Corporate Social Responsibility
A lot of companies think that CSR is really only appropriate for large multi-nationals who want to show they are good guys at heart. Often, it’s a bit of window-shopping to hide some fairly ruthless business practices but it’s a bit different for us. We’re only a small agency but we strongly believe that we have a responsibility to our people, our clients and our business environment. We’re really lucky to work in a great part of the world and our problems are really ‘first world’ problems but we don’t operate in a bubble – we’re a part of a community and we have a responsibility to contribute back to that community.
So, what does CSR mean for us? Well, there‘s a few things we like to do:
Working at Daneswood
We work hard to try and be an equal opportunities employer and provide a flexible working environment that suits different people’s needs. As a result, we’re really happy to set working hours to suit the people that work here – if people have responsibilities for children or family that means that 9-5 hours don’t necessarily work for them then we’ll work out a work pattern that suits them. We don’t ask people to work crazy hours either – that just leads to burn out and disillusionment so we actively discourage a long working hours culture.
Daneswood and the environment
We try to minimise waste as much as we possibly can. Only the minimum is tagged for landfill and we separate all our recyclable materials. Additionally, we actively encourage the use of methods of transport other than cars and over 50% of employees regularly cycle, walk or use public transport to get here.
Daneswood and the community
We’re lucky to have a lot of really great clients and we’ve become very successful because of them. We also want to give something back so we try and support a couple of charities on an ongoing basis rather than dipping in and out of a range of charities. For the last few years that support has been for Devon In Sight, a local charity sight loss charity based in Exeter. We’ve just re-designed and redeveloped their website to ensure it meets the maximum level of accessibility at no cost to them. On top of that we’re providing free hosting, training, support and development of the site for the next year. We love working with Devon in Sight – they’re enthusiastic, great fun and doing a tremendous job on a shoestring budget.
The other charity we’ve provided ongoing support for is The Baton. Run by Alan Rowe, the Baton is a local charity with an international reach, supporting ex-Service personnel and their families in small but highly practical ways. We rebuilt their site last year and work actively with Alan to keep the content up to date and to be adaptive for the changing needs of the charity. Like Devon In Sight, the charity runs on a really low income and every penny they get is well spent in supporting Service families.
We’d love to help every deserving cause we come across but we feel it’s best to give what we can to just a couple of groups that we develop long term relationships with so that we can both benefit from the association.
Investing in youth
We believe it’s important to give youth a chance. We regularly take work experience students from local schools and give them an insight into what working in digital means and what opportunities can lie ahead. We also take more qualified overseas students during the summer, who come to Exeter to train. These can be overseas designers, graphic designers and developers wanting a taste of how British clients are serviced with digital solutions. Two of our current team started life at Daneswood on a week’s school work experience and we’ve been delighted to help 3 of the team progress through their apprenticeships.