Through a range of Corporate Social Responsibility activities, Essar UK aims to be a catalyst for positive change in society. We work with and support our local communities through partnerships with agencies and charities across educational, environmental, wellbeing, sporting and corporate initiative programmes.
In addition to our central corporate programmes, safety milestones at Stanlow Refinery are linked with charitable giving through our ‘Let’s Give’ scheme, where donations of £3,000 are given to local charities that have been nominated by the Essar workforce as each milestone is reached. Running since 2012, we are committed to making up to six of these awards per year to deserving causes. The most recent donation was presented to Families United (Warrington), following the refinery recording one million working hours without a Lost Time Injury in February 2021.
We also encourage charitable fundraising by our staff and offer match funding for activities involving larger groups of employees across the business.
Our educational programme provides support to children from a range of backgrounds and stages in their academic life. Focused on inspiring a passion for STEM-based subjects, initiatives highlight opportunities and showcase the science involved in future job roles available to them as they grow older.
Essar partners with Passion for Learning to provide support and opportunities to hundreds of school children across Cheshire. Within schools, Essar funding enables four volunteers to support children in two local primary schools each year. Here, they not only inspire an interest in STEM subjects, through the provision of different activities and experiences, but also support children with their reading and writing skills and boosting their self-confidence and life skills.
We also love to get involved in Passion for Learning’s events such as the ‘Careers Palace’ and VIP Aviation Experience. These fun and engaging events give children the opportunity to put skills learnt in the classroom to the test through the interactive science-based activities Essar volunteers bring to the day.
The STEAM festival, organised by the Ignite Teaching School Alliance, held at the National Boat Museum in Ellesmere Port, is headline sponsored by Essar. The five-day festival brings over 2,000 children, aged 8-11 years old, from 40 primary schools across Cheshire, Halton, Merseyside and the Wirral, to ignite a passion for STEM subjects through interactive and creative workshops. Essar is one of many organisations that takes part in the event and provide a host of simple activities to help children understand the science involved in real-life manufacturing processes, helping to inspire the generations of the future.
Essar also headline sponsors Amazed by Science’s Science Festival, which aims to capture the imagination of thousands of children and excite families across Cheshire with science. The festival has gone from strength to strength each year and Essar employees deliver fun activities that promote and celebrate science, technology and engineering across the various locations the festival runs during the summer holidays.
Protecting the environment is more important than ever as we move towards a carbon neutral world and more sustainable future. Within the refinery we support and encourage the habitation of many wildlife species in our decommissioned areas, as well as in Thornton Brook, Mill Brook and the River Gowy banksides, that run through the refinery. We even have our own beehives on site which are managed by an Essar employee and the honey produced is sold and donated to charity.
Our work with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust provides a range of activities for over 300 children, across 12 local schools, to get closer to nature and learn about the importance of environmental protection, both locally and through their daily lifestyles. The ‘Forest Schools’ sessions are delivered in the Essar-owned Gowy Meadows’ woodland area and Holly Bank House - which are adjacent to Stanlow Refinery in Thornton-Le-Moors.
Partnering with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Essar also runs regular voluntary wildlife days upon the Gowy Meadows for employees. This allows a different group of employees to volunteer, during a working day, to help support work set out by the Trust such as orchard planting and hedge laying.
At Essar, we continue to work with the Parish Councils, representing our immediate fenceline communities, to support initiatives that benefit the wider community.
Age UK Cheshire’s ‘Wear Purple Arts initiative’ gives people, over the age of 50, the opportunity to learn new skills and gain confidence in their creative abilities each year. The project has developed to involve young healthcare students from the local college, as well as children from local primary schools. The aim of the initiative is to improve people’s wellbeing and self-esteem and provide a safe and relaxed environment in which they can engage in creative activities.
The initiative also encourages people to socialise, form relationships through intergenerational experiences and make new friends. Essar funds this programme, with over 300 participants taking part within local residential and day-care homes, as well as the Ellesmere Port Hospital.
We also have a long-standing relationship with the West Cheshire Foodbank, with essential food donations being collected from employees on site several times a year. Financial donations have also been supported by the Company over the years.
Health and wellbeing is key across all parts of society and at Essar we understand the importance sports play in this. Completed by over 4,000 runners each year, we have extended our lead sponsorship until 2023 for one of the UK's longest established and most highly regarded sporting events, The Chester Half Marathon. After five years in partnership with the event, we are now looking forward to the 39th Essar Chester Half Marathon on 19th September 2021 and hope that you can get involved too. For more information, click here.
Highlights from the last physical Half Marathon event can be found by clicking on the image below.
We also continue our support and sponsorship for the Four Villages Half Marathon, organised by Helsby Running Club, which attracts around 1,500 runners each year and passes through Manley, Mouldsworth, Dunham on the Hill and Helsby as part of the 13 mile course.
Since 2018, Essar has proudly been the shirt sponsor for Tranmere Rovers Football Club. The 2021/22 home kit was unveiled recently and was attended by Essar's Chief People Officer, Mark Pennifold.
Highlight shots of Tranmere Rovers FC in action.
While supporting the club on the pitch this partnership also reaches into the local community where Essar regularly collaborates with the club’s registered charity ‘Tranmere Rovers in the Community’ to deliver its community outreach programme and initiatives, with the mission to increase community engagement, health, education and sport participation.
We have worked closely with the Tranmere throughout the coronavirus pandemic to support local communities during these difficult times, this included the provision of food hampers delivered to local residents in need and supporting the clubs Super White Christmas Appeal.
Most recently, together with club, 100 replica 2019/20 home shirts were donated to Westminster Community Primary School in Ellesmere Port, with additional activities and player visits scheduled to take place in the coming term. Throughout the 2021/22 season we will continue to broaden our partnership, providing unique opportunities across the local area to continue the club's and Essar's mission of equality.
For more information about Tranmere Rovers in the Community's work, please click on the image below: