Rochdi Ziyat, CEO of VINCI Energies UK & RoI, reflects on the success of the VINCI UK Foundation in 2016
One of my great pleasures in 2016, in my role as a Director of the Board of the VINCI UK Foundation, was awarding funding of almost £170,000 to charities helping to tackle social isolation, foster integration and strengthen communities. The funding was spread between 19 charities across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, in grants of between £3,000 and £20,000.
More than that though, I am so proud of the pro bono work that VINCI’s employees are doing to support those charities in partnership, donating their skills and time to build better communities.
Now, and up until the final deadline on Friday 31st March, the VINCI UK Foundation is accepting new applications for funding and support from the employees of VINCI’s businesses.
From the east coast of Scotland, across the length and breadth of England, and from Northern Ireland to the Southern Irish coast, VINCI employees – from apprentices to senior management – are already offering their time and expertise to the charitable causes in their area.
In Derby they are working with Children First Derby to mentor young people, and help train the next generation of volunteers to do the same. In Northern Ireland they working with Addiction NI to help those recovering from substance addiction improve their employment chances. And in Perth they are set to help people isolated by mental health problems or past difficulties improve their communication skills.
The benefits of this partnership approach are twofold. Our charity partners and those they support benefit from specialist skills they may not have access to otherwise, unlocking opportunities for coaching, training and support. Meanwhile, our employees get first-hand experience of a new sector, working alongside their local community to foster integration, and broadening their own skillsets and perspectives.
Offering grants is one way that a company can make a difference to its local community. However it is only by working in partnership that it can become a deeper part of that community itself and permanently benefit the lives of the most excluded in society.
By working alongside local charities businesses like VINCI can make a remarkable contribution to communities across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
I encourage anyone involved with a project local to a VINCI business to apply for funding. You don’t need to demonstrate a link to VINCI or its work, only that your project will promote access to the labour market, foster integration through housing, boost access to inclusive mobility or otherwise help in building better communities.
If you are a VINCI employee wishing to support a project, or are from a charity or registered non-profit organisation wishing to apply for funding from your local VINCI business, you can do so now on the Foundation’s webpage: http://www.vinci-uk-foundation.co.uk/