As part of Avison Young’s Day of Giving last week (Thursday 24th October) – a very special day in which the real estate company’s employees worldwide give their time to community causes – members of the firm’s Bristol office left their desks, headed to the coast, and spent the day with the Marine Conservation Society clearing plastic and other rubbish from a popular local beach.
Following a days of wintery weather, the 60-strong Avison Young team were faced with significant amounts of rubbish accumulated on the beach at Weston-super-Mare, which they collected throughout the day.
As well as collecting the visible waste, importantly, the team was able to assist in the Marine Conservation Society’s ongoing research into damaging micro-plastics. Sieving the sand revealed the tiny particles which were taken off for further investigation.
Regular beach cleans are carried out every three weeks at Weston-super-Mare, with all the waste recorded and logged by the MCS and its volunteers.
The Marine Conservation Society is the UK’s leading charity for the protection of seas, shores and wildlife. Started in 1983, the charity works with local communities, local government, marine managers and scientists around the UK to spread awareness and undertake research to ensure he ocean and sea around the UK is well looked after.
Sophie Endacott coordinated the beach clean for Avison Young, working closely with the Marine Conservation Society and North Somerset Council. She says,
“This has been an amazing day, giving us a real opportunity to make a difference to local causes in our community. Care of the environment is so close to all our hearts, taking part in a beach clean was something we were all passionate about.
“In undertaking a thorough beach clean and recording what we find, we will be helping conserve the natural beauty of the beach and contributing to this important research.”
All Avison Young’s UK offices participated in a full day of volunteering activities, which included assisting at local food banks, animal shelters and conservation societies. The initiative is part of the firm’s sixth annual global Day of Giving. The day saw thousands of employees in approximately 100 Avison Young offices volunteering at more than 80 community organisations in Europe, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.
This year, many new members of the Avison Young family participated in the global Day of Giving for the first time. The increases stem from the acquisition of GVA in February 2019 and other acquisitions, new office openings and hires completed during the past year, making this the largest and most far-reaching global Day of Giving so far.
Jason Sibthorpe, Principal and President UK at Avison Young, said: “We proudly represented Avison Young in our local communities, showing how our professionalism extends beyond our client work and back into the communities we help build. Supporting our local communities is not only important; it is a key pillar of our business strategy and part of our company culture. Led by members of our Emerging Leaders program, the Day of Giving allows all of us to feel the wellness, camaraderie and gratitude that result from giving back.”
In the UK, Avison Young is involved in a host of Corporate Responsibility activities and partnerships, including:
- A National Charity Committee which collaborates closely with community groups and charities, empowering our people to use their time and talent to address societal and development challenge
- The Avison Young Employee Community Fund, launched in 2019, which supports local projects across the UK, from improving community buildings and outdoor spaces to buying new equipment, volunteering and hosting community events
- A corporate partnership with the Woodland Trust, whereby every kg of CO2 from the energy used in our offices is mitigated by planting new trees, helping to provide homes for a variety of wildlife and places for recreation
- Two ambitious graduate projects, which regenerated playground areas for Special Educational Needs (SEN) students at two schools. Both projects required Avison Young graduates to plan, design, fundraise and deliver from start to finish, working in partnership with the schools and supported by Groundwork charity.