Companies House - First Steps Project

Wales & West Utilities Building Stronger Communities Award, 2017, Shortlisted

Companies House is the executive government agency which incorporates and dissolves limited companies, registers and maintains the information that companies are legally required to supply and makes this information available to the public.

Good for business

  • Creates volunteering opportunities – 100% of staff involved in supporting Tŷ Gobaith found the project worthwhile and provided them opportunities to develop team working and communication skills
  • Demonstrate commitment – supporting organisations like Tŷ Gobaith promotes Companies House’s community activity within the broader civil service
  • Development and training – Companies House used the relationship with Tŷ Gobaith to provide new apprentices with the opportunity to take part in practical experiences, adding to their training, development and induction

Good for society

  • Reduced impact on local services – over 200 hours of volunteer time (to the value of c.£7,000) provided directly to homeless charities, helping them do more with their existing resources and draw less on the public sector
  • Shared skills – volunteers worked with service users to upskill them in terms of IT and interview skills to help them better engagement with employment opportunities
  • Delivered regeneration – teams from Companies House took part in practical, DIY-based volunteering activities to refurbish physical premises at Ty Gobaith

First Steps Project

Companies House (headquartered in Cardiff) is committed to being a responsible business, making a positive difference in the community in which it operates and providing volunteering opportunities for colleagues. Living and working in Cardiff, the issue of homelessness has long been on the agenda for employees at Companies House and by engaging with stakeholders and charity partners, colleagues have taken steps to begin addressing it and have put in place relationships with groups to continue that work. 

According to Crisis, Cardiff has one of the highest concentrations of instances of homelessness. To address this – and provide valuable opportunities for staff – Companies House developed the First Steps Project to focus on skills, donation drives and volunteering opportunities. Companies House embarked on relationships with Tŷ Gobaith, The Wallich and The Huggard Centre – organisations all working on homelessness in Cardiff. By understanding the issues and challenges faced by their charity partners, the team at Companies House were able to effectively deploy their resources to increase support. This took the form of coaching and mentoring support, the provision of IT skills to help service users better engage with the employment market, carrying our practical DIY-based activities to refresh and refurbish service centres operated by the charities and to communicate the activity and commitment internally to help drive fundraising, donations and further volunteer support. 

Companies House also successfully used the profile opportunities afforded by BITC Cymru initiatives such as Wales Action Week to further promote their activity and work alongside fellow Member companies to have a greater impact at scale. 

What Companies House Chief Executive said:

“This CSR project has made a huge difference to the community and to our staff. Collaboration has been essential and encouraged real team working and creativity. Engagement has also improved directly because of this initiative.”Tim Moss, Chief Executive, Companies House