Working with the Brownlee brothers to give more than 1,000 children their first taste of triathlon

A Yorkshire estate agency has won a top national honour for the way its 150 staff have rallied to support good causes across the community.

Linley & Simpson was crowned winner of the Best Corporate Social Responsibility campaign in the Fundraising Champions awards, organised by the property industry’s own charity, Agents Giving.

The independent residential sales and letting agency, which has a network of 11 branches across North and West Yorkshire, harnessed the talents of its team to touch the lives of thousands of people in a range of ways.

Judges praised the way the company “lived and breathed” Corporate Social Responsibility.

Staff have reached out into inner cities, as well as the most remote parts of the Yorkshire countryside, to help an unprecedented number of charities and good causes this year.

One of the hallmarks of the company’s approach is awarding all staff one day of paid work time away from the office each year – the cost-equivalent of over £15,000 – to volunteer in the community.

A key focus for support has been Martin House Children’s Hospice at Boston Spa, near Wetherby, which was the staff’s chosen charity of the year.

Not only did they raise £26,000 to help the care it provides children with life-limiting illnesses and their families, but they also created a wildlife garden and haven of peace there.

Another highlight of the year was the gruelling non-stop challenge of hiking 20 miles across 20 Lake District peaks in aid of Martin House to mark Linley & Simpson’s  20th anniversary. Just over 13 hours after they set off, and having burned over 100,000 calories between them, a team of 11 conquered the stamina-sapping challenge in double-quick time – taking a route never attempted before.

Other initiatives included:

  • Giving over 1,000 children their first taste of triathlon by working with Olympians Alistair and Jonny Brownlee creating the first event of its kind
  • Supporting local businesses by initiating a Loyalty Card scheme
  • Launching a “Give As You Earn” scheme so employees can donate a fixed sum from salary before tax to good causes
  • Rewarding schools and sports teams with a Give Back scheme
  • Attending school careers fairs
  • Expanding our industry-leading apprenticeship scheme
  • Extending its recycling scheme and other green initiatives
  • Donating £1 for every client satisfaction survey returned – an initiative generating record numbers of responses

The accolade comes in the first year after the agency made the rare step and invested in the new role of Head of Community and Charity Engagement, Emily Wilkinson, and launched its first dedicated CSR strategy.

Director Will Linley said:  “This accolade is a real credit to the whole team and the way they embraced our programme of initiatives.

“Linley & Simpson does not just have a passion for letting and selling homes – we are a home-grown Yorkshire agency that also shares a passion for serving our community.  It’s embedded into the core of our culture, and epitomises how we do business.

“There is no shortage of talent among our staff and this campaign has given everyone the chance to shine, whatever hidden skills they have brought to the fore.

“As well as enhancing the social, economic and environmental fabric of our communities, it has also boosted staff engagement, motivation and teamwork.

“And I’m pleased to confirm there’ll be plenty more opportunities for everyone to get involved with during the coming year.”

In awarding the accolade, judges said: “Linley & Simpson stood out as a company who live and breathe corporate social responsibility.

“It was clear they have a great understanding of CSR as an intrinsic part of their business and have worked hard to ensure that their CSR policy informs every interaction.  They have even appointed a dedicated member of staff to transform their policy into action, very deserving winners.”

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