Your business can make a huge difference by helping refugees - turn your CSR vision into a reality. 
Nowadays, people are demanding more of the companies they engage with. Businesses need to be socially responsible, and active in their values, to attract customers and to motivate staff. With 78% of consumers saying they want companies to address important social justice issues, businesses can’t afford not to take action. 
 
Whatever the size or type of business, it pays to have a considered plan to make a positive social difference: but how can you turn your CSR vision into a reality? 
 
ACH works closely with local businesses and national corporates to develop meaningful CSR programmes, by delivering life-changing services to refugees. With years of expertise on refugee resettlement and integration, and an informed, culturally sensitive approach, we can help your business to make a real difference. 
 
We work in partnership with businesses on a variety of programmes for CSR activity, each of which can be tailored to your values and agenda. 
 
Volunteering 
 
Two of the main issues faced by refugees settling into UK life are English language skills and cultural understanding – both of which can be developed through interaction with the local community. 
 
This is where your business can be part of the change. Volunteering with our learners and tenants is an effective method for imparting these skills, as well as a unique opportunity for staff to interact with communities who are facing issues establishing in the UK. 
 
Working with volunteers generates valuable personal development on both sides, allowing for an exchange of views, ideas and experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible. By developing your staff while generating positive social change, our volunteering projects represent a worthwhile CSR investment. 
 
Pro bono 
 
Providing a service to those who couldn’t otherwise access it is another rewarding way to make an impact. Like volunteering, offering pro bono work is an opportunity to build your workforce’s morale, while making a real difference to refugees. 
 
Offering this service develops professional and personal skills for staff, enhancing cultural awareness through direct engagement with people from varied backgrounds and life experiences. While building staff expertise, it creates a positive relationship with the local community that can have long-standing benefits for your business. 
 
Hiring 
 
Our apprenticeship and work placement programmes offer a solution to employers looking to diversify their workforce, reduce recruitment costs, and address skills shortages. At the same time, by participating in these schemes, your business can pave the way for long-term change in society. 
Despite many refugees possessing skills that are in demand in the UK, their employment levels are much lower than that of the population as a whole. By progressing these individuals into work that is appropriate to their skills and abilities, we fulfil their potential, at the same time as providing businesses with well-prepared and competent employees. 
 
As well as preparing candidates, we provide ongoing support to ensure that employees have access to real progression opportunities and development. The experience is valuable on both sides, as it also gives current staff the chance to build mentoring skills. 
 
We believe that access to employment is the best method for successful integration. By partnering with us, your business can take part in a truly impactful initiative. 
 
Donating 
 
ACH regularly runs events and projects that promote successful resettlement and integration for refugees: a recent example being our Bristol to Bath bike ride in July, which encouraged engagement between our tenants and the local community. 
 
For these kinds of events, and for supporting our work more broadly, donations are a great way to contribute to a positive outcome, while demonstrating your business’ social responsibility. For example, we recently received a donation of duvets from the Hampton Hotel in Bristol, which will be particularly useful for our tenants in the coming months. Fundraising or donations of relevant goods can be a great way to create tangible outcomes for the people we work with. 
 
If you would like further information on how ACH can work with your business to make positive social change, please contact rethinkingrefugee@ashleyhousing.com. 
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