Corporate Social Responsibility
At Retirement Villages Group we have a clear view about our wider role in the community. Our success as a commercial enterprise is underpinned by our social values and a responsible and efficient approach to the use and management of scarce resources – people, environment, land, materials and energy. This is evident throughout our business.
Our commitment is to behave ethically, to contribute to economic development and to enrich the lives of our residents, our people, the local communities we serve and society at large whilst protecting the environment and the natural resources of our planet. How are we doing this?
By caring for our residents
Our objective is to sustain, wherever possible, the continuing independence of our residents and to provide them with the optimum level of choice and dignity in meeting their particular needs. In this way we aim to enable them to have the best possible quality of life consistent with their age and health. We are ever alert to the changing needs of our residents, helping to tailor services and support to individual circumstances. To achieve this objective we provide a range of accommodation – with services to match, including bespoke care options as well as a range of amenities and wellbeing facilites in a built environment within which our staff can provide chouce and flexibility.
Care services are professionally regulated and managed by our specialist care partners who work closely with the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) and their inspectors, Social Services Teams, Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults Teams, Environmental Health Officers, Fire Safety Inspectors and others concerned with the welfare of residents and staff.
Regular surveys consistently show that residents highlight how ‘moving to the village had made their life easier and that they had access to the right level of support’. The health and spirit of many new residents improves following their arrival at our villages and they enjoy an enhanced life quality and expectancy when compared to their peers in the population as a whole. Our residents boast several centenarians among their number.
By caring for our people
Our objective is to help our people find interest and satisfaction in their role, giving them the opportunity develop and progress to the fullest extent of their abilities
Building a sustainable pipeline of talent and developing the team of the future is important to us and impacts the community around us, so we support apprentices, trainees and graduates through collaboration with educational and third sector organisations.
We support and encourage all of our team to develop their technical, professional and personal skills through internal and external study, providing our people with the confidence to take responsibility and make decisions that will benefit the company, residents and their colleagues.
By caring for the communities in which we operate
Our objective is that all our villages should build relationships with the local community, General Practitioners, community nursing teams, clergy, schools and social groups and with local charities, clubs, societies, voluntary and other local organisations. Our villages sponsor community events and raise money for local causes and charities. In these and other ways we interact with and contribute directly to the vitality and durability of the local social fabric.
Our villages are substantial local employers, typically employing between 35-100 staff in a variety of roles at each site. Additionally, our villages have a policy of sourcing supplies and services locally where possible, partnering with local business and placing them at the centre of our procurement strategy forming strong relationships with local shops and tradespeople. This is especially important in rural communities. The extra demand generated by a retirement village can make the difference to the survival of local services ranging from the village shop and post office to community bus services.
By caring for those in need
We encourage our residents and staff to take part in charitable activities that reach out beyond the village and the local community and to support causes close to their hearts.
By caring for the environment
Our objective is to design new villages to sustainable environmental and energy efficient standards consistent with affordability and the quality of life of our residents. We will increasingly incorporate solar energy, combined heat and power units and rain water harvesting where appropriate.
We are working to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure Retirement Villages Group contributes to the achievement of a low carbon economy by the use of renewable and low-carbon technologies and low energy lighting.
We encourage our Village Managers to review the energy usage on existing villages and explore improvements to energy efficiency. Examples are the substitution of a biomass boiler for the LPG boiler plant at Roseland incurring significant financial and carbon savings and the increasing substitution of LED lighting for low energy lighting leading to further energy and replacement savings
Just as important are the contributions residents can make in their daily lives. We have a waste recycling policy and our independent living units operate a self-managed recycling centre to encourage residents to minimise landfill waste. We are also encouraging the introduction of water butts and composting of garden waste has been standard practice in our villages for many years.
By caring for the built environment
Whether caring for historic buildings, preserving common land, restoring a significant landscape or contributing to ‘place making’, we at Retirement Villages Group appreciate the importance of conserving and creating an environment that continues to serve the needs and meet the aspirations of our residents, shareholders and staff while the wider local community benefits from our continuing efforts to create a tangible legacy from our investment and development.
We are a custodian of fine historic buildings and our restoration and re-use of these buildings provides them with new purpose and helps to conserve what English Heritage has described as a ‘sense of place’. In some developments they become the much loved focal point for community services.
By caring for the health and safety of staff and residents
Our objective is to ensure that the health and safety of staff and residents is given priority and that all legislation is fully complied with. To do this we have to ensure that all mandatory and service specific training has been completed successfully. Every village has to undergo an independent external health and safety audit and is subject to audit by our health and safety review committee. All our new homes meet and exceed the Government’s Lifetime Homes criteria, and new developments are extensively, but unobtrusively, future-proofed to try to anticipate the changing needs of our residents.
We take the health of our staff and residents extremely seriously. In advance of winter 2016, we arranged to pay for all staff to have the flu vaccination to help protect them, their families and our residents.
By behaving fairly and openly
Our objective is to behave fairly with all those we interact with, be they staff, residents, suppliers or government bodies and to be as transparent about our business as we can.
At Retirement Villages Group we see the time and money invested in the objectives and activities described above as making an essential contribution to achieving our greater goal of building a business that is a leader and exemplar in its field.
We only achieve that leadership by constantly providing better services delivered even more efficiently and generating higher levels of customer satisfaction year on year.
Our regard for people, for places and for the environment marks Retirement Villages Group out as a socially aware leader in its field, while providing the necessary basis for the continued financial success of a business which draws its strength from meeting a clear social and community need.