How industry collaboration can be leveraged to give back to communities
During years of difficult market conditions, it is possible for big businesses to forget the importance of their social responsibilities. With economic conditions severely impacting communities in recent years, it’s become more important than ever to rally industry bodies to show support to some great grassroots organisations who are fighting the good fight. For Pickles, charitable initiatives is a key motivator and hearkens back to when the company first began, a business founded on mateship and community. And charitable values have remained at the forefront of Pickles’ initiatives, particularly in the hardest of times. As part of this commitment to communities, Pickles often uses its huge network to reach out, encourage and involve any other businesses looking to give back.
Thanks to Pickles’ rich history in Australia, the business holds several long-standing relationships with a number of organisations, one of which is Q H & M Birt. A contractor business based around Australia, Q H & M Birt is home to Australia’s largest privately owned civil scraper fleet. The family-owned business is large in scale and in heart, with Managing Director Quentin Birt noting that behind the scenes of their huge industrial operation, giving back is at the heart of their goals. Quentin started his business in 1973, just nine years after Pickles began operating, with both businesses starting out as small, family-owned enterprises. When asked about why he works so closely with Pickles, the answer comes easily to Quentin.
They’re the most reliable blokes in the business. They fulfil their promises and we trust that they’ll do what they say they will, they talk the talk AND walk the walk. I have great relationships with many people from Pickles including James Chauncy, Steven Wainhouse and others.
The two companies have historically worked together with great success, with the last sale Pickles hosted for Q H & M Birt resulting in sales of over $15 million worth of earthmoving equipment. Pickles and Q H & M Birt have partnered for several sales during their eight-year relationship, and it was during one of these many collaborations that Pickles’ National Sales Manager, James Chauncy, introduced them to an organisation founded by his sister, School for Life.
School for Life is a grassroots organisation started by Annabelle Chauncy OAM and David Everett OAM in 2008. The initiative raises funds to build schools with quality education resources, employment and healthcare solutions to rural Ugandan communities. The organisation, which is supported by Pickles, was introduced to Q H & M Birt, and while Quentin was no stranger to charitable giving through his business, he fell in love with School for Life, its mission and its dedication to community learning.
It began small, with Q H & M Birt attending one of School for Life’s annual gala dinners, but eventually this led to Quentin embarking on an international trip to Uganda to lend hands to the operation on the ground. Today, after many years and much donating, Q H & M Birt is now a leading supporter of the cause and their funds are directly responsible for expanding School for Life’s operation and creating more education and healthcare opportunities in Uganda. When asked about why he gives back with such generosity, Quentin details how much the organisation has given back to his life.
I’ve really connected with the Ugandan community, my experiences with them have been incredible… I’m getting more back from them than I’m giving. Learning, education it’s just the most important thing in the world, I want to support that wherever I can.
After several years involved with School for Life, Quentin opened his network to the cause, encouraging other industrial organisations to jump aboard the giving train. With such strong support from large Australian industrial businesses, School for Life has grown in leaps and bounds. To date, the organisation has raised more than A$10 million which has helped educate more than 1,700 students annually, employ 120 adults, supply three nutritious meals a day for all staff and students, and provide clean drinking water to the entire Katuuso and Mbazzi communities. When asked about the impact that industrial companies like Pickles and Q H & M Birt have had on the cause, OEM Annabelle Chauncy sings their praises.
It’s done huge things for School for Life. When big businesses give back it really makes them part of communities, at home and abroad. And the donations stretch such a long way, just 10 Australian dollars provides 3 meals a day for a whole month for one child. And you couldn’t believe what an impact those meals have on their lives.
Annabelle says that the circular nature of charitable giving is great for large industrial businesses and the communities they are supporting. It shows that big companies are invested in uplifting communities with education, healthcare and support. It can also be a great way to show employees and customers that the company they invest themselves with cares about the legacy they leave on the world. And for companies like Pickles and Q H & M Birt, it’s a big legacy.
For more information on how you, your company or your network can get involved with School for Life, head to schoolforlife.org.au
. And to find out more about Pickles, head to pickles.com.au
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