Capgemini is one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. With presence in 44 countries and more than 125,000 employees, the Capgemini Group helps its clients transform in order to improve their performance and competitive positioning. The organisation offers an array of integrated services that combine top-of-the-range technology with deep sector expertise.
Capgemini Group’s Aspire division, based in Telford, has supported Midlands Air Ambulance (MAAC) for a number of years, supporting the charity with various initiatives and events. The company decided to support a worthy local cause with the aim of raising funds and enabling the organisation to connect with the local community, including Shropshire residents and students at the University of Birmingham, to attract graduates.
As part of the company’s main fundraising efforts, with support from MAAC regional fundraising manager, Maria Jones, the team created a kit recycling scheme which has raised over £30,000 for the charity in the last year.
Louise Hosker, head of asset management at Capgemini, said: “We now have closer links with our local community because of the scheme. It also ensures that all our old kit is not going to landfill and is still being used by those who need it most.”
Capgemini runs an annual ‘Community Week’ in conjunction with the University of Birmingham. The Week gives the company the opportunity to celebrate a number of its inspiring initiatives, while encouraging even greater community involvement.
In 2013, MAAC was chosen as one of the five charities to assist with the initiative. In just a week, five students worked with the MAAC team to develop a marketing campaign to enable the charity to reach and engage with a younger demographic.
The #GoRed campaign, which was inspired by MAAC’s red air ambulances, encourages young people to get more involved in the charity. Launched at the University’s Welcome Week in September, GoRed, asks students to take a picture of the helicopter when it’s flying into the QE Hospital, located adjacent to campus, and upload it to their Twitter and/or Facebook account with the hashtag GoRed. As an incentive to take part, Capgemini provided a state of the art laptop as a prize for the best picture.
MAAC’s regional fundraiser, Maria and communications manager, Helen Stevens, spent a day at the Welcome Week, talking to hundreds of students about volunteering, #GoRed, and Capgemini’s support. They were able to highlight the service’s charitable nature and over 200 email addresses were secured to help further develop relationships with the student audience.
The campaign idea was deemed so creative, that the MAAC students won the top prize at Community Week and were each presented with a prize by Capgemini. In addition, one of the students, Lydia Heynes, spent two weeks work experience with MAAC’s communications manager.
Lydia commented: “It was fantastic to be involved with MAAC as it’s such an exciting charity. We really hope the GoRed campaign will motivate the next generation to get fundraising.”
Helen Stevens, communications manager for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, added: “It was a great privilege to be invited to work with Capgemini and the University of Birmingham during Community Week 2013. It was an opportune time for us as a charity to work with the students to gain a different perspective on our marketing activity with a new target audience. Community Week not only gave the students a fantastic opportunity to gain some real-life work experience, but benefited us as a charity as our overall marketing strategy has been enhanced thanks to the process.”
Other initiatives, the Capgemini team have been involved with include a gruelling mud run, which not only raised vital funds for the charity, but was also an excellent team building event for staff.
Thanks to Capgemini’s on going and unfaltering support, the company received MAAC’s Business Partnership award and the charity’s Recognition Awards and Charity Ball.
Louise explained: “It was a huge surprise to be recognised – we didn’t even know we were on the shortlist – but something we were very proud to receive on behalf of Capgemini. Since we launched the kit recycling scheme for Aspire employees – more than £30,000 has been raised for Midlands Air Ambulance and awareness levels of the vital charity raised beyond all expectations.”
Overall, the relationship between MAAC and Capgemini has raised awareness of both organisations within the local community and the press, has raised funds for the charity, and been an excellent platform to enable Capgemini staff to work together and build relationships.