Hays Travel is extending its Community Partnership scheme, which provides every branch manager with £500 cash, to its newly expanded portfolio of 745 shops.
The company will invest £360,000 to kickstart fundraising in local communities all over the UK.
The managers and their teams use the money to raise further funds for good causes of their choice in their local area. The innovative scheme has been running since the opening of the first Hays Travel store in Seaham, nearly 40 years ago.
The aim is to increase the figure significantly and make donations to a charity, school, individual, or other important cause in the local community.
“Our colleagues are encouraged to be creative with their fundraising activities,” said Toni Gibson, Hays Travel sales support manager, who oversees the partnerships activity and the independent Hays Travel Foundation, which has separately donated almost £1m to charities since 2015.
“They are given the opportunity to have control over where the money is donated, which means the money raised is put to best use in each local community and year after year they outdo themselves.
Earlier this year, eight branches from the South West of England teamed up with the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Department to raise money for a six-year-old who was in a car accident that led to the tragic loss of her father. The Hays Travel branches managed to raise over £9,700 alongside the Fire and Rescue Department by cycling 150 miles, Hays staff cycling on exercise bikes in their shops, while the firefighters took to the road. This amazing effort allowed Amelie and her family to go on a special holiday to Disneyland.
The Hays Travel Foundation was established in 2015 by John and Irene Hays. Its aim is to help young people achieve their potential through better access to health, education, the arts, and sport.
So far this year the independent board of the Foundation has made grants of £306,592 to multiple charities, with a total of £867,000 granted since 2015. The Foundation supports the local community partnership scheme by taking applications to match – double – any funds raised for charities.
One of the most recent cases where match funding was awarded from the Hays Travel Foundation was to Victoria’s Wish, a charity set up to provide the best life possible for young people suffering from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Colleagues from Hays Travel’s Redcar branch hiked 35 miles from their branch to the company’s head office in Sunderland and raised £1,525, which came to a huge £3,050 donation after it was match funded.
Toni, who announced the good news to the existing and new branch managers at the Hays Travel Retail Conference this year, said: “The decision to expand the funding is fantastic and the difference it will make to local charities and communities will be truly amazing. It is incredible that we can give this opportunity to all the new branches that have recently joined us and the reaction we have had from them has been overwhelming – they cannot wait to get stuck in and raise money for local causes in their communities.”