What is the partnership?
The national horticulture charity Thrive, which helps people with disabilities to gain vocational training, was supported by the luxury fragrance retailer Jo Malone to improve public spaces.
What did the company do?
Jo Malone gave £108,295 to Thrive over two years from April 2012, and nearly all of the 340 staff from its 45 UK stores were involved in some way on the project. Many staff volunteered alongside Thrive’s trainee gardeners to transform the neglected Old English Garden in Battersea Park, London. The company also held fundraising events and launched a Facebook page where the garden’s development could be charted. The renovation secured significant national press coverage. The charity also developed its services following the partnership and now provides work-based skills and employment opportunities in addition to horticultural therapies.
Why did it win?
The Old English Garden has now become a thriving social enterprise as well as a beautiful local resource. Almost three-quarters of the 38 beneficiaries who have been involved in the project are either working towards or have gained an industry-recognised horticulture qualification and about a third have found paid employment. Jo Malone is expanding the initiative to other cities and charities in the UK and elsewhere, including New York.
What did the judges say?
Mark Wakefield, corporate citizenship and corporate affairs manager at IBM UK, said: "The partnership had a good alignment between a big brand and a very small organisation. It had the double benefit of creating a beautiful space and employment opportunities."
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