Corporate Social Responsibility
Link2ICT is a division of Service Birmingham that supplies technology to schools and educational establishments in Birmingham and across the country.
Through our parent company, Service Birmingham, we have delivered the following CSR initiatives across the City:
Over the past seven years we have invested nearly £2.5m into community projects across Birmingham. We also continue to support the apprenticeship scheme, which has led to a number of apprentices being employed by Service Birmingham and our support for 400 local children to embrace music as part of Generation Ladywood Showcase schools concert.
Service Birmingham has also supported a number of community initiatives in the last 12 months, including:
Generation Ladywood Showcase – supporting creativity
In June 2014, 280 instrumentalists (including 24 djembes, 30 recorders, 17 cornets) and 120 singers from 16 schools, performed at the Generation Ladywood Showcase to an audience of around 1,000 made up of family and friends, school staff and supporters.
The concert sponsored by Service Birmingham featured performances by ensembles from local schools, supported by members of Town Hall Associate Artist Ex Cathedra.
The showcase was the busiest, loudest and boldest celebration of Generation Ladywood to date; with 400 musicians from 16 Birmingham schools performing on Symphony Hall’s stage. The young musicians selected for the project were identified as underachieving students – part of the schools 'Achievement' groups scheme to try and improve their motivation and attainment. Working with Town Hall & Symphony Hall’s (THSH’s) education & community department was seen as a way to enhance and broaden their learning opportunities in a stimulating and informal environment, which contrasts strongly with the school environment. It also allowed the students to lead the project in terms of creative input whilst learning transferable skills in multimedia from THSH’s team of experienced artists.
Children who showed great commitment, dedication and attitude were also awarded the ‘No Fear’ Award. The ‘No Fear’ Award is in memory of a wonderful musician called Abram Wilson. Abram was integral to the beginnings of Generation Ladywood. His ‘No Fear’ approach to getting involved in music-making inspired the ‘No Fear’ Award that recognises children’s enthusiasm, commitment and 11 musical promises. Each awardee received their very own instrument to take home, which we hope will help them to develop a life-long interest in music.
Schools Citizenship Programme
Service Birmingham in partnership with the Hippodrome Theatre and the Rotary Club has run a hugely successful Junior School Citizenship Programme over the last 5 years with Greenholm School Perry Barr, St Georges Ladywood, Yew Tree Junior School Aston, Town Junior School Sutton, Shirestone Junior Shard End and Sacred Heart Junior School Birchfield.
Our Junior School Citizenship programme supports schools in disadvantaged areas of Birmingham. The six month programme developed by Rotary International, forms the basis for the Service Birmingham after school workshops. We have provided funding for the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre education team to provide workshops both at the theatre and schools.
The programme designed for primary school pupils, is non-competitive and can be achieved by children of all physical and academic abilities. To achieve the Service Birmingham Award, children take part in a range of activities in four areas; Community Service, Skills, Physical Education and Social Experience. In 2014 Gossey Lane Junior, Kitts Green, Hillstone Primary School, Shard End, Our Lady’s Primary School, Birmingham and Timberley Primary School, Shard End also joined the programme.
Euphonious Faith School
After months of fund raising, the Euphonious Faith Music School received funding from Service Birmingham Staff Benefit Scheme to purchase a Digital Piano. This was needed to teach pupils how to play the piano but most importantly to allow the students to take their music qualification on site. With our help, the school benefits from not paying additional costs i.e. external venue hire cost and hire cost of a digital piano.
The school provides music tuition to students aged between 5 to 80 years old. The service they provide allows residents from disadvantaged groups to participate in learning, to play a variety of instruments, singing, music theory and most importantly, to show case their talents at concerts. During 2014, concerts were held on a Friday and Saturday evening; the performances took place during the summer and winter. Friends and families watched students’ performance recitals. The concerts were attended by approximately 300 guests over the four nights. The school has given these pupils the opportunity to participate in learning and playing musical instruments, who otherwise would not have had the opportunity.
During 2014 we made donations to a number of local charities, including:
- Wheelchair Recycling We Can Do
- Euphonious faith music school
- Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre and Rotary International
- Time Out After School club
- BeLF Birmingham eLearning Foundation
- St George’s Church & Centre, Newtown
- Burton Green C of E Primary School in association with Birmingham school
- Pat Molloy Summer School
- Time Out After School club
- Birmingham Community
- Arts All Over The Place
Our apprenticeship scheme has been successfully running over the past seven years - formally launched in September 2008 when young individuals joined us from a number of Birmingham Schools including Sheldon Heath, John Willmott and Broadway school. The programme has been expanded to recently include young people from “Looked after Children” and Birmingham City Schools (previously known as Virtual College).
Birmingham Metropolitan College provides training for all apprentices who work towards an IT and Telecommunications Level 3 Qualification, and on occasions, level 3 Business Administration.
Supporting communities with IT
In partnership with specialist disposal company Secure IT in Birmingham, computers are disposed of in an environmentally friendly and secure manner and where possible, recycled and refurbished at a minimal cost into the Birmingham community.We have currently given away around 850 computers to over 190 charities and organisations throughout Birmingham.
Birmingham Carers Pilot
Birmingham Carers Pilot programme is suitable for young people who are carers aged between 14-18 years. In the City, 11% of carers (around 12,000 young people) are young carers, who are less likely to fulfil their educational and employment potential, as a result. The needs of carers, and especially young carers, often go unnoticed. Identification, information and early support are essential to improve long term outcomes for this disadvantaged group of young people.
In partnership with the City Council we are providing recycled laptops, in an initial pilot, to 50 young carers. The aim of the project is to help young carers (claiming carers allowance) to obtain an NVQ/BTEC in Health and Social Care or another subject. This would give the carer employability skills, accredited work experience and foundational skills in English, Maths and ICT.
Time Out Club Leadership Camp
In April 2014, Service Birmingham agreed to fund Time Out club’s 5 day residential leadership camp. The camp gives young people the opportunity to develop self-control, leadership skills and modify their negative and destructive behaviour so that they may become self-sufficient, responsible and productive members of society.
The first camp was held in May 2014 and involved young boys undertaking a series of exercises and group activities which focussed on key leadership skills. One of the key areas that we spent time on developing was their ability to sit quietly and to improve their attention span.
Personal development sessions covered:
- Self-discipline – being focussed and avoiding distractions
- Developing leadership skills
Key outcomes for participants:
- Improved self esteem
- Improved decision making skills
- Increased self-worth
- Improvement in attitude and behaviour
- Clear aspirations and goals.
Service Birmingham embraces CSR for the good of our organisation, our staff, their families and the local community we serve here in Birmingham.