Softwire and Charity in 2013
6 January 2014, by David Simons
Every year Softwire elects a different person to be in charge of the “CSR” or Corporate Social Responsibility. It’s a bit of a mouthful that means one of my jobs is to make things operate as ethically as possible. A lot of it is a reactive job – making sure everyone’s happy – but my favourite bit is the opportunity to support people to give something back.
It’s nearly the end of the year, and when looking back over 2013, I got a lovely surprise when I added it all together and saw what the Softwire team achieved. I’ve tried to collate Softwire’s biggest charity moments of the year to sing the praises of all the motivated and selfless people I have the pleasure of working with.
Twice this year, on a Saturday, a load of Softwirians gave up their Saturday to work for free for charity. Just by doing a normal day’s work and giving all the money we earned to charity, we raised tens of thousands of pounds to the causes we chose to support: this year that was split between Ashanti Adopt-a-Village and SCI (Schistosomiasis Control Initiative).
Throughout the course of the year, we’ve had small events that have all added up to make a fantastic financial donations to the charities we’re supporting. From the quiz night, to the donations given at our annual birthdayparty, to the Christmas Jumper Day, to the Comedy Night it all went to a range of excellent causes.
Youth Engagement Events
This year we’ve ran two popular ICT Clubs at nearby schools from both our London and Bristol Office. We’ve also refocused our efforts this year to reach our to even more disadvantaged kids. This year we started a relationship with a local secondary school by delivering an intensive coding workshop. Softwire staff are also frequently giving their time to talk to schools, be STEM ambassadors and help run events such as TeenTech.
The Open Source initiative at Softwire has had a big push this year. The take-up rate is now massive: we’re giving back the coding community by contributing to the free software that we use. This year alone we’ve had 3 newsletters, multiple talks, a massive range of hackathons attended by our staff and 41 Pull Requests in December alone and counting.
Individual Charity Support
On top of the big, company-wide fundraisers, Softwire have schemes that can match both personal fundraising and time taken off in charitable pursuits. We’ve travelled 40 miles on foot, by bike and in the water (some of which naked), starved ourselves for 10 collective days and donated 4 weeks of our time to dedicate to causes close to our heart that Softwire were able to give back to.
In total? 2013 was the year that Softwire raised more money than ever before, let its employees take loads of time off to pursue charitable causes, and contributed back to the industry in ways we cannot measure by inspiring the next generation and adding to open source libraries.
I’m a little bit proud of what we’ve done this year. It’s going to be hard to top it but we’re definitely going to try!