By Chris West, Chief Executive, Gillespie Macandrew LLP
As a firm Gillespie Macandrew Partners give 1% of pre-tax profits as well as the results of staff and partner fund raising to community investment related activities every year. We also give every single member of the firm a day to volunteer to support local good causes It goes to the heart of our belief that as a business we have a responsibility to give society more than that simply generated by the economic benefits resulting from paying staff and remunerating partners. We all operate in society and we are mindful that not everyone has the same opportunities or benefits which we have been lucky enough to be afforded.
Having that understanding of our wider responsibilities also benefits our partners and staff. It is easy in the busy 21st century business world to become lost in the here and now and not be able to maintain a broader perspective on what is going on around us. Embedding the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility fundamentally helps us to keep a sense of balance
Of course, in reality we could operate without CSR, but what I find particularly heartening is that our employees, new and long serving, have an expectation that it is morally correct and a very positive thing to be making a broader contribution to society – many do this in their daily lives and they expect the business to make some effort here too. This is not in any sense from being “do-gooders” but from genuine belief. We therefore see that some direct financial support and individual volunteering are both important to our approach.
The CSR programme at Gillespie Macandrew is in very good health and heart. The partners and the firm back it both financially and in kind, the staff are keen and the vast majority, if not all, contribute to several of the threads of our programme. We are told, for example, by the Rossie Young People’s Trust that the visits of the GM ‘Wombles’ are eagerly anticipated and that our contribution both to the environmental improvements on site and to helping the young people it serves makes a difference. At the end of the business day, there’s not much better than to be aware of that.