Leading by example: The Let’s Give initiative

7th October, 2015

Lily was born with a cleft palate- a hole in the roof of her mouth in the soft and hard palate. At nine months old Lily underwent surgery courtesy Alder Hey charity. This was a five hour operation, in which a palate was constructed using tissue and muscle from Lily’s mouth. Without this operation, Lily would not have been able to eat or talk properly. Now at 16 months old, Lily is thriving. She can eat and drink properly and is saying her first words.

Joe is eight and has cerebral palsy. He has to use a wheelchair to get around and is visually impaired. Although he is the most cheerful little boy ever, he needs a lot of help day-to-day. He and his family were lucky enough to have a week’s holiday at Childrens Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT), where they have facilities for children with all sorts of needs. For Joe that means people understand his condition, it is wheelchair accessible and he gets to have fun with peers who accept him and don’t judge.

Joe, Lily and many other children are inspiring refinery employees at Stanlow to link safety performance to charitable giving and contribute to support these charities.

Lending a whole new meaning to the manner of celebrating an organisational win, employees at Stanlow refinery of Essar Oil UK are contributing to causes that they care about, whenever they accomplish a safety feat. Under a unique employee-led programme titled ‘Let’s Give’, each safety milestone achieved by the refinery is rewarded through donations to charities. Sally Darlington, HSE Advisor confirms, “Let’s Give is a charity donation system that is linked to our site safety performance. The better we perform and the more safety milestones we reach, the more money we can give to deserving organisations within our local community.”

Let’s Give was launched 3 years ago and the name was chosen through an employee “name the scheme” competition. Employees and business partners are given the opportunity to nominate charities that they have a close association with. Preference is given to charities in the immediate vicinity but charities within a 20 mile radius are also eligible.

There are two key benefits of such a selection procedure. For one, the recommended organisations are those that have been closely watched by employees and partners and their experience with the charity fosters a greater willingness to commit resources to support the same. Secondly, the whole process of involving stakeholders in nominating a charity and encouraging the sharing of their personal experiences with them helps encourage volunteerism and boosts workforce motivation to meet and beat bigger safety milestones year on year.

Over the years, the Let’s Give programme has touched many lives and helped support a plethora of organisations as they contribute to community welfare. At the same time, the refinery has also amassed a number of safety records including 5 million Goal Zero hours without a Lost Time Injury for the third time in their history as well as the coveted RoSPA gold award for occupational health & safety.

To date, 13 local charities have benefited monetarily from their safety success in achieving various Goal Zero safety milestones. These charities have included the Wirral Swim and Sign Club, the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Helsby Community Sports Club, ST John’s Hospice, Wirral Autistic Society, Hoylake Lifeboat Organisation, the West Cheshire Foodbank, the Childrens Adventure Farm Trust and most recently, Brainwave.

Not only has this unique employee led programme garnered praise from all quarters but also demonstrated how one doesn’t have to solely rely on CSR policies of the company to make a difference. Employees are empowered to identify ways to utilise their workplace as a platform for amplifying community engagement and contributing to change.
As one of our employee-contributor agrees, “It might seem like our donation doesn't go very far, but to Joe and his family staying at CAFT made a massive difference.”