17 Jan 2019

The Hanover Group is committed to making a positive difference to society and our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility is wholehearted, whether this is through the pro bono work we do, the campaigns we work on with our clients to promote social change, or the support we give to projects in our local community.

Five members of staff from the London office recently spent a day volunteering at The Friday Club, a local initiative by C4WS Homeless Project. We sat down with Hanover’s Marketing Assistant, Lucy Davies, to find out about her experience.

Can you tell us about The Friday Club and what you did there?
Part of the C4WS Homeless Project, The Friday Club is a weekly drop-in centre which opens its doors to homeless and vulnerable guests. It invites them to come together and enjoy a hot meal, as well as access the centre’s shower facilities, clothing donations, hairdresser and welfare support. For many, the greatest benefit of the project is companionship.

Each week, a team of volunteers comes in to prepare and serve a meal for the project’s beneficiaries. Our team was tasked with catering for 70 people – no mean feat for a group of amateur chefs! Despite the logistical challenges posed by cooking for such a large group of people, we managed to serve up a delicious Indian feast, which was met with enthusiastic murmurs of approval. After serving, we were able to sit down with the guests and sample the food that we’d prepared.

How did the experience affect you?
I feel incredibly lucky to have been offered the chance to get involved with this project. It was great to spend a day in a different environment, meet new people from the London office and hone my culinary skills.

But for me, the real impact of the day lies elsewhere. I find engaging with CSR activities to be hugely valuable because of the way that it triggers a shift in my thinking. Sitting down with the project’s beneficiaries really broadened my perspective. Yes, it was gratifying to figure out how to mass-cater chicken and vegetable curries, but my greatest takeaway from the day was witnessing the tangible impact that our efforts were having on other people’s lives. This is something you can’t get from putting money (no matter how much) in a collecting tin. These are the sorts of experiences that ultimately impact us, alter our approach to problem-solving and enable us to apply what we call ‘Uncommon Sense’ to the challenges that face our clients.

Why do you think that Hanover’s approach to CSR is Uncommon?
Like many companies, Hanover acknowledges its responsibility to give back to society. However, for Hanover, CSR isn’t just a box-ticking exercise, it’s an active commitment that encompasses a considerable proportion of the work that we do. Hanover gives its employees the opportunity not only to make a difference, but to see the difference they are making.

If you could sum up Hanover in three words, what would you say?
Dynamic, pioneering and fun!