As a business we’re optimistic by nature, but sometimes people, and ideas need a little help along the way. Over the years we’ve developed links with organisations we feel in tune with and offered support to charities that are close to our hearts. Inevitably some of our focus is on horticulture, nature, landscapes and our own industry – but we’re also involved with initiatives that look forward to a better future in our local community and across society.
Our corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy has two key pillars – committing funds through donations and sponsorship, and committing time by allowing all of our people the opportunity to volunteer. They combine to give us a broad, impactful and effective CSR policy.
Planning ahead is a great way to ensure donations and sponsorship have the most impact. That’s why we commit a percentage of each year’s profits to our CSR budget, delivering thousands of pounds to initiatives and causes where we think we can make a difference.
We’re keen supporters of Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, which looks after several nature reserves in our local area. We’re Platinum Members of Perennial – the charity dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture when times are tough. And everyone at Bowles & Wyer involved in their own fundraising efforts can request match funding – doubling the impact of their efforts.
Each year our team nominates a guest charity. This year they chose Book Aid, a UK charity dedicated to providing books and support to libraries in Africa and around the world. We also nominate an annual local Christmas charity – in 2019 we supported DENS – a charity working hard to support the homeless, poor and socially excluded in Dacorum, Hertfordshire.
Getting hands-on by giving time and talent to good causes can be a really rewarding way to make a difference. From 2020, every member of the Bowles & Wyer team can take up to three days per year of paid leave to volunteer for a good cause they’re passionate about.
All of our staff volunteer at College Lake, our local nature reserve – a great opportunity for our office team to get their hands dirty too! And you’ll also see our people pop up at litter picks, fundraising events, careers fairs and mentoring schemes, supporting the landscape and horticultural industry. Many of our directors also volunteer their time to promote our industry – whether through judging awards or mentoring young designers.
And every so often, several of the Bowles & Wyer directors get on their bikes to undertake a crazy cycling challenge – raising funds for landscape-related charities like Perennial.
We passionately believe that everyone should be able to look forward to a better landscape. We like to try and help deserving projects where we can. This might be bringing people together to find a permanent home at Addenbrooke’s Hospital for the ‘Calm in Chaos’ show garden, or by providing materials and labour at cost for a local cause. We’re as proud of this work as we are our Chelsea show gardens.