond that you can achieve yourself. Consider installing electric vehicle charging points for use by your staff and your neighbours. To help with your water management you could look to install waterless urinals and provide reusable water bottles to all staff as well as encouraging recycling throughout the workplace and at home – as we collectively work towards net zero everybody playing their part can really help make a difference.
Strive to engage with local suppliers and businesses where possible to meet your business’ operational needs, to support businesses within your area and decrease your carbon footprint. In respect of our entire social values and ESG outlook we expect no less from our supply chain and partners.
DB Group's Managing Director Featured in The Herald
Martin Brown, DB Group's Managing Director, has been featured in the Herald newspaper on Monday, 5th July.
Entitled as “West Lothian utilities specialist enjoys exploring with dog”, the article was written by Mark Williamson, who is a reporter for the Herald. The reporter is also a specialist in the oil and gas industries, as well as entrepreneurial firms.
Get to know Martin more as he speaks about all things DB, our background, what made him take the plunge to get involved with his family's business, and what has helped build it to what it is today in the article. Furthermore, he comments on what the Scottish Government needs to do to support businesses to achieve their Net Zero targets.
In addition, Martin’s beloved family dog, Fira, gets a mention in the article and is showcased in the feature image!
Featured in the popular newspaper’s Business Hub section, the Martin is in great company; with a wide range of small - large businesses, industry titans and experts from a range of industries featured on the page.
Read the Article
You can read the article by buying a copy of the newspaper or by visiting The Herald online to view. You can also view more of Williamson’s articles on The Herald website as well.
Want to find out more about DB Group?
If you want to read more on DB Group's work further with clients, check out our Case Study page.
Our Support this Christmas...
It's more important than ever this year to ensure that Christmas is a time for giving and supporting others. Team DB has generously swapped their Secret Santa presents to one another, this year, in exchange for making donations to charities doing vital work and giving support across Scotland this Christmas. An amazing £300 was raised by all staff that was then matched by the business directors to provide £600 to our chosen charities.
What Charities are we supporting?
Edinburgh Soup Hamper
Edinburgh Soup Hamper has been helping out the Edinburgh Community by providing free soup packages containing fresh vegetables to those living on the breadline. Alongside, providing our donation, our business development manager Lisa Harrison been delivering packs containing necessary ingredients for making a pot of filling soup including bread, vegetables, stock cubes.
SAMH work with adults and young people providing mental health social care support, services in primary care, schools and further education, among others in over 60 communities. These services alongside their national programme work in See Me, respectme, suicide prevention and active living; inform their policy and campaign work to influence positive social change.
The Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) is situated in Edinburgh and was the first children's hospital in Scotland. The hospital supports over 100,000 children every year, ranging in age from just a few hours old to aged 16 in some specialties. The hospital treats patients from all over Scotland primarily across Edinburgh, the Lothians, and Fife.
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