What initiatives have you been working on at Bouygues UK recently to drive positive changes across the community, the workforce, and the environment?
In terms of community-specific projects, we have conducted many, including a digital inclusion series for local residents on topics like ‘How to book your GP?’ and 'Grocery Shopping Online,’ as well as popular ‘DIY Workshops’ on how to regrout and reseal tiles to remove mould. In this case, local residents can borrow the tools to do this after they’ve completed the free training, so they don’t need to buy anything to do it.
We also regularly organise trips during summer and half-terms for residents who can't afford to go away on holidays, like trips to the Science Museum, Legoland, and even Cadbury World! Residents get all their expenses paid, along with transport, food and entry tickets. These are positive experiences for everybody because they create happy memories, foster bonding in their community, and allow people to get know us a construction company in their neighbourhoods.
Regarding the workforce, we have produced a series of informative campaigns on key aspects of construction workforce health, from Nutrition, sun exposure and hydration tips, to our ‘Stoptober’ smoking cessation campaign. Additionally, in the run-up to the holiday season of December, we have organised the Gambling Guidance and Help campaign, as we have noticed that some groups of people tend to take part in such activity more often at this time of year. Also, the first campaign in January for our workforce will be a ‘Healthy Start to the Year’ initiative, with a focus on healthy living, and incorporating a free cholesterol and diabetes check.
Environmentally, on-site we are also collecting rainwater and composting some of our food waste to give back to the environment. We have set up regular clothes recycling campaigns, encouraging staff to bring in their unwanted clothes that would otherwise go to the landfill. We then donate these clothes directly to local community residents to give something back to those who want them, and those in need.
In our last donation for example, we donated around 300 items, and I have already received a couple of hundred items in the office for the next giveaway. We also are collecting crisp packets that a partner charity will then convert into life-saving blankets which we can then give back to the community - a great way to recycle!
All of this is possible because of how the CCS values and standards align so closely with Bouygues UK’s DNA, and also because of our supportive on-site management culture, our pro-active workforce and our clients. It’s made easy because everybody appreciates and understands the importance of social value in our construction projects, and how this makes a difference. If everybody around you supports you, then amazing things can happen!
Do you have any exciting initiatives in the pipeline that will give back to the community and construction workforce as we approach and celebrate the holiday season?
Yes! It’s exciting times. In a few days, we will have a Community Baby Shower for expecting mums and those with babies under one. We are partnering with our local council Maternity Champions.
The idea behind the project is that, in partnership with Kensington and Chelsea local council, we introduce the group of mums to the range of services that they may need in their amazing, but sometimes hard, maternity journeys. From introducing them to local maternity support groups and free maternity activities, to providing a range of nappy samples and products, and of course, signposting access to local NHS health services, including mental health resources.
Also, with our client, we will be delivering a Christmas Hamper to every household on the construction estate that I manage (around 200 hampers in total). We did this activity last year too, and it was very well appreciated. The hamper includes staples more than luxury products, such as essential food items. Some residents are very grateful as the cost-of-living crisis is a concern for some people in this community.
It’s a very nice project to do as a brings everybody together at this time of year.