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How does business support local communities?

The success of Greggs is dependent on the local communities in which it operates — their work to support their local communities and help the social mobility of people who live there has become exemplary. Here, Finance Director Richard Hutton gives us a 10 minute interview, explaining how they support their local communities.

Tell us about the Greggs Foundation

The Greggs Foundation is an independent charity that receives substantial support from Greggs Plc. It is a grant making trust, giving out over £1.3 million each year, with a mission to support people in need in its local communities. Much of the Greggs Foundation’s funding is achieved through the generosity of Greggs and its employees and customers.

Greggs donates at least one per cent of its pre-tax profits (£650,000 was donated in 2013), makes contributions from sales of products (£125,000 in 2014) and Greggs’ shops, bakeries and offices generate around £350,000 through localised fundraising.

The funds are used to make a difference to the communities in which Greggs operates, through the delivery of four grant programmes:

  • The Major Grants Programme awards up to £45,000 per bid to boost the resilience of charitable organisations serving disadvantaged areas in the North East £260,000 was awarded in 2014.
  • The Hardship Fund supports people in extreme need in the North East by purchasing items such as cookers, beds and clothing and in 2014 £200,000 was awarded through this programme.
  • The Regional Grants Programme awards up to £2,000 to local charities dealing with social disadvantage and in 2014 made over 400 grants nationally totalling £400,000.
  • The Breakfast Club Programme gives three million free wholesome breakfasts every year to children in over 300 primary schools in disadvantaged areas.

Now in its 28th year, the Greggs Foundation has invested almost £20million to support local communities – you can find out more in the Greggs Foundation’s Annual Review.

Which charities do you support?

We support charities that our people and customers feel passionate about. As well as the Gregges Foundation, these include the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (which we have supported for over 30 years), the BBC Children in Need appeal, Disasters Emergency Committee Appeals and the Royal British Legion ‘Poppy Appeal’. Over £1 million was raised for these charities in 2014.

Tell us about your work with marginalised groups 

In 2014 we helped more than 380 people from marginalised groups to develop their employability skills through our Fresh Start programmes. These initiatives resulted in paid employment for 87 people and Greggs being named “Large Employer of the Year” at the 2014 Employment Related Services Association awards.

How are you joining up with national programmes?

Greggs provided the first Business in the Community “Business Connector” secondment in Teesside in 2010/11 and has continued to support this important initiative by seconding staff to build relationships between local organisations. We’ve also taken our award-winning Breakfast Clubs national by partnering with 50 other businesses who share our aim of tackling the impact of food poverty on children’s education.

Any other activities besides these programmes?

We also operate an employee volunteering programme, donate unsold food to charitable organisations, offer products for charity events and support the ‘Tackling Health’ programme in partnership with the Newcastle Falcons.

How does Greggs view its social responsibility?

Social responsibility has always been intrinsic to our values and at the very heart of our strategy to grow responsibly.

It’s a deep-rooted commitment to being ‘a good corporate citizen’, which traces back to the establishment of the Greggs Foundation in 1987 by Ian Gregg. Social responsibility comes very naturally to people in Greggs, it’s just how we do business.

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