Through the infrastructure we create and maintain, we provide local communities essential assets that support them in their daily lives. Well-maintained highways aid access to jobs, leisure activities, friends and family. Public spaces bring communities together and CCTV and street lighting enhance safety and security.
Beyond the immediate benefits of the assets themselves, our sector provides significant community impact initiatives. It involves regenerating communities and driving employment and training opportunities. This enables us as a business to enhance biodiversity, support small, local supply chain partners and minority businesses. Ultimately, this boosts growth, transforms lives and builds new and better futures.
Goal 17 is a 10-week employability programme sponsored by Balfour Beatty Living Places, alongside the Saints Foundation, our client, Southampton City Council, and our supply chain partners.
Volunteer mentors from our Southampton Highways Partnership receive training, certificated by Oxford Brookes University, from the Goal 17 organisation.
They support young people ‘not in employment, education or training’ (NEETs) from the Southampton community who are identified through local referral partners such as the DWP, the NHS, local colleges, education support services, Southampton City and Hampshire County Councils, local care providers and social prescribers, as well as though self-referrals.
The targeted and structured programme provides the participants with opportunities to build relationships with local employers and pathways into sustainable careers in Southampton. It creates a safe environment for young people to develop their leadership and presenting skills, practice giving and receiving feedback, take part in mock interviews, and access ongoing support through their mentor as they complete the programme and move towards independent development.
In 2022, the programme, as part of our broader community impact initiatives, delivered over £109,000 of added social value through cash investment and time volunteered, with eight young people from the programme entering employment or further education as a result, which realises further social and financial benefits to the local community.
On our Northamptonshire contract our team joined forces with Groundwork. This is a charity who focuses on transforming lives in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.
We supported a four-week Kickstart initiative, delivered in partnership with Groundwork. Kickstart supports young people to learn skills and develop themselves personally and professionally. This enables them to transition into adult life.
Following taking part in meet and greet sessions and volunteering days, candidates joined a four-week work experience placement on our Northamptonshire contract between June and July. At the end of the placements, one young person joined us as an Operational Apprentice.
In addition, our team also support local social enterprise, Hope Enterprises, who work with homeless and deprived people across the county. We do this by donating to local food clubs, allotments and charity shops and also take part in volunteering days where the community are provided hot meals, showers, clean clothes, workshops and guidance.
Balfour Beatty Living Places, Southampton City Council and our supply chain partners collaboratively delivered the Weston Foreshore project within a SCAPE framework.
The project delivered a 140m rock revetment valued at £1 million. The team embraced the whilst they undertook the vital repairs to protect the foreshore for 50 years. They, along with their partners, volunteered 121 hours of time. Additionally, they donated £4,442.45 in equipment and resources to the area. Moreover, they supported the local secondary school, teaching future STEM pioneers.
The project focused on community engagement, health and safety performance, and social value. It aimed to leave a positive, lasting legacy in the community.