The HR Juggler

Archive for the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ Category

…Your Money or Your Life…!! OK, OK, I admit it, my sense of drama and 80s nostalgia may be getting the better of me with that blog title! However, there will be no better opportunity of spending your hard-earned money to support a great cause than this.

Team Informoney is the second of our Informa teams to feature on this blog and they have been working immensely hard to raise funds for the Prince’s Trust as part of their Million Makers initiative. Today sees the launch of their very exciting auction. Stuck for that special someone’s Christmas present? What are you waiting for….get bidding!


Calling all F1 fanatics for our Prince’s Trust auction!

You can now bid on our online auction, which includes fantastic Formula 1 memorabilia such as a nosecone used by the Williams team in 2008, and driving suits worn by Kazuki Nakajima (which is also signed!) and Nico Rosberg.

If motorsports don’t float your boat, we also have other great lots including:

  • a Tottenham Hotspur Opus, weighing in at 800 pages and nearly 40kg;
  • a box at the O2 for 5 people to see Eddie Izzard’s Force Majeure show on 8 June 2013;
  • the High Life package, which includes a Virgin Balloon Flight and 6 course tasting menu at the Guoman Royal Horseguards Hotel for 2;
  • a signed photograph of Rebecca Adlington: double Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist (and Children in Need bake-off winner!);
  • a vintage designer ladies suit by Rifat Ozbek.

We also have some fantastic art works including prints by renowned illustrators Rob Ryan and Kerry Hyndman, which would make great Christmas presents


Check out our auction site and get your bids in! 100% of the proceeds will go to The Prince’s Trust, which is doing great work helping young people build the skills they need to help their communities and training to even start their own businesses.

We have been stunned by the generosity of all of those who have donated prizes, including AT&T who donated the F1 memorabilia. We have also enjoyed tremendous support from our company Informa, and are proud to be involved in a great project raising money for a very worthy cause.


And just in case you fancy a little music whilst you’re checking out those bids and splashing your cash…

As part of our corporate social responsibility activity, Informa partners with the Prince’s Trust, a brilliant organisation that makes a huge difference to the lives of the one in five young people in the UK who are not in work, education or training. This year for the first time, some of our employees have taken part in the Million Makers challenge, forming three teams that have come up with a business plan, secured seed funding and are currently competing to raise the most money for The Prince’s Trust through their own enterprises.

Over the next few days I will be running a series of blogs featuring these three teams and the fantastic and inspiring projects they are running to raise money. I’m immensely proud of all of them for the hard work, dedication, determination and innovation they have demonstrated…all on top of very busy day-jobs!

The first team to be featured is Hour Manchester…and excitingly, I also have a free copy of their beautiful book to give away…! It’s only fair to let them describe their product and experience in their own words –


‘Hour Manchester’ is a hardback reprographic book published in the spirit of The Prince’s Trust ‘Million Makers’ challenge, aiming to raise £10,000 for the charity. In order to put this book together we held a photography competition to capture and record images of Greater Manchester, its people, its community and its soul over a period of 24hrs. Ninety six of the winning entries have been published in the book, all sale proceeds of which will be donated to The Prince’s Trust.

Along the way we received a great deal of support from our company Informa, as well as local businesses and sponsors. We also managed to get a few celebrities involved in the project, including Marc Riley (BBC Radio 6), John Robb (Louder Than War) and Mary Anne Hobbs (Xfm). But the turning point, we believe, was getting some high-profile judges on board to help us choose from the hundreds of entries we received, ones that really stood out. Kevin Cummins – a professional photographer renowned for his work with rock musicians and bands – and Helen Wewiora – a visual arts officer at Arts Council England – both agreed to help us make a selection of 9 images that deserved some extra attention. Their input has been priceless to us and the people who have been selected.

Which is why this book is a promise of stunning and striking photographs that record the everyday lives of Mancunians. We believe the finished ‘Hour Manchester’ book is an innovative collection of iconic Manchester images seen through the eyes of the people that live in this vibrant city. And it just happens to be an amazing Christmas gift idea that is not only unique but would also help the underprivileged young people that The Prince’s Trust supports. If you would like to purchase a copy go to our Just Giving page and make a donation of £15 and we’ll send you your very own copy!


In order to enter the competition to win one of these very special books, please leave a comment below, stating what you love most about the city of Manchester. The competition will remain open until the end of Tuesday 27th November and will be judged by our very own Hour Manchester team, who are far more qualified than me in the topic of their home  city!

To give you a flavour of what is in the book, have a look at this homemade, very lovely video…



And here are just a few of the many excellent entries received…


So, what are you waiting for? Enter today for your chance to win this very special book. All proceeds go directly to the Prince’s Trust.

When was the last time that your organisation gave its employees the chance to change lives for the better? I am incredibly fortunate to work for a company that values its employees highly and also engages in some fantastic corporate social responsibility projects.

During February and March, there are three teams of Informa Business Information staff travelling out to Thailand, Ecuador and Costa Rica to work on volunteering projects, partnering with the Real Gap Experience. To read the group blog and witness the change in employees’ perspectives, the strong bond they form with each other, their passion, drive and engagement with their host communities is incredible. HR has been well represented in these trips and I can’t wait to hear what my colleagues have learnt and are planning to implement once they return home.

If you are interested, you can take a peek at what the teams have been doing here.

All the volunteers undoubtedly make an impact in the communities that they travel to, but by far the biggest life-changing impact is on the individuals themselves. And that is inspiring to be a part of.

Corporate responsibility may be many things, but soft and fluffy it isn’t. It has the potential to change lives, engage and motivate staff, engender great teamwork and achieve amazing results. Without doubt, it is one of the best opportunities that we offer our staff and has a tangible impact on our culture and environment, which lasts well beyond the duration of the projects. It only takes a few people to believe that anything is possible, to really start to create a sea change within an organisation.

Most of my exec board colleagues climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as a team last year. Another group of employees trekked across the Lunag Massif in Nepal. Several colleagues are running the London Marathon, others are participating in the Edinburgh Moonwalk or cycling from London to Paris, all raising significant funds for charity and challenging themselves and others in the process, sharing their learning and inspiring others around them.

What’s inspiring change in your organisation and culture? I’d love to know.


On Friday evening I watched a short documentary on Sir Jimmy Saville. I learnt much about him from watching it and a couple of things have really stuck with me and made me think. Firstly, that during his lifetime, he raised an amazing £45m for charity. Secondly, that during the height of his fame he worked for five years as an unpaid hospital porter in Leeds Hospital and gave  his time voluntarily and regularly to help others. Towards the end of his life, he reflected that his philosophy was one of having fun, “to live every day as if it were Christmas Day and every night as if it were New Year’s Eve.” A complex and multi-faceted man undoubtedly, but an irrefutably generous one, with his time as well as his money.

It made me stop and reflect, not only about personal aspirations, but also on the wider topic of corporate social responsibility. The shift of society’s expectations and companies’ efforts towards corporate social responsibility is a positive one; yet it is so much more powerful when it involves not only companies donating money, but enables individuals to engage with good causes. When companies can strike the balance right to provide opportunities for their staff to donate their time, expertise and skills for charity and fully support them in doing so, it is a powerful developmental and retention tool, which can be hugely motivating.

Our corporate social responsibility actions have had a powerful and at times life-changing effect on some of our staff this year: from the exec team who raised money by climbing Kilimanjaro, the two volunteer programmes we have run to Costa Rica and Thailand, the team who trekked across the Himalayas to raise funds for Japan and the delegation we sent to the One Young World conference. That the volunteer programmes have been open to all staff to apply and that the individuals who were selected by the staff board have ranged from one of the receptionists to senior managers, has been a powerful force for strengthened working relationships, staff engagement and culture change. Giving money is sometimes the easy part; providing a forum for individuals to demonstrate how truly extraordinary they are and how prepared they are to live generously and contribute is by far the most powerful and humbling.

So, here’s to living generously as individuals…and working with our companies to provide opportunities to bring some of that fantastic positive and life-affirming energy to work.

I’d love to hear what you think. 


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