03 Nov 2016

British Steel packs a punch with new community fund

British Steel has launched a new scheme to support the communities in which it operates  – and one Scunthorpe club already thinks it’s a knockout!

The company has unveiled its Building Stronger Communities programme which will offer financial and in-kind support for projects focussing on learning and skills, health, safety and wellbeing and protecting and enhancing the environment.

The initiative will also give more opportunities for British Steel employees to volunteer, support the work employees do in the community with a financial awards scheme, continue its Landfill Communities Funding scheme, and support science, technology, engineering and maths in local schools.

Scunthorpe Community Boxing Club is the first organisation to benefit from the programme, and is now packing a bigger punch after being awarded a £2,000 grant by British Steel.

Paul Martin, British Steel’s HR Director, said: “We are extremely proud of the relationship we have with the communities in which we operate and supporting organisations like the boxing club is hugely important to us.

“Over the years our communities have provided us with a great deal of support, none more so than during the recent struggles we have had to overcome. While we still face many challenges, our Building Stronger Communities programme will hopefully repay some of that support that has meant so much to our employees and our industry.

“As a responsible employer, we want to play a proactive role in supporting the economic development and social wellbeing of our communities, within the financial constraints we’re still under as a new business. By launching the Building Stronger Communities programme, we’re making a commitment to listen to our local people and work in partnership with them to respond to the needs and aspirations of our neighbours.

“This programme isn’t just about investing financially, but working with our partners to find creative and tangible ways to improve the lives of our neighbours and contribute to a strong economic and social footprint in our communities.

“We’re also very pleased to be able to support employees who work tirelessly in our communities with a new Community Champion awards scheme.”

Under the British Steel programme, non-profit organisations, community groups and local charities can apply for up to a maximum of £2,000 from the company.

To help support decision-making at its main sites, three steering groups - in Scunthorpe, Teesside and Skinningrove - have been recruited to consider applications. The groups include trade union colleagues as well as plant area representatives and employees with expertise in school liaison, environment, and health and safety.

Together with Rebecca Slater, Community Liaison Manager, the groups will help to make decisions on which requests from the community British Steel will support. They’ll also agree on a calendar of activities for community engagement work.

Rebecca said: “We’re also looking at choosing a community partner, who will receive an enhanced level of support from the company – I look forward to hearing people’s views on that.”

Paul McBean, multi-union chairman at the Scunthorpe works, said: “Our employees have always prided themselves on putting something back into the community and this is another example.”

Andrew Richardson, the chairman of Scunthorpe Community Boxing Club, said he was delighted British Steel was supporting the local community.

He said: “The donation will enable us to provide all children who are members of the club with a training kit to promote a sense of team work amongst them. We also desperately needed to update gloves and head guards and British Steel’s kind donation means that we are now able to do this.”