Arcadia has a long-held tradition of close involvement with a wide range of communities.
Activities range from charity donations made at Group level and work with partners selected by each of our brands, through to the individual efforts of our employees, who continue to give back to causes that matter to them.
This year we invited our employees to select and appoint our new Fashion Footprint partner charity. Our people chose Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, based in Vietnam, to be our next partner.
We have raised £137,486 for our charities through hosting 56 sample sales for our employees this year.
During the year our brands and head office activities have raised a grand total of £527,450.
Fashion Retail Academy
As one of the founding partners we continue to we continue to support the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) as part of our long-term commitment to identify future talent for our industry.
This year we hosted around 100 work placements for FRA students, which formed part of their course. We also supported the FRA with masterclasses and projects to enrich their learning.
More than 130 brands now work with the FRA to develop high quality graduates with the necessary professional skills to deliver immediate value into the industry. Over the last decade the FRA have provided more than 5,000 places across 13 different courses. The FRA have now been recognised as an ‘Outstanding’ college by Ofsted and expanded further into Higher Education, offering new fast track degree courses from September 2017.
Our work experience programme, which supports students to prepare themselves for the workplace, has entered a new phase this year. This programme supports our mission to play a key role in enhancing young people’s futures.
Since 2014, we have partnered with schools in London to provide Year 12 students with an understanding of different career options in retail and what is required from them to be successful.
This year we developed a clear five-point strategy to deliver on our goals:
Run an employability programme that makes a difference to young people’s learning and future prospects;
Open their minds to retail as a career of choice;
Work with more schools and a wider age group within them;
Partner with the Fashion Retail Academy in the education of young people; and
Offer our people the opportunity to nurture young talent.
Meanwhile, we remain committed to extending our community links beyond education and career development.
This year we launched the first group-wide volunteering day, offering our London head office employees an opportunity to give back to the local community.
In May 2017, 20 employees supported homeless charity St. Mungo’s by cleaning and painting one of their centres. This was carried out in collaboration with ReVive, a painting and decorating course that St Mungo’s offers to its clients
Participants were hugely engaged in the event. Here are some of our employees’ comments:
“Having that opportunity as part of Arcadia gives me pride for the company I work for”
“It felt great to be involved in a project for Arcadia where we could help a community that is in desperate need of support”
“Really played on skills of teamwork and communication in a different working environment. It was also a positive to be able to meet and interact with other people in the company who I would not normally meet”
It is our aim to continue to offer volunteering opportunities to our employees which give back to a range of causes.