Westminster Homecare, as part of the Care at Home Services (South East) Ltd Group, has a robust approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and our CSR policy covers how we align our activities with the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 alongside the expectations of our stakeholders in relation to our economic, social and environmental impacts.
Westminster Homecare is ESOS registered (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme).
Westminster Homecare’s Environmental Statement
Westminster Homecare’s philosophy embodies a culture which values people. We also recognise that these individual’s are what formalise the foundations of a community, large or small. Throughout our time supporting communities across the country we have gradually gained a respectful awareness of the surrounding environment. As our knowledge and affiliation with the environment has grown, over the last four years this has now become a crucial part of our company values.
Whether we like it or not, none of us can escape the consistent reports of concern relating to that of climate change and the ever growing increase in carbon emissions, created by both businesses and our own domestic lifestyles.
Within our ever growing hectic lifestyles it can seem hard, or even unimportant to make little changes in our behavior which could potentially help fight this ever growing issue. For you and I to believe that just one individual or just one business can make an essential difference, is it really worth us making the effort at all?
In 2007 we signed up to ISO 14001. This accreditation is essentially an internationally recognised standard that sets out how a business can implement an effective Environmental Management System. The standard is designed to address the balance between maintaining a business’ profitability and to essentially reduce its environmental impact. The process of the standard enables us to identify aspects of our business that impacts on the environment. We then have to formulate objectives for improvement and a structured management programme to achieve them, with regular reviews on our performance for the necessity of continual improvement.
We recognise that day-to-day operations can impact both directly and indirectly on the environment. We therefore fundamentally aim to protect and improve the environment through good management and by adopting best practice wherever possible. Policies and procedures are designed to meet requirements set out to push our company forward in achieving its aims and objectives. We continually endeavour to integrate environmental considerations into our business decisions and to adopt greener alternatives wherever possible.
It is not always an easy choice to opt for the welfare of our environment over the needs of a business, that of individuals or even our own lifestyles, but through the ongoing development of our Environmental Programme we have come to see first hand the positives of being responsible and taking what action we can to ensure the safety of the environment we all live in.
We understand that continuous improvement must be made, being maintained through regular auditing and reviewing of the standards and our performance in all aspects of our organisation. With the out-put of emissions being inevitable we also recognise that emissions cannot be reduced fully. We therefore wanted, where possible, to try and offset these negative out-puts with that of a positive one. To offset a percentage of our company’s emissions in October 2011 we became a part of the ‘trees for business campaign’ through Carbon Managers. www.carbonmanagers.com . Carbon Managers facilitate tree plantations here in the UK, with planting taking place in Alladale Reserve located thirty minutes drive north of Inverness. The programme set out by the Carbon Managers team also supports the Challenge Trust, an organisation that supports young people from deprived areas develop and grow through participation in outdoor activities. One hundred thousand trees have been planted in the reserve so far and the team at Carbon Managers have made a pledge to plant a further twenty thousand trees through this scheme which we have become apart of. With 2011 being our first year involved in the project we have become a ‘tree 100 company’. This is a small gesture, but one we are proud of. As our Environmental Programme progresses we hope that the part we play in our reduction and offsetting programmes will also grow and fundamentally encourage more businesses within our sector and individual’s like you and I to become apart of making a necessary difference for today and the future.
“Tomorrows climate change is today’s challenge –
Be responsible THINK GREEN”
For further support and advice, below is a list of useful links to help you join us in working towards making a difference:
Westminster Homecare’s Environmental Management Representative – Tania Main, Group Head of Quality.
Efficient Use of resources
Group-wide, we have mapped out, and commenced, a major programme of digitalisation of our care services, recognising that a working platform reliant on technology, rather than paper, was the way forward for all our offices and locations to protect our environment and reduce carbon footprint.
Carbon/Greenhouse gas emissions reduction
- We promote car sharing by pairing car drivers with walking carers;
- In 2021 – group wide we invested in a brand-new fleet of lower carbon emitting vehicles and a stock of electric bikes to trial across our urban conurbations.
Given the critical nature of our services, our Board reluctantly concluded that it remains potentially unsafe to rely on a fully electric fleet (range and recharging restrictions); but we will consistently monitor improvements in infrastructure for electric vehicles and consider the feasibility of this approach for the future.
Sustainability – Waste Management & Pollution Prevention
- Staff receive extensive training on recycling/use of sustainable materials/single use plastic items/food waste etc. and how to support their Service Users in these aspects;
- Care planning – our calls are clustered geographically to reduce unnecessary driving;
- Meetings are undertaken using teleconferencing, video conferencing – with commissioners, internal company officers wherever possible;
- We have a network of companies which we use to recycle paper, inkjet and laser cartridges and other disposable supplies.
- We shall strive to purchase products that have reduced environmental impact during their life-cycle, from suppliers that demonstrate environmental and social responsibility;
- We use local companies wherever we are able to do so.
Social (Corporate Responsibility)
Personnel and Staffing
We always aim to recruit and employ local people to deliver our service so that:
- travel time and costs are reduced;
- we contribute to the economic prosperity of the areas in which we work.
- Our staff have commonality with our service users which is an important part of social support for vulnerable adults
We work alongside the National Apprenticeship Service, Skills Funding Agency to develop opportunities for people to undertake Apprenticeships / Traineeships, utilising the Apprenticeship levy fund.
Equality & Diversity
We actively operate both an Equal Opportunities Policy and a Diversity Policy in accordance with existing legislation.
- Employees are offered clear and fair terms of employment including the opportunity to undertake formal QCF qualifications;
- Staff are supported with literacy during recruitment and training processes;
- Staff with recognised disabilities are supported and accommodated for work with relevant posts and appropriate equipment.
- We pride ourselves on our zero gender pay gap for our community care staff
Improved Health & Wellbeing
We have listened to what our staff would like in terms of additional staff benefits, and have introduced:
- Early pay and Hastee pay– to provide for pay advances to cope with unexpected bills;
- Blue Light Card – offers discounts on purchases with national shopping outlets and services;
- Moped/car rental schemes to keep people in work.
The Group CEO Deborah McDowell, continues to provide mentoring support to the Homecall Charity for the visually impaired in Bexhill, having been a trustee and business supporter since 2009, having initially provided a £10000 donation to secure the charity’s future.
Subsequently, in 2019, the company donated a cash matching donation of £7200 to the Pickering Foundation in Tunbridge Wells, which operates as a Cancer Drop-in Centre.
Independent, family-owned and managed
Since its formation in 1993, as a privately owned family partnership, the organisation has been owned and managed by its original founding family. We incorporated in 2010. The principal shareholders still retain control of the company.
Board of Directors
We have a completely gender-balanced Board of Directors. The directors are specialists and/or qualified professionals in their own fields: corporate finance, legal, personnel as well as being multi-skilled and experienced leaders and managers with cumulatively nearly a century’s expertise in the healthcare sector!
Our staff are our single most important company resource. We are a people business. We recruit, train, retain and reward good people. And by doing so, we ensure that the care we provide is as good as we can achieve.
So, we manage our staff via smaller regional managerial teams, closer to the frontline of care, and we ensure these regional teams consult, discuss and regularly meet their branches and carers. And that, in turn, they represent and pass on the input and opinions of all their co-workers, which the Board reflects in the company’s decision-making.
Within the limits of our funding envelope – which remains primarily dictated by English public sector budgets – we aim to be amongst the top paying care companies. This includes pay equity for employees of all genders. We conduct pay equity audits and these results are available to the public, our customers and our suppliers for review. ESG Relative Performance Measurement (compared to peers, on the basis of key figures the company considers relevant)