Cubs 5 005 viewing
As well as the major grants made to our partner charities, John Laing staff are also given opportunity to make charitable donations to charities they are personally involved with. One example of this is John Laing's Head of Tax and Cub Scout Akela (group leader) Paul Edwards, pictured below.
Its two main schemes are:
• Make a Difference Scheme is where a donation of up to £1,000 is made to a charity where the staff member or one of their immediate family is directly involved and regular volunteer.
• Matched Fundraising Scheme is where the Trust matches the funds raised by staff or member of their immediate family for a qualifying charitable cause up to £1,500.
Paul Edwards, Head of Tax at John Laing, spends his spare time teaching children life skills and giving them experiences that they cannot get any other way.
For the last seven years, he has been the leader or “Akela” of his local Cub Scout pack, based in Surrey, South East England. During that period, The John Laing Charitable Trust has supported his volunteering efforts with financial grants that any employee can apply for.
“I loved scouting when I was young and became an Akela when my children were the right age. They have now moved on to other things, but I never left,” Paul said.
“I am passionate about scouting as it gives children experiences they perhaps wouldn’t get at school or at home. We teach them basic life skills such as knowing how to cook a simple meal or give someone first aid. We also spend as much time as possible outside, away from their screens, learning new skills such as map reading, navigating, knots and how to light and cook on an open fire. However, the most important skills the Cubs learn are the ones that will make them feel confident and happy in your own skin - character skills such as teamwork and leadership.”
He is in charge of 40 Cub Scouts, aged between eight and 10 and a half. As well as teaching them practical skills, he regularly takes the Cubs camping or on hikes to practice the skills learnt. His scouting activities give him a sense of adding to the community and giving back. “It’s great to see children grow in confidence over the two years that they are in my group.”
The John Laing Charitable Trust’s (JLCT’s) grants have enabled him to replace old or broken equipment and to expand the number of places available, as there is a 200+ strong waiting list.
“Tents aren’t cheap and there was a point where we didn’t have enough to let everyone camp who wanted to. JLCT’s Make A Difference Scheme enabled us to fix that.”
John Laing is supporting the launch of a new Youth Voice project at Alder Hey Children’s Charity, based at the Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool. This project will support children and young people who volunteer through Alder Hey’s three youth participation groups to develop new transferable skills and life experiences so that they can thrive in the future. The project is also being supported by the John Laing Charitable Trust.
Alex Jones, one of the Youth Forum Leads at Alder Hey, said: “Many of our children and young people face multiple barriers to participation in mainstream activities which can impact on their future life chances. Through Youth Voice we will provide a programme of vocational training and skills development opportunities, inspiring them to grow and develop, both personally and as members of their local communities.
“Youth Voice is a really exciting project as it will be led by our children and young people who will work together to develop and shape content. We are very grateful to everybody at the John Laing Charitable Trust and John Laing for their support and for making this very important project happen.”
St Francis House is the largest day shelter in Massachusetts, supporting over 7,000 people experiencing homelessness each year.
The charity is based in the heart of downtown Boston, near John Laing’s MBTA AFC 2.0 project.
John Laing has supported St Francis House since 2020, helping the charity to remain open during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as providing financial support, colleagues have also taken part in various activities including a fundraising run. The charity is also supported by the John Laing Charitable Trust.
Karen LaFrazia, President and CEO of St Francis House, said: “We are grateful to John Laing and the John Laing Charitable Trust for their support in making our refuge services possible. Their generosity helps makes sure guests can rely on us 365 days a year.”