22Sage CSR Report 08 - Community Sage is a real local and global success story. We've gone from one man's need to simplify his print process, to helping 5.8 million businesses worldwide every day. We're proud of our roots and our headquarters are still based in Newcastle where it all began. Being one of the larger employers in the North East, makes it even more important to act responsibly, and realise the impact we have on our local areas. We feel it's our duty to give back to the communities surrounding us. They're full of our people, customers, suppliers and their families, and they all play a part in our success. We've worked with pupils, charities, community groups, even animals to give something back and we've provided an insight into our activities here. It's really rewarding, and it keeps our feet ( and our wellies) firmly on the ground. Community commitment We aim to make a positive contribution to our local communities We'll do this by: • Providing opportunities for our people to complete volunteer work in their local community • Looking for more ways to work with and support young people in education • Promoting the skills and personal development benefits to everyone across Sage of taking part in volunteer projects 22 Going back to school We pride ourselves on our innovative people and our entrepreneurial roots, so it makes sense that we'd invest a bit of time and effort in helping young people to develop these skills. This year we've worked with Young Enterprise and local Education Business Partnerships ( EBPs), to deliver programmes in 15 schools, ranging from Enterprise Days to Personal Finance workshops. Supporting skills and developing Diplomas As a software provider we're all too aware of how important it is to develop ICT skills, so we're supporting the new ICT diploma for young people in schools around the country. We've hosted training for teachers, ran Q& A sessions, and filmed our people and offices, to help promote the qualification. Partnering with more schools to help even more pupils is on the cards for 2009. We've been more than happy to provide advice and look forward to seeing the results on many a CV in years to come. Opening the door and creating confidence Wandering around our Headquarters ( as lovely as they are) isn't everyone's idea of fun, but when we were asked by a local hospital cancer ward if they could, how could we refuse? Many of the patients at the Teenage Cancer Ward at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary ( RVI) miss out on school life and work, and have a lot to juggle when they recover. To rebuild some of their confidence, we opened our doors, showed them around and gave them an insight into the who, what, where and how of Sage and talked about the opportunities available to them. We know it was a good day, because David, one of the teenagers, told us: " We had a great day at Sage, especially in their IS Department. The building, the people we met and the welcome they gave us were all first class. Everyone did their best to give us all a great day and they succeeded. Thank you, we all appreciate it very much". A brief history of Sage It all started in a local print works on Newcastle's Quayside when entrepreneur, David Goldman, wanted to automate the print estimating process. He worked with a team of Newcastle University students who developed software to manage both print estimating and basic accounting. David realised other companies like his would benefit from the software and formed a company to begin selling it. As desktop PCs became widespread, so the Sage range grew and our business went from strength to strength. We floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and in 1999 we entered the FTSE 100 where we remain today.
1,200 Over 1,200 pupils have benefitted from work of our volunteers in 2008 So, being a Business Ambassador, what's that about? I help run business- related activities at high schools across the region with the help of North East EBP's. We go into schools and run various activities with anywhere from 10 to 200 pupils. My role in the sessions is to introduce myself ( where I work and what I do) and help run and facilitate the chosen activities. The last one I did was to give pupils an insight into working life and advice on getting a job by sharing my own experiences of working life with them. Tell us about some of the things you've done? ' Duck Production' is an entrepreneurial activity where children buy materials, produce paper ducks and sell them on. The group with the biggest profit wins – the kids love it. I've ran ' Real Game' too, turning kids into adults for the day. They find a job and learn to balance their finances. From the experience they realise they can afford more things as they earn more. It's great to show kids how the skills they learn will benefit them later in life. ' Careers Speed Dating' is another activity where I've been ' grilled' about my work experiences. It's great to reiterate to kids that their working life is not that far away. And come on then – what about the craziest one? Definitely being outdoors with a bunch of teenagers. A glorious day of team- building activities including a blindfold session and a zip- wire across a stream! Both were great fun, and true confidence builders. So why do you volunteer, and why should others? When I was at school I didn't benefit from these ' real world experiences' and if I had, I would've been better prepared. Schools are often so busy teaching pupils for exams they don't get time to prepare them for working life. I would encourage anybody to take part. Do it for the kids. But also it gives you an opportunity to get experience of presenting and leading others. When you work with children for the first time is when you realise if you have people skills. " Having now done it, I think it's been a great and very rewarding experience. Children need as much encouragement as possible and it's very touching to see children having a ' light- bulb moment'." Sage CSR Report 08 - Community23 Five minutes with an Educational Volunteer We take some time out to speak to Kenneth to understand what it means to him to volunteer in local schools.