People and community
As a global responsible business with strong values and a rich history, we place huge importance on our cohesive CSR programme. Family values and ethos have been behind the success of OCS since its beginnings in 1900. Today, our business has the scale and commitment to make a significant and positive contribution to the communities in which we work.
We know that someone’s social or economic background can have a huge impact on their ability to reach their full potential. That’s why we support and deliver programmes that develop the capacity and skills of socially and economically disadvantaged people in the communities in which we work.
The issues we’ve chosen to relate to who we are. OCS employs more than 26,000 people across the UK from diverse backgrounds.
Examples of our work include:
In 12 months we’ve recruited more than 200 apprentices throughout the UK to work in a range of businesses from NHS hospitals to large financial institutions.
We continue to promote work placements on our contracts. For example, at Queen Alexander College we provide opportunities to students with visual impairments to gain experience working within our onsite catering outlet.
Client partnerships and initiatives
Bromley by Bow Centre (BBBC): In 2014, OCS formed a strategic partnership with the Bromley by Bow Centre in East London. The Centre is a nationally and internationally renowned charity that has built its reputation on an integrated and holistic approach to community regeneration. Through this partnership, OCS draws on a broad range of expertise to support innovative approaches to CSR and stakeholder engagement, with the BBBC advising on and helping to create integrated community facilities.
Blackpool Food Partnership: This coalition of voluntary, public and private sector partners works to address food poverty and related issues in Blackpool, one of the UK’s most deprived areas. Supermarkets and local farms donate food which is then distributed to community groups or used in a food parcel scheme (the local equivalent of food banks). Currently 38 organisations (including children’s centres, hostels and community kitchens) benefit from the distributions. OCS has provided five fridges, two fridge-freezers and two insectocutors, as well as food hygiene training for BFP’s volunteers. This has enabled BFP to accept donations of fresh fruit and vegetables for the first time – food that would otherwise go to landfill or fuel. The fresh produce is also enabling a new initiative to teach people to cook inexpensive, healthy meals.
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT): We work in partnership with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust on a number of initiatives which are led and managed by Red Rose Corporate Services (RRCS).
With responsibility for driving sustainability for their patients, the wider community and the environment LCFT need to rely on their partnerships with other service providers to achieve these goals.
We sponsor and help look after four honey bee colonies at the Trust. Our support means that LFCT is able to address their sustainability commitments practically. The outcomes of the project include harvesting honey that is used for patient and staff catering, introducing savings to the contract as well as revenue generation by providing honey to other organisations, and helping to grow the bee population to encourage sustainable food supply chain practices. In the UK, about 70 crops are dependent on or benefit from bee pollination.
We also sponsor and support the caring of chickens at the Trust. The project gives service users of the Trust a chance to get involved in a sustainable initiative, building housing for the chickens and looking after them. Not only does this provide free range eggs for patient and staff meals, it also engages services users and helps their recovery.
We have supported RRCS and worked with the Trust and service users to introduce an area for birds. The therapeutic benefits of this project have been far reaching, with services users reporting that it gives them an opportunity to enjoy an area away from the hospital, and develop the skills and confidence they need to improve their health.
OCS Young Sportsperson Awards
For more than 19 years, we have sponsored and hosted this award ceremony recognising promising young sportspeople. In that time, we have awarded more than £500,000 in bursaries to 225 athletes – including 12 who represented the UK at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics.