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.
By 2020, nearly one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. In some way, shape or form, Cancer will, unfortunately, affect the lives of all of our staff, customers, and partners. Cancer knows no boundaries or limits, which is one of the many reasons we want to help support the work that Macmillan Cancer Support does, we believe it is a charity that everyone should get behind. By supporting Macmillan, we will be demonstrating to our staff and customers our commitment to do our bit to help a cause that truly resonates with each and every one of us.
In making Macmillan Cancer Support our charity of the year, we will be planning a number of events over the next 12 months to raise funds and offer support. We have always supported the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and plan to make this year's event bigger and better. To aid our fundraising, our very own Shelagh Duguid will be taking on the Rob Roy Mighty Hike, which is a 26 Mile hike from Callander to Killin. Throughout the year we take part in a number of other events, so please watch this space for updates.
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