Corporate Social Responsibility Annual report 2010/11 - Riverside

riverside.org.uk

Corporate Social Responsibility Annual report 2010/11 - Riverside

Corporate Social Responsibility

Annual report

2010/11


Welcome 3

Our objectives 4

Environment 6

Community 10

Workplace 15

Marketplace 17

Looking forward 19

Welcome

I am delighted to welcome you to our third

annual report on Corporate Social Responsibility.

This is an opportunity to reflect on a year

of significant achievement in terms of helping

to build a sustainable future for our tenants

as well as the neighbourhoods where they

live and work.

We are publishing the report at a time of

great challenge with the UK experiencing

a fragile recovery from recession and the

recent announcement of the most stringent

cuts in public expenditure for decades.

With this background it is vital that we

continue to focus on the wider impact

we have on society. As a leading national

provider of social housing we are about

so much more than bricks and mortar and

remain committed to helping protect, as far

as possible, our most vulnerable customers

from the fall-out from the economic climate.

At the time of writing, there is much in

the news about the government’s wish to

empower citizens and communities via the

Big Society initiative. We believe that Riverside

has an impressive track record of promoting

the values implicit in the Big Society agenda

and we will work both within and beyond

this framework to deliver positive outcomes

for both individuals and communities in the

areas where we work.

We believe our efforts to provide our tenants

with good housing and a better quality of life

are being recognised. We are proud to report

that customer satisfaction has increased to

82% from 67% over the last three years.

We will continue to build on this success by

striving to be an excellent landlord, employer,

partner and client and by gearing our efforts to

supporting those individuals and communities

who will most benefit from them.

I hope you will enjoy reading the report, which I

think demonstrates our excellent achievements

as well as a deep and ongoing commitment to

fostering sustainable homes and communities.

Paul Brant

Board Sponsor, CSR Steering Group

Group Board Chair

Contact us

www.riverside.org.uk

email: info@riverside.org.uk

Customer Service Centre

24 hours a day, 365 days a year

0845 111 0000

With inclusive call packages or mobile phones,

it may be cheaper to call 0345 111 0000

We are happy to accept Typetalk calls

Minicom: 0845 111 7766

2

3


Our objectives

As one of the country’s leading social landlords, we continually

strive to do business in an ethical and positive manner.

We are members of Business in the Community, who engage

and challenge companies on responsible business. We aim to

make good progress in their four key impact areas – Community,

Environment, Marketplace and Workplace.

Progress update

Last year we set five targets in order to

measure our progress throughout the year.

Reduce business mileage by 5%

Between 2008/09 and 2009/10 we saw a 7%

decrease in business mileage, an improvement

on our target and a saving of 61.4 tonnes

of CO 2 . Our investment in video technology

forms a large part of this achievement,

allowing staff to avoid many longer journeys.

Roll out Fairtrade products

in all offices by March 2010

Only Fairtrade tea and coffee is available

from our core suppliers list. We have had good

take-up of our Fairtrade Pledge. We also held

several events to promote Fairtrade Fortnight

across the Group.

Generate at least £10,000 for charity

Bungee jumping, skydiving and mountain

hiking were just a few challenges employees

faced to raise over £22,000 for a range of

good causes, more than doubling our target.

We raised nearly £8,000 for our nominated

charity WaterAid, which works in 26 countries,

providing water, sanitation and hygiene

education to some of the world’s poorest

people.

Introduce a Time Off scheme allowing

staff up to three days per year to carry

out public and voluntary duties

Our Time Off scheme has been successfully

introduced. One employee used it to volunteer

for WaterAid at the Glastonbury Festival in

June, helping the charity raise over £15,000

and gather more than 32,000 signatures for

its campaign.

Reduce electricity consumption

at our head office by 2%

Due to additional staff and IT equipment

being introduced into head office, we saw a

small rise in electricity consumption. We are

continuing with efforts to reduce this, such

as investing in software that automatically

switches off computers in the evening.

Our achievements

over the past year

Awards

We have been reaccredited with a Big Tick

by Business in the Community for our

commitment to education in Liverpool.

We have been shortlisted for three Housing

Excellence Awards, including Social Landlord

of the Year, and for two Housing Heroes

Awards. Our Stop the Hate campaign, a project

to raise awareness of different cultures and

tackle anti-social behaviour in the Kensington

area of Liverpool, was a finalist in the Creating

Safer Communities category at the UK

Housing Awards. Our Defeating Exclusion

Through Partnerships programme, which works

with people with enduring mental health and

addiction issues, was a finalist in the Meeting

the Needs of Vulnerable People category.

Better Together Two

After overwhelming support from tenants

and backing from the relevant authorities,

our sheltered and supported specialist ECHG

officially amalgamated with us in March 2010

and is now known as Riverside ECHG. The

result is an organisation with the strengths of

a national player, but the personal touch of

a local provider.

Worklessness study

We worked in partnership with the Policy

Studies Institute to carry out an in-depth

research project into worklessness among

our tenants. Launched recently at the House

of Commons, this revealed several barriers

to work that some people face, allowing us

to identify solutions to help support tenants

back into the workplace.

New appointments

Affordable Warmth Officer

Riverside has become one of the first housing

associations in the UK to appoint a Strategic

Affordable Warmth Officer in a bid to save

tenants money, improve their health and

reduce their energy consumption.

Social Enterprise Development Manager

As part of one of Riverside’s main objectives –

helping residents to become more prosperous

Riverside ECHG appointed its first Social

Enterprise Development Manager. This role

is now successfully working with Riverside

ECHG’s main developments in creating

social enterprise businesses which aim to

help clients gain work experience, training

and employment. The social enterprises in

development include two social enterprise

cafés, partnership with a local catering business

for the development of a training bakery, and

a partnership with Groundwork, for setting up

a landscaping social enterprise business.

Sustainable Homes Index

for Tomorrow (SHIFT)

We attained a Silver Standard following our

first submission to SHIFT’s benchmarking

index. This is the standard by which affordable

housing providers can evidence and measure

their environmental performance.

Joining their network has enabled us to share

learning and best practice with other social

housing providers across:

— strategy and management

— offices and transport

— existing stock and newly built housing.

The feedback from our assessment together

with our learning from the network, will help

us plan, set targets and continue to improve

our environmental performance.

4 5


Environment

Your Place

We have launched ‘Your Place’ in some

neighbourhoods in the North West and

Midlands to help make neighbourhoods

cleaner, safer and greener. The teams will

deliver environmental improvements and

neighbourhood warden services including:

cleaning up litter and graffiti; removing fly

tipping; reporting dog fouling to the local

authority; working with the community, schools

and other groups to tackle the causes of antisocial

behaviour; and improving green spaces.

Eco-neighbourhood

Over 250 pupils from Mab Lane Primary

School in Liverpool, took part in our Eco Week

to learn about the environment and how we

are helping bring it to life with sustainable

green projects. Our Your Place team helped

the youngsters plant sunflower seeds and

introduced their roles – which involve looking

after the homes and green spaces in Dovecot

and Deysbrook – as well as teaching them the

benefits of growing trees, flowers and wildlife

in their community spaces.

Mab Lane Community Woodland

Children from the West Derby area of Liverpool

released biodegradable balloons filled with

wildflower seeds into the air to help plant

vibrant patches of wild flowers right across

the region and beyond. The event marked the

completion of the planting of 20,000 trees to

create the Mab Lane Community Woodland.

There are also new wildflower meadows, a

community orchard and seasonal wetland

areas, all of which will support the conservation

and enhancement of the area’s existing

biodiversity. The project is a partnership

between Riverside, the Northwest Regional

Development Agency (NWDA), the Forestry

Commission, the Mersey Forest, Liverpool City

Council and the local communities.

Changing Spaces

We funded the following projects from a

successful bid in partnership with Places

for People and Peabody, which secured

£15.6million from the Big Lottery Fund’s

Changing Spaces project to develop 75

projects across England:

— In partnership with Groundwork Cheshire

and Cheshire East Council, we opened a

£200,000 sports area and BMX track at

Colshaw Farm in Cheshire.

— A nine foot, two tonne sculpture of a

dragon at Brooker’s Den was the finishing

touch to a £350,000 project to provide

state of the art play equipment for

Runcorn’s Halton Brook children.

— A Runcorn pond that dates back as far

as the Middle Ages has been transformed

from a dumping ground to a nature

reserve. We worked with landscape

architects Mouchel and Grace Landscapes

to transform the dilapidated Gorsewood

Pond in Murdishaw to a wildlife haven and

community resource for local children and

residents to enjoy. Riverside earmarked

£127,522 for the project – of this £75,872

is from the Big Lottery Fund, and £51,650

from Riverside’s regeneration budget.

6 7


Green credentials

Green credentials have been at the core of a

range of Riverside ECHG’s supported housing

developments which will be on site in 2011.

In new housing schemes in Hull, North

Yorkshire and Middlesbrough, housing over

130 former homeless residents, our designers

are delivering large-scale environmental

benefits based on the schemes’ campus-style

sites. In Middlesbrough this includes timber

frame construction from sustainably managed

sources; mechanical ventilation and heat

recovery to reduce heat loss; low energy

lighting; highly efficient air source heat

pumps; solar panels for hot water heating;

and rainwater harvesting for toilets. This is

resulting in new buildings achieving the Code

for Sustainable Homes Level 3.

Riverside has delivered over 500 units that

meet or exceed Code for Sustainable Homes

Level 3. Of these, three schemes meet Code

for Sustainable Homes Level 4. The Welcome

Inn at Langley, Greater Manchester, is a

24 unit scheme for older people which has

a biomass boiler installed. The biomass

boiler uses wood pellets which come from a

sustainable source (including recycling surplus

wood) which are burnt to provide heating and

hot water to the residents.

In the North East, we have two schemes that

use photo voltaic panels installed on the roofs

of the properties that provide free electricity to

the residents whilst providing Riverside with an

income through the Feed In Tariff initiative

that has helped fund the installation of these

renewable technologies that help our residents

out of Fuel Poverty.

Community Energy Saving Programme

Households in the Anfield area of Liverpool

could save up to £300 a year in fuel bills

thanks to environmentally friendly home

makeovers. As part of a national initiative,

which is expected to deliver up to £350m of

efficiency measures and reduce CO 2 emissions

by 2.9m tonnes, we have secured £1.6m

Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP)

funding from E.ON. Working in partnership

with Warmer Heating, we will use the money

to insulate hard-to-treat cavity walls in 333

homes in the area. Loft insulation is also being

fitted where needed and back boilers are being

replaced with new central heating systems

where necessary.

Riverside’s Affordable Warmth Officer

Catherine O’Donnell said: “While cavity wall

insulation is not a requirement under the

Decent Homes standard, we are committed

to improving our homes so they are decent,

modern and warm. In addition to reducing

carbon emissions, we hope the improvements

will help eliminate fuel poverty.”

“I have felt the difference in the

warmth of the house and have not

needed to have the heating on so

much, as the insulation seems to be

keeping the heat in. I like the new

electric fire that has been put in

place since the back boiler was

removed, it makes a big difference.

The bathroom is downstairs and is

an extension of the property; the

cavity walls were insulated here and

have made the bathroom much

warmer than before. I will be keen

to see what savings are made.”

Bella Norman

Miles saved through video conferencing

Year No of miles CO 2 reduction

2009/10 327,360 131 tonnes

2008/09 192,456 77 tonnes

Did you know?

We have reduced our carbon footprint by

enabling staff to access a range of training

on-line and have reduced paper by eliminating

printed induction manuals in favour of

electronic ones. To date, over 100 people have

enrolled with E-Start, our induction package,

around 40% of whom would have otherwise

had to travel to Liverpool to attend the course.

8 9


Community

Community Reporters

We have recruited budding journalists from

the Langley estate in Middleton to enrol on

a course to become Community Reporters.

The students will learn how to produce content

with new social media tools such as blogs,

podcasts, films and wikis, and use everything

from mobile phones to video cameras and

webcams. Stories are distributed through

an online network and other social network

sites such as Twitter and Facebook. As well

as becoming part of the People’s Voice Media

network, Community Reporters can attend

a variety of events and activities, go on to

further training or join the employment pool

and receive commissions and part time work.

If successful, we’re hoping to roll it out across

the country.

Resident involvement

We have developed an involvement structure

which enables residents to engage with us at

all levels, from grassroots to organisational

governance. The flexibility of our offer provides

opportunities for all parts of the community,

with wide choice available in terms of activities,

time commitment, level of influence and

whether the activity can be undertaken at

home or away from the home. We know

that the only way to develop our services is to

work with tenants and residents to make sure

we set clear and meaningful service standards

and provide a range of opportunities to review

our performance against them. We offer

different ways to communicate which match

individual needs, we provide training and

support, and we ensure our involvement work

is representative of all communities.

Defeating exclusion through partnerships

Across four supported housing projects

in South London, we are working with 75

service users with enduring mental health

and addiction issues. The projects are all

within diverse multi-cultural communities

with high social exclusion and worklessness.

Three quarters of service users are from

the black and minority ethnic community

and 70% have spent significant periods

in psychiatric hospitals, prisons or other

institutions. The programme was shortlisted

for a UK Housing Award in the Meeting the

Needs of Vulnerable People category.

Liverpool Lighthouse

We donated £6,000 towards a volunteering

and employment programme at Liverpool

Lighthouse, a community organisation in the

heart of Anfield. With materials and support

from Morrison and our Your Place team,

Lighthouse could begin refurbishment of

the basement in their premises, enabling

vocational students on the Harmonise

Construction Project to learn bricklaying,

plastering, decorating, and plumbing. In

another project, six unemployed volunteers

took part in a 20-week work experience

scheme learning skills in customer care,

logistics, administration, IT, CV writing, first

aid and manual handling. In 2010, Riverside

also linked Lighthouse to Fusion 21, a local

training and procurement organisation.

This resulted in 18 unemployed young people

being placed into jobs at Lighthouse through

Fusion 21’s Future Jobs Fund scheme.

“I have Bipolar and got into armed

robbery and begging when I

became a crack user. Riverside

helped get a drug treatment order

rather than evicting me. I would

have probably ended up in prison.

I’m now clear of crack and best of

all I’ve worked as a trainee painter

and decorator in Riverside’s

employment support programme

and I’m ready to move on.”

Former Riverside

ECHG service user

Our charitable donations

Year

Total charitable donations

2009/10 £22,789

2008/09 £21,250

10 11


Tenants have talent

Our tenants are a talented bunch and we

harness these talents through the likes

of Bootle’s Great Big Talent Search and

St Helens’ Got Talent in Merseyside.

The events – which attract acts as diverse

as burlesque dance troupes, beat boxers and

musical theatre performers – aim to channel

young people’s energies into something

positive and celebrate all that is good about

young people. All too often young people

receive bad press and are blamed for causing

anti-social behaviour. This event aims to show

that the vast majority of young people are

responsible law-abiding citizens, who have a lot

to offer within the community and when they

focus their energies in a positive way they can

achieve wonderful things.

Stop the Hate

Stop the Hate – a campaign to raise

awareness of different cultures and tackle

anti-social behaviour in the Kensington area

of Liverpool – saw young people from four

youth clubs come together to explore cultural

similarities and differences. The project

culminated in a celebration of multi-culturalism

at which over 120 young people showcased

their experiences through drama, poetry,

artwork and dance. Stop the Hate won the

Merseyside Police Authority Community Award

for North Liverpool and went on to be crowned

the Winner of Winners. The project was also

shortlisted for a UK Housing Award in the

Creating Safer Communities category.

Get Digital! Older people online

Five Riverside ECHG sheltered schemes

in London and Merseyside are leading a

national pilot by offering their tenants, as

well as older people in their local communities,

the chance to get online. Riverside secured

£20,000 as part of the Government’s national

Get Digital programme to pay for computer

equipment and for local IT trainers from

the National Institute for Adult Continuing

Education to come into Riverside ECHG

schemes to provide training.

Our commitment to equality and diversity

Equality and Diversity runs through our

vision and values which are now measured as

behavioural competencies within the Riverside

staff appraisal scheme. When necessary,

Riverside also considers positive action to meet

the specific needs of particularly disadvantaged

individuals or groups. Our policies, practices

and procedures are developed so as not

to cause discrimination, direct or indirect, or

allow discrimination or disadvantage to be a

barrier in the recruitment, training or promotion

of staff.

Pride of Cumbria Awards

We organised The Pride of Cumbria Awards in

partnership with CFM radio to give recognition

to those individuals who make a real difference

to their community. Whilst we invest heavily,

both in time and financially, in improving

neighbourhoods and building communities

– it is the individuals who live in the

communities that make the most difference.

The Pride of Cumbria Awards gave credit

to these people and was a real celebration

of all the work that people do to enhance

their neighbourhoods. Those nominated for

the awards were from varied backgrounds

including child carers, children having to

overcome serious illness and individuals giving

support to victims of domestic violence – to

name but a few.

“I’m thinking about using the

computer to write about my

war experiences as a Desert Rat.

It’s important that the younger

generations don’t forget and as

they seem to all be using the

internet that’s where I’m going

to put up my story!”

Jim Saunders

Did you know?

Over a quarter of our tenants are over the

age of 60 and over half who are over the age

of 80 live in general needs properties. To help

our older tenants maintain their independence

and promote social inclusion, we support a

number of initiatives. These range from Older

Person’s Day, which acknowledges the

contribution older people make to society

and aims to bridge the generation gap

between young and old, to Falls Awareness

Day, which promotes simple practical ways

to reduce the risks of falls and fractures

among older people, and World Elder Abuse

Awareness Day, which aims to raise awareness

of the mistreatment of older adults and

highlight the need for action. In addition to

supporting national campaigns, we also run

our own ad hoc events such as Silver Surfer

sessions to engage the older generation with

new technology and fitness classes to help

older people to stay mobile and independent.

12 13


Workplace

Community regeneration

We deliver socio-economic and environmental benefits to our tenants and residents. Training

and employment programmes create jobs and access to employment opportunities, whilst

neighbourhood management helps develop and maintain cleaner, safer and greener places to live.

Community investment – direct spend and external funding

Year

Community

Investment

– direct spend

Total Community Investment

leverage (matched funds as a

result of our spend)

2009/10 £769,743 £2,043,512 £1,518,454

2008/09 £557,848 £1,361,872 £287,683

Training, employment and financial support provided

Year

People into

learning and

training

People into

employment

No. of affordable

loans provided /

£ value

2009/10 567 251 1697 loans

£749,386

2008/09 Not collected 169 361 loans

£142,000

New homes built

Year

Did you know?

External Income brought

in through grants / contracts

e.g. lottery

No. of savings

accounts opened

395 34

166 23

Homes built for

affordable rent

2009/10 600 172

2008/09 586 145

Businesses

supported

Homes built for

affordable sale

Since 2008 we have saved Moneyline

customers £620,000 of interest which

they would otherwise have paid to doorstep

lenders. Following the success of Moneyline

in the North West, Riverside has expanded

the service to Stoke-on-Trent

Corporate Games

Over 100 employees competed in the

Corporate Games held in Liverpool, picking

up four medals. Staff from Carlisle to Dartford

took part in various sports including dragon

boat racing, ten pin bowling, go-karting and

golf. Training and development advisor Suey

Stockton said: “The Corporate Games was

a chance to bring staff from across the

organisation together outside the work

environment as well as meeting new people

from different sectors. Riverside was

represented by a whole range of people from

joiners and bricklayers, to support workers,

community engagement officers, policy

managers and regeneration managers.

It was a great opportunity to build employee

confidence, loyalty and team spirit.”

Learning at Work Day

Employees from across the organisation took

part in our second Learning at Work Day in

May. Sessions included; yoga and salsa classes,

photography tutorials, clay modelling classes,

fit club and therapies. Everyone who took part

in the events was asked to make a donation to

our corporate charity WaterAid, which raised a

total of £118.

Get Out Of The Office

Riverside and ECHG teams organised a series

of events across the country to celebrate

Better Together Two. The aim of the events

was to improve our understanding of the

different parts of our organisation and

encourage as many staff as possible to

Get Out Of The Office and learn about our

business. We offered prizes of High Street

vouchers to the three best stories we received.

Employee Experience

The Riverside Employee Experience is the offer

we make to our employees. It’s a statement of

what it’s like to work here and a promise. We

want people to get excited and be proud about

the effect they can have working with us. We

want everyone that works here to understand

the quality and impact of the learning and

development we provide and to recognise the

enormous range of benefits available.

Staff awards

The staff awards are a celebration of the very

best of the best that Riverside does, an

opportunity for colleagues to recognise how

many have gone that extra mile to transform

lives and revitalise neighbourhoods.

The Riverside Service Style

Focusing on customers is at the heart of

everything we do. The Riverside Service Style

is vital in ensuring that our thinking and our

actions in relation to our internal and external

customers are right. To ensure that employees

are able to deliver ‘service to be proud of’,

our network of 120 internal coaches provide

ongoing support and guidance. Whether the

focus is on our mind set or on the language

we use, the support the coaches provide is

invaluable in embedding the Riverside Service

Style into our culture.

14 15


Marketplace

Creating opportunities

Considerate Constructors Award

Apprentices

Did you know?

The percentage of staff who achieved a

fully competent or better rating on their

appraisals is 95%.

Since the staff awards were restructured

to reflect our new vision and values, entries

have doubled from 50 to 100.

We are one of the founding members of

Fusion 21, a social economy business which

promotes collaboration to save money and

create jobs. To date it has created 750 jobs

and generated efficiency savings of £45m.

In 2008 we attracted an average of nine

applicants per job at Riverside. In 2009

this increased to 22.

In 2009/10, Riverside ECHG developed a

programme of life-changing opportunities

that encompass our staff, tenants in our

sheltered housing and residents in our

supported housing schemes. This is now

offering opportunities for over 10,000

people nationwide.

— Our GROW programme is encouraging

older tenants in sheltered housing

schemes to apply their valuable life

experiences by becoming Volunteer

Mentors to supported residents, giving

them the confidence and independent

support to manage the challenges that

many former homeless people face when

moving on with their lives.

— Our GOALS programme works with

former homeless people to help them

tackle negative attitudes and behaviour

and to focus them on setting positive

goals that will help them achieve the

desired outcomes of developing skills

and gaining employment.

— Our Engage to Change Programme is a

qualification for front line homelessness

workers, accredited by the Chartered

Institute of Housing. It is the only industry

standard certificate for professionals

working with homeless people.

Lovell, one of our key partners, has picked

up a Considerate Constructors Award for its

work on our Kensington Square development

in Liverpool. Considerate Constructors

recognise sites displaying excellent standards

of consideration towards their workforce,

their neighbours and the environment. The

development was independently monitored

against the Considerate Constructors code

of practice which requires companies to

minimise the impact of construction work

on the environment, work safely and liaise

closely with the local community.

Divisional director Tom McGuire said:

“As an organisation which prides itself on its

commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility,

we’re delighted to be working in partnership

with a contractor who has demonstrated the

very highest levels of consideration towards the

public, the workforce and the environment.”

We have welcomed 13 young apprentices

who have been taken on by Seddon to work

on developments in Halton. In addition to the

two bricklayers, four joiners and seven

apprentice painters, Seddon has trained two

site managers on different sites in the area.

A trainee quantity surveyor has also gained

valuable experience working on the projects

together with a further nine apprentices and

trainees employed by subcontractors.

Divisional director Neil Townsend said:

“As a charitable business, Corporate Social

Responsibility is high on our agenda. As such,

we work in partnership with contractors who

demonstrate a strong workplace ethic and

support the local community by recruiting

from the areas where we are working. We are

delighted that Seddon has given so many

young people from Halton an opportunity to

begin their careers in the construction industry

working on our developments.”

We have achieved “One To Watch” status in

the Times 100 Best Companies benchmarking

index 2011 for the 3rd consecutive year.

Training our staff

Year No of training days

49.13% of Riverside employees completed

the survey, 4% up on the previous year.

2009/10 5,300

Our two highest ranking factors are Giving

Something Back (142nd) and Fair Deal (166th)

which are the same highest factors as 2010.

Giving Something Back explores how much

people think their organisation puts back into

society and whether they believe this effort

is driven by profit motives. Fair Deal includes

how well employees feel they are treated

and how their pay and benefits compare to

similar organisations.

Staffing % for 2009/10

Target Actual

BME 5.4% 6.4%

Women 52% 63.1%

Disabled 3% 1.1%

16 17


Looking forward

“Having been unemployed for

almost five years after I was

disabled out of the army, I now

have a job and it’s made the

world of difference to me and

my plans for the future. I’m also

looking forward to getting

additional qualifications for

driving diggers and a Forklift

licence. I like the outdoors so

this job will be perfect for me!”

Nigel Berry

Former Riverside ECHG resident, who

was the first to sign up to the Royal British

Legion Poppy Factory programme.

Did you Know?

Riverside has achieved its targets for the

employment of women and BME staff.

We are below target on the number of

disabled staff we employ and to help address

this we are continuing to work with disability

training and education organisations to

provide placements for disabled people

seeking to improve their experience and

skills in order to gain employment.

Corporate Responsibility Index

Our repairs contractor Morrison is the

most improved company in the Business

in the Community’s prestigious Corporate

Responsibility Index. It achieved a bronze,

which demonstrates that the organisation

clearly articulates its missions, values and

corporate responsibility principles and is

beginning to collect data on their social

and environmental impacts.

Ex-servicemen

In 1999, Riverside ECHG set up a unique

housing service for single ex-servicemen and

women facing homelessness which has now

helped over 6,000 veterans. Ten years on it

was clear that the combination of continued

overseas military action and the economic

slow-down meant that veterans, many of

whom had only ever known life in the Armed

Services, were finding it increasingly difficult

to move on from military life. Difficulties

accessing employment given their particular

skill-sets, as well as issues arising from an

institutional lifestyle and war trauma,

compounded their exclusion from the jobs

market. As a response, Riverside ECHG has

now developed a range of training and

access to employment programmes. In 2010,

Riverside ECHG embarked on a pioneering

supported employment scheme, set up in

partnership with The Royal British Legion

Poppy Factory. As part of their Supported

Employment Scheme, the Royal British Legion

Poppy Factory are providing funding towards

the first year’s costs to any company which

agrees to employ a disabled ex-serviceman

or woman. We have also utilised our existing

organisational partnerships with our

contractors believing that they don’t just

work for us, they work with us. Through our

procurement policy and process, we have

challenged them to demonstrate how they

can provide opportunities to our clients, and

through contractors we have already started

to deliver traineeships to Riverside ECHG

residents – ten in 2010.

As we look forward to the next year, we are

acutely aware that we are working in a period

of financial constraints, not least in the area of

public spending where swingeing cuts are likely

to impact on the livelihoods and well-being of

the most vulnerable members of society.

We believe that we will best serve our

customers and the communities where they

live, by providing excellent services and helping

to sustain communities. During the next year

we will continue to deliver our CSR programme

by realising our overall vision of ‘transforming

lives, revitalising neighbourhoods’.

Our targets and objectives

— Deliver Fit for the Future – this involves

a radical change in Riverside ECHG’s

structure that means it can offer greater

service flexibility and value for money

in an increasingly pressurised financial

climate. Riverside ECHG has already

tested the new structure which has been

successfully implemented in pilot areas,

resulting in positive feedback from local

service commissioners.

— Review our environmental policy.

— Develop a waste management policy

and implement this across Riverside.

— Achieve a further 5% reduction in

business mileage.

— Achieve a reduction in office energy

consumption of at least 2%.

— Deliver energy efficiency improvements

to around 1,900 properties nationwide.

— Act on the feedback from our SHIFT

(Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow)

assessment, identify priorities for action

and commit to a plan to deliver them.

— Improve on our 2009 assessment under

the Best Companies benchmarking.

— Raise at least £10,000 for WaterAid and

other charities.

We will continue to work with tenants,

residents and staff to increase awareness

of environmental and wider CSR objectives.

Our programme of employee engagement is

gathering pace and will remain a focus for the

retention and development of a great quality

workforce. Procurement activities will be

focussed on achieving value for money whilst

remaining ethical and socially accountable.

As ever, our Community Engagement activities

will sit at the heart of our business, helping to

support those experiencing financial hardship

unemployment and fuel poverty.

It will be a challenge to sustain our CSR

programme in the current economic climate,

but the business and moral case for these

activities is sound. We look forward to the next

year with optimism and determination that we

will remain a responsible business, making a

difference to the lives of the tenants and

residents in the communities where we work.

18 19


Contact us

www.riverside.org.uk

email: info@riverside.org.uk

Customer Service Centre

24 hours a day, 365 days a year

0845 111 0000

With inclusive call packages or mobile phones,

it may be cheaper to call 0345 111 0000

We are happy to accept Typetalk calls

Minicom: 0845 111 7766

The Riverside Group Limited

Registered office:

2 Estuary Boulevard,

Estuary Commerce Park,

Liverpool L24 8RF

A charitable Industrial

and Provident Society

Regulated by the

Tenant Services Authority

March 2011

Details correct at time of printing

Printed on 75% recycled paper

with 25% from FSC-certified sources

R8/022-0211V1.0R

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines