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Phoenix Group

With over 650 employees and based in Wythall (in the West Midlands) and London, Phoenix Group is a closed life assurance fund consolidator that specialises in the management and acquisition of closed life and pension funds.

Phoenix Group

Choosing to support Midlands Air Ambulance Charity

While on site at company’s head office in Wythall, a member of staff suffered a near-fatal heart attack and had to rely on an air ambulance to take him to the most appropriate specialist hospital.

Following a staff vote in April 2014, employees across the company’s two sites chose to support Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and London’s Air Ambulance.

CSR Objectives

Due to the commercial outlook of the executive committee at Phoenix Group, and the respective corporate fundraising teams at the charities, realistic projections were developed at the start of the relationship, to manage board level expectations, motivate staff and encourage participation.

The key objectives of the first year of the strategic partnership were to:

  1. Thank the air ambulance for saving the life of a colleague, while increasing employee awareness of the role of the air ambulance in the community
  2. Raise £140,000 (to be split equally between the two charities)
  3. Increase Phoenix Group’s profile in the responsible business sector
  4. Develop staff engagement (60 per cent inclusion) in line with Phoenix Group’s community social responsibility objectives – bringing the Birmingham and London staff together.
  5. Engage staff to take on fundraising ‘bucket list’ challenges.

Fundraising for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity

To engage staff of all levels from the beginning of the partnership, charity staff and members of the aircrew from both Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and London’s Air Ambulance attended presentations at Phoenix Group’s Wythall and London offices, to a total of 450 people highlighting the life saving work of each charity, and how important donations from the public and local businesses are.

Through regular internal communication across Phoenix Group, employees were encourage and actively took part in inspiring personal challenges, group fundraising adventures and the company’s regular fundraising days.

Fundraising activities included:

  • Death Valley Bike Ride
  • Three Peaks Challenge
  • The Phoenix Mile
  • Endurance static bike rides
  • Skydives
  • Executive dinner with celebrity guests, including Midlands Air Ambulance Charity ambassador, Mike Tindall.

Making a Difference

There was an overwhelming sense of pride and achievement at Phoenix Group and the company’s involvement was proactive and strategic from the outset.

Through talks and airbase visits, small groups of Phoenix Group employees received a more detailed understanding of the services, while regular bulletins and communication to staff about the cost of running the charities enabled all staff members to feel they were making a significant difference.

phoenix group 1.4 million pounds raised

The company highlighted 75 per cent (an increase of 15 per cent on target) of the whole of the workforce undertook fundraising activities as part of the partnership, which is a significant increase on previous years of fundraising for charities. The partnership has also had a direct effect on attraction of new employees as the company’s corporate responsibility goal, to be known in the local community as a responsible corporate citizen, is an increasingly attractive factor to new employees.

The final fundraising total for the first year of fundraising (April 2014-March 2015) stood at £232,000, an increase of 66 per cent on the projected target.

Overall, fundraising by Phoenix Group, stands at £1,000,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and London’s Air Ambulance. This is due to the terrific level of commitment made by staff across the whole of Phoenix Group, as channelled by the company’s dedicated Engagement Team.

Demonstrating the dedication Phoenix Group showed towards MAAC and LAA, 58 per cent of the staff at the Wythall and London offices who voted to extend the partnership with the two charities for a further two years. This is down to the increased understanding of the life saving work of the charities and the important role air ambulances play in society.

During the first year, as well as exceeding the fundraising total and meeting employee engagement goals, the two charities shared insight with Phoenix Group staff on topics such as incident scene management, leadership and team collaboration, which has been shared across the group as part of the company’s learning and development strategy. In addition, key staff members from Phoenix Group gained an insight into the work of the air ambulance after visiting helipads and meeting with HEMS doctors.

As a result of working with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and London’s Air Ambulance, Phoenix Group altered its CSR approach for 2015. For the first time in the company’s fundraising history, it moved from a one year to three year charity partnership, and continuing to support the two charities until March 2017.

The partnership has left a legacy of benefits for all parties. In terms of the extensive investment into clinical care, the rewards will be felt by air ambulance patients for several generations to come.

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