We aim to reduce the impact our operations have on local communities, and make a positive contribution to the communities within which we work. This includes minimising disruption; fostering local involvement and enterprise through the use of local labour, equipment, materials and supply chain partners; engaging effectively with the local community by proactively communicating and encouraging feedback about our operations; supporting educational initiatives and encouraging staff to share knowledge and skills within the wider community.
Fostering Local Enterprise
It is important to the GRAHAM Group that our business genuinely contributes to the local economy. We believe in working closely with communities and business organisations to actively foster local involvement and enterprise in the communities we work in.
We have well established links with local authorities, job centres, recruitment agencies and local newspapers in many of our areas of operation and have a track record of working closely with all stakeholders to ensure we can offer ‘local people local jobs’.
Engaging with Local Communities
All operating companies work at engaging with communities to ensure our operations minimise any negative effect and that, where possible, we take opportunities to enhance the social environment.
At Priesthill for instance, as part of our social housing project for Sanctuary Scotland we worked in partnership with Urban Roots, a community led organisation working across the Southside of Glasgow, to construct the infrastructure for a community garden adjacent to a local church. Works carried out included earthworks, drainage and the creation of timber footpaths and planters. Urban Roots are committed to working with local people on projects that improve the environment and health of the area via a range of activities including community gardening, conservation and biodiversity, courses, workshops and schools projects. Urban Roots aim to inspire people and communities to connect with nature, and to take practical action that makes a positive difference to their own lives, their communities and the planet.
Encouraging Charitable Support
In addition to working with Business in the Community, the Princes Trust and numerous other charitable organisations, we also encourage employees to positively contribute to communities through volunteering and charitable giving.
Since 2009 groups of volunteers drawn from across the GRAHAM Group have raised thousands of pounds and then joined the ‘Habitat for Humanity Big Build Project’ to construct homes for ten families in a village in Western Romania over one intensive week.
Providing Educational Support
We use many of our projects to initiate and support educational initiatives for students, apprentices and the socially disadvantaged, to provide a positive contribution to the local communities within which we work.
For GRAHAM engaging with the local community is a philosophy, not a policy. In all our projects we want to ensure that there is a structured approach to ensure accessibility for all types of individual to employment opportunities. Our focus is not just on building a structure that will have a significant impact on the areas we work in, but also to utilise the construction phase to give local people skills which will be of future benefit, both for them as individuals and the community as a whole. This gives the person and the community a sense of pride and belief.
Over the last three years our partnerships with North Lanarkshire, Glasgow City, Fife, Inverclyde and Ayrshire Councils, Princes Trust, DRD NI, Sanctuary Housing, NHS Lanarkshire, QUB, Translink and the Ilex Regeneration Company have allowed us to engage 130 people directly, and another 60 through our Supply Chain, of those most excluded from society to enable them to re-enter the labour market. Through our various apprenticeship training and mentoring support programmes, we have been able to help them gain experience, qualifications and hopefully long term employment while serving at least 6 months with GRAHAM.