Scrutton Bland’s Community Social Responsibility strategy has taken a step forward with the incorporation of The Scrutton Bland Foundation CIC, with the aim of making it the most responsible employer in the region as well as striving to ensure they are doing the right thing by the communities in which they live and work.
A CIC (or Community Interest Company) is a limited company which operates to ensure that it is the community rather than any shareholders or investors who benefit from its activities. Often called a “social enterprise”, the funds raised and activities delivered are entirely for the benefit of the community. Unlike a charity (which tends to focus on specific causes) a CIC can benefit a wide range of social and community issues, has the scope to be a little more entrepreneurial, and is 100% member led. This means that the CIC members choose where to donate money raised, which in Scrutton Bland’s case happens through nominating good causes which are then voted on twice a year. The members are also able to volunteer allotted days to work with nominated organisations, whether that is sorting products at a food bank, clearing ponds for a wildlife trust, or giving their time to volunteer at the local hospice. Michael Beckett, CEO of Colchester Foodbank commented on the way the Scrutton Bland volunteers helped: “They were all complete stars - staying till after 5pm to help us cope with what turned out to be our busiest week ever. It was a pleasure having their help!”
“Our approach is that we are member led, and bottom up, and community focused. We even call our approach Community Social Responsibility,” said Luke Morris, Corporate Finance Partner at Scrutton Bland, who has led the initiative. “This is an entrepreneurial way of ensuring that all of our voluntary resources are used within our community.” Recent beneficiaries of Scrutton Bland’s CIC include FIND (Families in Need), the Ipswich Hospital Baby Bereavement Group, and CALM – the Campaign Against Living Miserably, which aims to lead the movement against male suicide.
“We have been delighted with the response to the CIC initiative,” continues Luke Morris. “It is an entirely voluntary process for our people to join as members of the CIC. They donate each month via payroll, and this sum is then matched by Scrutton Bland’s partners. It means that the recipients of the CIC funds are personal to the members, the process is member-led and democratic, and our members know they have made the right choice. Many of our Scrutton Bland colleagues are passionate about local good causes, and by understanding their enthusiasms we can channel our resources to deliver support where it’s needed to community organisations.”