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Crimes, courthouses and CSR


Nottinghams Galleries of justice and  CSR

“According to a recent paper from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) not enough firms are supporting local communities through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This isn’t particularly surprising, given that many buckled down during the recession, focusing on their core operations and not on CSR which is often seen as ‘nice to do.’

“But the landscape has now shifted, and many firms are reinstating their CSR policies to show that doing good is good for their business. But there is still a real need to change attitudes and encourage more people to see CSR not just as a tick box exercise.
“Research shows that 83% of people will trust a company more if it is seen as socially and environmentally responsible.2 Companies with a public commitment to CSR on average perform better on 3 out of 4 financial measures than those without3. Those with a public commitment to CSR also have over 18% higher profits on average4. And 93% of CEOs see CSR as important to the future success of their business.

“There are many companies – both large and small – here in Nottingham that recognise the benefits of CSR activities, and Russell Scanlan is no exception. These firms understand the importance of building relationships with enterprises such as the Galleries of Justice Museum. “The Galleries of Justice Museum is an independent museum and part of the Egalitarian Trust which preserves the site of the Shire Hall and its collections, including HM Prison Service collection. It is a true jewel in Nottingham’s crown, and is the largest museum of its kind in Europe and is a unique venue for events, celebrations, banquets and weddings as well as being a site notorious for haunting and supernatural activities! 

“We rely on sponsorship to reduce the commercial risk to the charity for new events that are held each year. Without the support of the business community, these events could not take place. “We’ve also extended our fundraising activities through the formation of our own business networking group ‘Unique Connections’ which has generated over £30,000 for the trust’s fundraising campaign ‘Help a Nottinghamshire Child’ (HNC). This has provided an invaluable opportunity for local young people who would not normally have this chance to take part in educational programmes – and so supporting the trust’s aim to keep children away from crime and out of prison. 

“Our programmes are delivered by the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law (NCCL) which involves more than 15,000 children a year in the Courts of Justice Programme at The Galleries of Justice Museum.  A unique feature of this work is the unparalleled experience for youngsters of learning about the consequences of crime by re-enacting real court cases in real courtrooms, coming into contact with real judges and other professionals. 
“Money for this particular programme has been raised with the help of corporate sponsorship and also the  support of the business community who pay to attend these events, buy raffle tickets and purchase drinks at the bar. In return they get a fantastic chance to network with other business owners and increase their profile in the local community.

“Whatever its shape and size, a successful CSR programme should be mutually beneficial. This can only happen when it is tailored to suit the needs of both the charity and the business. There has to be a genuine desire on both sides to establish a partnership that delivers positive social impacts, as well as financial and reputational commercial benefits.

“We value hugely the contribution that any business makes to our work – no matter how large or small – and always work hard to make sure our CSR programmes are bespoke. That way, we make sure we get the very best outcomes for the charity, for the company concerned and for their staff. “It’s great to see an increasing appetite once again for CSR; the challenge will be to sustain that momentum once again through good times and bad.”   

Nicola Burley is Executive Director at the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham. Russell Scanlan has a long-standing relationship with the Galleries, and is sponsoring their ‘Law and Order more Beer’ festival on Saturday 21st September. Full details can be found here.
Blog Sources: 1 Department for Business Innovation and Skills; 2 D. Woods (2011); 3 Institute of Business Ethics; 4 Institute of Business Ethics; 5 P Lacy & R Hayward (2013)

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