Kate van der Plank

Head of UK Community Action, 
Kate van der Plank, Head of UK Community Action, National Grid

Kate leads National Grid’s UK community action programme which includes employee volunteering, citizenship and charity partnerships with organisations such as Teach First , CSV, Macmillan , Special Olympics GB, and the Scouts.  Over the last 18 months Kate has successfully refocused volunteering at National Grid, closely aligning it with HR strategy as a recognised tool for personal development, achieving quantifiable business and social value

Before joining National Grid in 2010, Kate spent three years running her own CSR consultancy business working with a range of organisations from the corporate, voluntary and public sector including Kraft, Channel 4, Birmingham City Council and The Big Issue.

She began her career at Cadbury, and during her 17 years there held roles in Marketing, HR and Production before moving into CSR in 1999. As Head of Community Affairs at Cadbury, Kate grew volunteering from less than 50 to over 2500 employees, resulting in a measurable improvement in staff morale. She also designed and delivered a workplace health strategy across all UK sites, resulting in measurable improvements in employee health and over 70% of staff involved, winning a number of awards for both the community and work place health programmes.  

Kate is a long term volunteer with a youth homeless charity and has set up and led two social enterprises.

During Responsible Business Week, Kate will be speaking at the session Growing youth social action - the opportunities for business.