KPMG does charity abseil for NSPCC partnership

KPMG does charity abseil for NSPCC partnership

James Stewart, head of Brexit and vice chair at KPMG, and Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, on why businesses need to partner with charities

KPMG does charity abseil for NSPCC partnership

Big Four firm KPMG have this week done a charity abseil down their London office building as part of their partnership with the NSPCC.

A total of 115 people from the firm, plus the NSPCC’s CEO, Peter Wanless, braved the sky-high challenge to raise money for the children’s charity.

Wanless said: “As a charity the NSPCC relies overwhelmingly on volunteer donations of some kind or another. We’re absolutely driven by our mission to fight for every child but we can’t do what we do without amazing fundraising efforts from companies and individuals.

From time to time I think it’s important that I as the leader organisation show I’m up there raising money as well and show how critical this partnership between KPMG and the NSPCC is.”

KPMG asked employees to sign up to do the abseil, pledge a minimum amount of money to raise, and hopefully raise far more than the expectation.

James Stewart, head of Brexit and vice chair at KPMG accompanied Wanless on the abseil.

Stewart explained: “All levels and types of staff are represented in this challenge. The work coincides nicely with our values as a firm and our corporate objectives.”

KPMG only recently returned to having a national charity. The whole firm voted on which charity to choose in the spring, and the NSPCC came out overwhelmingly on top.

Stewart said: “What makes us attractive to the NSPCC is that we are a regional firm. We have many people in Manchester, Birmingham, and the rest of our 22 offices around the country. This is a national effort by KPMG which aligns with the fact the NSPCC also have people all around the country.”

The NSPCC have 12 Childline bases and 13 NSPCC service centres across the UK. They also have a Schools Service which is aiming to get into every primary school around the country.

Wanless said: “We have a determination to be nationally significant but also very relevant.”

KPMG and the NSPCC are currently planning more future fundraising events of all different types to take place in different regions over the two-year partnership. The aim is to raise a million pounds by the end of the period.

Stewart admitted “If the firm don’t go over this amount I will be extremely disappointed.

“However, it is important to remember that it’s not just about fundraising. Equally important to both of us is the volunteering side. We are focusing on Childline and the Schools Service.”

Wanless said: “Childline is here 24/7 for children with nowhere else to turn. We are listening to, on average, around 280,000 children contacting Childline because they are anxious or concerned. Now almost 70% of our messaging is done via instant message online.

“We are raising funds so we can continue to be there for every child who wants and needs Childline.”

The Schools Service project is called ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe’ and the NSPCC want to get into every primary school in the UK and have a conversation, once with five- to nine-year-olds and once with nine- to eleven-year-olds on how to speak out and make sure you are safe. The charity trains and supports volunteers to run assemblies and then, with the older children, deliver workshops.

KPMG allows people work time to volunteer. Employees get 42 hours a year to do so, so six seven-hour days.

Wanless added: “There is a whole host of expertise we need. Not only volunteers for our project like the Schools Service, but also the technology and digital knowledge we need to bring on board to stay up to date with the world.

“We know KPMG staff have this, and we were impressed by the company’s dedication to social mobility too. Abuse and neglect is such an inhibitor of social mobility so KPMG’s ethos is aligned with us.”

Stewart said: “To help mobilise the effort internally we have a committee, consisting of all levels and roles of staff. Just this committee alone is an amazing opportunity for staff who wouldn’t usually meet to get in the same room. Champions around the business will then support this committee, helping with fundraising-related tasks.

“There is nothing like a good cause to get people to mobilise and foster camaraderie. We’ve got a fundraiser next year where we had 60 spaces and we’ve have 200 people express an interest. Similarly with Childline and the Schools Service, we have had around 200 people initially interested in volunteering.”

KPMG hope to give their time in terms of fundraising and volunteering, but also in the fight against cybersecurity. The firm have specialists in this subject who can help the NSPCC in their mission to keep children safe online.

Stewart said: “As a big employer in the UK it’s absolutely vital that we do our bit for society. We don’t do it because we have to or think we ought to. Staff clearly want to do it. There is a push from all the people we employ to give back to society. Doing it all together makes much more of an impact that individually.”

Wanless concluded: “We live in a society where far too many young people experience abuse or neglect. We can all play a part in preventing this and keeping children safe. There is an urgent need to support the NSPCC’s effort. You get that multiplier effect when you find organisations who are willing to dedicate time and effort.”

Stewart said: “Whatever KPMG do for the duration of this partnership, we need to leave a legacy.”

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