We have been joining other Hill & Smith companies in raising awareness of sustainability issues and sharing the initiatives that we have implemented to support the focus topics. Lionweld Kennedy is part of Hill & Smith PLC and we are aligned with the Group ESG strategy, which is why we are delighted to support Sustainability Week and share more about our achievements.
This week (24 – 28 April), we are covering the following topics:
- Monday: Waste management
- Tuesday: Schools’ engagement
- Wednesday: Carbon
- Thursday: Community engagement
- Friday: Biodiversity
Today’s topic is community engagement and we’ll be sharing more on our work within our local community in Middlesbrough including fundraising, volunteering and charitable giving.
During Sustainability Week, we collected donations for our local foodbank. Staff from across Lionweld Kennedy were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items to our chosen local food bank, ‘The White Feather Project’ in Middlesbrough.
The White Feather Project strives to eliminate food deprivation within Middlesbrough through delivering food care packages to those who are most vulnerable. Back in December, Lionweld Kennedy supported The White Feather Project by donating Christmas toys and gifts to ensure as many children as possible don’t miss out. We are proud to support such an influential charity who makes such a difference in our local area.
Our charity committee was formed in 2022 as a way to give back to our local community. Since then, we have held many events and fundraisers to help our chosen charities’ The Bungalow Partnership and Matrix Neurological.
Matrix Neurological provides practical help and support for children, young people and their families who are living with the effects of an acquired brain injury and The Bungalow Partnership provides therapeutic support for children who have emotional, social or behavioural needs and their families.
In 2022, we raised a total of £9,120 for our chosen charities and so far in 2023, we have raised over £2,128.50.
Coming up in the next few months, we have two charity fundraising events. One is the ‘Gallon Walk’ from Goathland to Egton in the North Yorkshire Moors. Stopping off for a couple of drinks along the way, the money put forward as sponsorships will be added to our total funds so far and split evenly between our two charities at the end of the year.
Lionweld Kennedy were successful in receiving funding through InnovateUK in 2022.
The KTP programme provides graduates and academics with the opportunity for practical application of their research through delivering an innovative commercial project to bring about a lasting, transformative change to an organisation.
Our successful application resulted in our partnership with Teesside University to bring a graduate engineer into our workplace. Reece Thompson started last year and has been working initially on improving the new product development process, which he will then follow as he progresses through the KTP programme, eventually bringing an innovative new product concept to market.
This development and research will help Lionweld Kennedy to become a more sustainable business as we explore future-proofed materials designed to challenge existing, less sustainable construction materials. Customer research has been carried out, the results of which will inform the decision that is made on which new product concept is pursued.
Award-winning apprenticeship programme
We have developed our own award-winning apprenticeship programme to provide vital opportunities for young people in our local area. In 2021, we took on 10 apprentices who work in different areas of our factory and are working towards their final grade with the help of their tutors and colleges.
Our programme is based on developing talent and providing skilled roles within our local community. Through training and support, our apprentices have gained expertise within their area.
In 2022, we were ranked within the top 50 SME apprentice employers in the country by the UK government due our proactive programme. Working with local colleges, we have been able to support many young people from start to finish to provide them with a jump pad for their career.
Lionweld Kennedy will be attending the ‘Get That Apprenticeship’ event in Middlesbrough College on the 4th of May. Our team will speak to school leavers and parents about the opportunities here at Lionweld Kennedy and what our programme can offer. We look forward to welcoming more apprentices into our team over the coming years.
On Friday, we will focus on ‘Biodiversity’ and how Lionweld Kennedy is taking action to increase the biodiversity of our sites through habitat creation or enhancement.
To learn more about how we have tackled sustainability issues for Hill & Smith’s ‘Sustainability Week’, head over to our LinkedIn here.