Community Resilience

Investing in your Community Award

PwC is a multinational professional services network of firms. Its purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems.

Background

This focus informs the services it provides and the decisions it makes. PwC’s strategy is built around five priorities: Leveraging technology, Delivering exceptional client outcomes, Empowering our people, Committed to high quality, and Sustainable profitable growth.

What PwC did

In 2018, PwC’s leadership took the decision to change its approach to engaging with charities. It wanted to address the very big and difficult issues affecting society in a more emphatic way. The issue it chose, pre COVID-19, was the biggest issue impacting communities in Northern Ireland – suicide.

PwC ran a competition and subsequently, its Into Tomorrow programme was born. It challenged the charity to think about how it could work together to have a much more impactful programme rather than small interventions.

The first project, run by TAMHI & SAMHI, uses games to help address mental health awareness in young people. The second project, Game Changers, is a collaboration of The Hummingbird Project, The Bytes Project and Kippie working together with young people to build their mental health resilience and co-design a computer game.

In addition to the intensive support outlined above, PwC has now developed a skills and time-based volunteering programme for staff. It recruited 20 organisations that its staff are working with, helping them to become more efficient and effective organisations.

Inspiring others

PwC’s Into Tomorrow programme is an innovative approach to sustainable community improvement. It is having a lasting impact and creating societal change. By adopting this approach, PwC feels it is able to tackle complex social issues. It also means that it can be agile and responsive, drawing on expertise from a variety of engaged stakeholders. The next phase is to invite other companies to join the Into Tomorrow movement and help more people in Northern Ireland.

What did PwC do during the pandemic of 2020/’21?

Over the last year, PwC has done more than ever to help its charity partners, including:

  • Into Tomorrow – The intensive support has continued and it now partnered with a Housing Association to make it easier for the young people to find permanent homes. It also raised £70,000 to continue the programme
  • Advice NI – manned the COVID-19 helpline on two separate occasions
  • East Belfast Mission – Three days per week staff work alongside staff from EBM to deliver meals on wheels to their clients
  • Black Santa Appeal – Last year it supported the Black Santa Appeal by creating a digital campaign. As a result £230,000 was raised, up from £163,000 the previous year

Impacts and Outcomes

  • Used the charity partnership projects as a staff development initiative and are reaping the benefits of new skills developed back into the business through project management ability, communication style, soft and technical skills
  • Increase in employee happiness and employee engagement
  • Profile of the firm enhanced and perception of PwC as a great employer increased, providing a competitive advantage in the job market
  • Staff retention increased which has provided significant savings in recruitment
  • Staff understand the importance of mental health and have been given the opportunity to come forward, be open, and talk about their own battles with their mental health
  • The Belfast office has done more volunteering than any other regional PwC office in the UK
  • Raised £70,000 for the Into Tomorrow Fund
  • Formed a partnership with a housing association and helped four into new
  • Direct impact has results in helping to save 10 people who, without this intervention, would not be here today
  • The Advice NI helpline daily call count went from 80 per day to more than 1,500 at its peak. Without PwC’s support, the helpline would not have been able to cope.

For more information, please email: brendan.miskelly@pwc.com.

The Judges said

The judges felt that the winning company had an innovative approach with an issue-based model, and demonstrated clearly a successful programme with tangible outcomes to tackle suicide in young people, resulting in lives saved. Business and staff engagement was exceptional with measurable results in respect of solving the problem, and healthy competition created internally. The support was not just financial; a two-way partnership was developed where staff development within the business and within the community organisations was clear for all to see.