Giving Back

Doing the right thing - it's how we do business.

At Sewell Group we believe in doing the right thing by the economy, by our partners and by the communities we serve. Rather than have a CSR policy, or a ‘foundation’, we simply respond to matters that will make a positive contribution to the places we live and work. No matter which area of the business you come into contact with, whether you are a customer, part of the supply chain, or member of the public, you will be listened to, respected and valued.

Below are some examples of how we are giving back to our community.

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Raising awareness of autism in the workplace

Cause: Autism Awareness
Resource: Distinctive giving
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Cause: Autism Awareness
Resource: Distinctive giving

Our Sewell Construction team, who are behind Hull’s first purpose-built base for children with autism have raised awareness of the condition amongst pupils at Broadacre Primary School as well as our own workforce.

We were keen to ensure that everyone at Broadacre and on the new build site was aware of autism, and every class had completed a mini project on the condition to learn more as part of World Autism Awareness Week in March 2021.

We’ve also teamed up with aspiring local illustrator and children’s author Luke Garner, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, to brighten up the hoardings around the project and inspire the pupils at the school with their own designs.

Luke, who is supported by the Goodwin Development Trust, said sharing his designs on a project of this scale is a great opportunity for him.

He said: “I have Asperger’s Syndrome and I’m proud. I want to show people what I can do and it’s nice that others believe in me too. It’s an honour to be involved and be an ambassador for autism awareness.”

Throughout the project, over 1,000 people will visit the site, from contractors to suppliers and beyond, and each will complete an induction that will include a dedicated element on autism awareness to increase understanding of the condition.

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Opening up about mental health

Cause: Andy's Mans Club
Resource: Local giving
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Cause: Andy's Mans Club
Resource: Local giving

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been even more important than usual to check in on our teams and make sure people have all the support they need. Although our construction projects have been able to continue and our site-based teams have been keeping essential education and health facilities running, many people have been working from home and facing isolation.

We know that men’s mental health is an important issue across the construction industry – with male construction workers three times more likely to commit suicide than the average man in the UK and on average two construction workers take their own lives every day.

A shocking statistic and one we’re commited to making a difference to by signposting our teams to support available and letting them know they’re not alone. To encourage people to open up and support each other, we’ve held a series of sessions for our people across the group focusing on mental health and wellbeing.

We’ve worked in partnership with Rachael Alexander and Andy’s Man Club who’s aim is to break down the stigmas around men talking about their mental health, to host virtual sessions for our teams on the importance of men opening up and talking about their feelings.

Joining forces to help families in poverty

Cause: East Hull & Beannie Street Food Banks
Resource:
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Cause: East Hull & Beannie Street Food Banks
Resource:

Thanks to our Sewell on the go Big Local Harvest Campaign in October 2020, more than 250 vulnerable families experiencing hunger and poverty received a vital food parcel, with donations raised from both our customers and staff.

We launched the four-week Big Local Harvest campaign after recognising how busy essential food banks in Hull and the surrounding areas had become, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Teaming up with East Hull and Beannie Street Food Banks, we encouraged customers and staff to buy an extra non-perishable item while shopping and place it in the donation basket at any one of Sewell on the go’s 13 stores across Hull and the East Riding.

More than £1,200 worth of items were donated, with a further £500 worth of items donated in-kind by Sewell on the go and a financial donation of £800 from the business to be used towards running costs, keeping the food bank vehicles on the road and buying additional supplies.

Robbie Keane, who founded the food banks three years ago following his own personal experience with homelessness and his desire to give back to the community which supported him, said: “This generosity has touched my heart because this will be life-changing for some families, some of whom haven’t had food for two weeks. Sewell on the go and its customers have done so much to support us and without them, those families would have to go without food.”

Ready, steady, read!

Cause: Literacy support for primary children
Resource: Local giving
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Cause: Literacy support for primary children
Resource: Local giving

Via Sewell Facilities Management we support Ready, Steady, Read, a charity who’s aim is to improve literacy amongst primary school children in Hull.

The charity recruits and trains volunteer readers, matching them with local schools to provide additional support and one-to-one coaching.

The children are chosen by the school and the charity funds a reward scheme, which includes a progress chart and prizes along the way.

Sewell Facilities Management’s sponsorship means readers are now in place at an additional four schools including Endike Academy, Kingswood Parks Primary School, Victoria Dock Primary School and Highlands Primary School in Hull.

Paula said: “We’re delighted to be working with Sewell Facilities Management and we’re looking forward to being able to place more volunteers in schools as a result of their generous sponsorship. As a charity, the support of corporate partners can make a huge difference to the level and scale of service we can provide, whether that’s by sponsoring the training of a volunteer or funding a reading corner.”

Abilities in Facilities: Mencap partnership

Cause: Humber Mencap
Resource: Distinctive giving
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Cause: Humber Mencap
Resource: Distinctive giving

In April 2017 Sewell Facilities Management started an ‘Abilities in Facilities’ partnership with the Humber branch of national charity Mencap. This partnership directly benefitted 30 people from the charity, with four gaining paid cleaning jobs in offices and schools across Hull, and others benefitting from work experience opportunities or learning interview techniques to help them profess into work elsewhere.

All 30 individuals had autism, mild and moderate learning disability, and mild learning differences, and staff completed specific training to help them progress and feel supported within their roles, opening up secure opportunities in the world of work.

Our Sewell Facilities Management staff also took part in a local feasibility study and supported Mencap with dispelling myths around working with someone with a learning disability, while also helping to raise awareness at events for young people and employers.

One of the project’s success stories, Elliot Parkinson, was struggling to find a job that suited his need for a routine. He had visited the job centre and taken part in various work experience programmes but all seemed to lead to nothing.

After being referred to Mencap, they helped him find an eight week work trial with Sewell FM and a year later he is still working for the company, as part of the cleaning team at a Hull primary school, much to the delight of his mum.

Tracey Parkinson, Elliot’s mum, said: “The change in him is unbelievable. We haven’t got that worry of what is next for him. He’s getting a pay packet every week which is just unbelievable. He feels like he actually fits. I can’t thank Sewell and Mencap enough for what they’ve done for my son. And us as a family.”

Continued support for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Cause: Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Resource: Local giving
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Cause: Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Resource: Local giving

We have worked with Yorkshire Air Ambulance since 2014.

As well as collecting over 20 tonnes of clothes for recycling each year across all 13 Sewell on the go stores, we have helped to raise thousands for the charity, with our recent fundraiser totalling over £1200 for the charity, helping to fund 2 emergency call outs.

From this, we were kindly invited to their Wakefield base for an insight into how they operate and to see the unbelievable amount of work that they do for the region on a daily basis.

Opening up employment opportunities

Cause: Hull Mencap
Resource: Distinctive giving
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Cause: Hull Mencap
Resource: Distinctive giving

Sewell Facilities Management has created paid employment and training opportunities for individuals with a learning disability after joining forces with the Humber branch of the national charity Mencap.

Since the Abilities in Facilities partnership began in April 2017, about 30 people from the charity have directly benefited, with four gaining paid cleaning jobs in offices and schools across Hull, and others benefiting from work experience opportunities or learning interview techniques to help them progress into work elsewhere. Work experience placements include some individuals based at the new £9 million Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre built by Sewell in East Hull.

The 30 individuals have autism, mild and moderate learning disability, and mild learning differences, and our staff have undergone specific training to help them progress and feel supported within their roles, opening up secure opportunities in the world of work.

Our Sewell Facilities Management staff have also taken part in a local feasibility study and supported Mencap with dispelling myths around working with someone with a learning disability, while also helping to raise awareness at events for young people and employers.

Sewell Facilities Management offers specific vacancies to individuals from Mencap and ensures they feel comfortable in the interview and work trial environment, with the long term objective to eventually have individuals from Mencap in every Sewell Facilities Management cleaning team across the Yorkshire region.

Individuals have grown in confidence and self-esteem since Abilities in Facilities began.

Hundreds of meals for people in crisis

Cause: Hull Foodbank
Resource: Distinctive giving
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Cause: Hull Foodbank
Resource: Distinctive giving

Almost 700 meals were made available to people in crisis after Sewell on the go staff and customers collected £1,000 of food to help make a difference at Christmas.

Collection points were put in place at Sewell on the go stores in Chanterlands Avenue, Sutton, South Cave and Hull West on the A63 at North Ferriby to gather donations for Hull Foodbank, which provides nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people referred to the charity in crisis.

A total of 283kg of donations were collected, which the charity said is the equivalent of 670 meals.

Additional stock was donated to the charity in February 2018.

Offering a helping hand to vulnerable adults

Cause: Safe Place Scheme
Resource: Local giving
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Cause: Safe Place Scheme
Resource: Local giving

People who feel lost, confused or frightened can now seek help from Sewell on the go staff after the business gave its backing to a new scheme supporting vulnerable members of the community.

Sewell on the go is one of the first businesses in Hull to join the Safe Place scheme, which is designed to help people who have a disability, dementia, or who are vulnerable in terms of being bullied, harassed, lost or confused, while they are out and about.

Individual members of the public, who have been identified as benefiting from the scheme, carry a card containing their details and who to contact on their behalf, which could be a family member, carer, social worker or police on 101 in case of an emergency.

Staff have been trained to help with a range of issues which vulnerable people may experience, including transport problems and support they can offer if someone is hurt, ill, scared or lost.

The Safe Place scheme is run by Humberside Police and supported by Humberside Fire and Rescue Service,  Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, North Lincolnshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside, Keith Hunter.

Helping to combat loneliness

Cause: Men in Sheds
Resource: Distinctive Giving
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Cause: Men in Sheds
Resource: Distinctive Giving

Sewell is helping to support the Men in Sheds charity, which is developing a new clubhouse to combat male loneliness and isolation in Hull.

The former pavilion at Oak Road Playing Fields in North Hull is being transformed into a social and meeting space for members.

Sewell has provided design and project management expertise, carried out risk assessments and arranged demolition surveys to support the charity.

Free gym facilities for under 17s

Cause: Tommy Coyle Academy
Resource: Distinctive giving
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Cause: Tommy Coyle Academy
Resource: Distinctive giving

Sewell has invested close to £100,000 in converting an existing warehouse unit on its Geneva Way Business Park to create a new state-of-the-art boxing and fitness centre for Tommy and young people in East Hull.

Tommy recently made his first west Hull gym free to all children under 17 in a bid to encourage youngsters to lead healthier lifestyles and exercise more regularly.

The move brought widespread praise and has now achieved the same status with the East Hull gym.

The Tommy Coyle Academy was previously the Sewell Skills Academy, which saw 1,400 young people pass through the door.

Since 2016, over 900 under 17’s have signed up to the gym, 96 box clever sessions have taken place and over 2,400 pupils have been engaged in school sessions.

Ongoing charity partnership

Cause: Fitmums and Friends
Resource: Local giving
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Cause: Fitmums and Friends
Resource: Local giving

Sewell on the go has sponsored Fitmums and Friends in various ways.

This includes offering our forecourts as safe havens for members on their running routes, ensuring they have access to toilets, water, defibrillators and help if needed.

We have previously sponsored cycling kits for Fitmums and Friends, as well as providing snacks and drinks for their Coast to Coast cycle in July 2016.