Society and communities
We aim to be a trusted partner in the societies in which we operate, building on our long-standing tradition of supporting local communities, helping them to prosper. Leveraging our employees’ knowledge and experience alongside integrating clear supplier engagement processes will enable the development of sustainable and prosperous societies.
In what has been a particularly challenging time for many of our society stakeholders, be it the smaller businesses we engage with in our supply chain or the recipients of grants and support from the many charities that we have continued to partner with through, what has been a year in which they have all seen an increase in demand for their services. With the move by many of our clients and employees to remote working we have focused attention on keeping them safe by reviewing our approach to cyber security and ensuring it provides safe and secure channels through which we can communicate and continue to deliver the high-quality service of which we are proud.
Rathbones has a strong tradition of operating responsibly, we have programmes focusing on:
- the strengthening of our existing procurement processes
- identifying of partners to support our community investment ambition
- increasing our volunteering opportunities
- improving communication on our impact.
Our annual report and accounts contains supplementary information about:
- Our relationships with regulators
- Rathbone’s code of conduct and whistleblowing process
- Our approach to anti-bribery and corruption
- Human rights and our approach to managing our modern slavery risk
- How we are keeping our clients cyber safe
In the uncertain times of 2020, the demand for support from the charitable sector saw a dramatic increase. The role of a business in looking after both its people and the communities in which it operates only gained in importance and we are pleased with how Rathbones pulled together, continuing to deliver to our clients and increasing the support we offered community partners. In 2020 the group made donations of £467,000, representing 1.1% of group pre-tax profit (2019: £360,000 and 0.9%).
Employees selected two national charities, Mental Health UK and the Trussell Trust, to receive additional funds which would help deliver services in response to COVID-19 programmes. Both charities received over £70,000. More information on our partnerships can be found in our annual report.
We continued with our pre-COVID-19 initiatives The Rathbones Folio Mentorships programme, which started in 2017, provides talented young writers from state schools the transformational opportunity to be mentored by published authors, one-on-one, for a year. In 2020, and in spite of COVID-19 restrictions, four young people participated through remote delivery of the programme. Alongside this we continued our support of financial awareness for youngsters, via the Rathbones Financial Awareness programme. We migrated the programme online in response to the pandemic, enabling us to offer access to more participants and in 2020 we had 250 individuals joining sessions. This means that in the last seven years, we have reached close to 10,500 young people.
We have taken the opportunity to review our approach to community investment. After revisiting our history, our purpose and engaging our people we identified equality as the theme on which we feel we could have a material impact. Focusing on disadvantaged youth will allow us to continue a number of existing projects whilst identifying opportunities to increase the impact of our community investment programmes.