AkzoNobel Launches Fresh £50,000 Fund for Colleagues to Help Their Local Communities
AkzoNobel is reinforcing its commitment to helping colleagues make a difference in their local communities – with the launch of its latest True Colours Community Fund.
The initiative began life last year as a way to provide a helping hand for the charities, community groups and organisations that AkzoNobel colleagues already dedicated their free time to helping out.
One of AkzoNobel’s core principles is sustainability, known as People.Planet.Paint. As part of the People pillar, and the business’ wider global #AkzoNobelCares programme, colleagues were invited to nominate projects close to their heart to receive a grant from the £50,000 fund.
Food banks, hospices, homeless shelters and children’s wellbeing groups were among the grassroots initiatives that benefited from the donations.
Half (47%) of colleagues said the projects they donated to had been very impacted by Covid-19*.
This was the case for The Felling Food Network – with the donation providing a vital lifeline at the height of last year’s pandemic when it faced the twin blows of funding drying up and having to find new premises at short notice.
Founder Sonya Dickie commented: “Getting that kind of funding makes such a difference, especially during such a difficult year. It was a positive during a very negative time.”
Nicky Cockburn, Community Coordinator at AkzoNobel Felling, nominated the project. She described the fund as the “perfect opportunity” to help an initiative that was in “dire need”, adding: “It’s been a great way to give them even more than we would have normally been able to help.”
In Scotland, Colin Carlyle, AkzoNobel’s Scotland West Account Manager for Dulux Decorator Centre, applied to the fund and was delighted to present the Veterans Garden in Dumfries with £1,000, which allowed them to put a roof on a workshop where veterans will be able to learn new skills.
Colin, who served in the Royal Navy for seven years, has been a long-term volunteer for the project.
He commented: “This kind of initiative makes me so proud to work for AkzoNobel. Whether you’re a part-time van driver or a store manager, it is so easy to apply and can make such a difference.”
The Veterans Garden is run by ex-serviceman Mark Harper, who added: “Supporting service personnel and their families is so important. The donation for AkzoNobel allowed us to make our workshop watertight and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
AkzoNobel is now calling on colleagues to apply to the True Colours Community Fund 2021.
As before, it comprises of £50,000, which this year will be shared between 50 projects that will each receive a grant of £1,000.
Milly Hutchinson, Head of Communications at AkzoNobel UK & Ireland commented: “Our internal survey found that 94% of colleagues said it was very important to them that AkzoNobel supports local community initiatives and charities, which is why we were determined to bring the True Colours Community Fund back for a second year.
“This is a grassroots AkzoNobel initiative and is part of our ongoing commitment to not only help local communities, but to also strive to be a brilliant place to work for our colleagues – supporting them with the issues they care about.
“At AkzoNobel we are dedicated to pioneering a world of possibilities that bring surfaces to life, but that also to add colour to people’s lives, and so seeing the lengths our colleagues go to in support of community initiatives has been truly inspiring and a source of tremendous pride for everyone across the entire business.
“The past twelve months have seen charities and local causes face unprecedented challenges. Donations from the True Colours Community Fund have made a real difference to a number of these organisations.
“We’re therefore delighted to be able to offer the same support this year with the launch of the True Colours Community Fund 2021 and we look forward to helping ever more of our colleagues bring colour to their communities.”