In 2016 we started a consultation process with staff and clients to define our culture and to articulate what makes us unique. This would help us to ensure that we consistently deliver a high-quality service and support the high quality brand of Sykes.
The result was our “four pillars” that reference the key initiatives that set us apart from our competitors:
1. We build relationships
2. We bring expertise
3. We are professional
4. We always care
As a business at the heart of London we take responsibility for adding value to the communities in which we operate. Sykes have supported a number of charitable initiatives over a large number of years.
Seven years ago, Sykes were introduced to a small charity called Halow Project based in Guildford, Surrey who support young people with learning difficulties. Their mission is to enable youngsters with a learning difficulty to have the same life chances and opportunities as any other person.
In 2012 Sykes entered a team for a charity bike ride from London to France with the challenge to cycle 250 miles in 48 hours. The event was a great success and as well as raising urgently needed funds for Halow, it proved deeply rewarding to the participants involved in the ride. The ride has become an annual event with Sykes participating every year and helping to raise in excess of £500,000 to help Halow grow significantly and offer bigger and greater opportunities to its young people.
The Halow250 charity ride is now very much part of the Sykes calendar and over 20 of our staff have now taken part in the event. Whilst it will continue to figure in our charitable initiatives, in recent years, we have asked staff to select a ‘Charity of the Year’ to support.
Our charity for 2018 and 2019 was The Connection at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, a homelessness charity in central London, located next to Trafalgar Square, which helps thousands of homeless people every year to move away from, and stay off the streets of London.
In September 2018, we entered a team of eight to tackle a one-day, 50km hike in the Peak District in aid of The Connection at St-Martin-in-the-Fields. The challenge helped to raise over £5,000 for The Connection.
Alongside our Trekfest fundraising efforts, we raised funds through various head office activities, from cake bakes to sweepstakes, as well as volunteering to provide meals at breakfast and lunch times with 35 of our members of staff taking part over the year.
Our charity for 2020 was Coram’s Fields, a historic children’s only park and playground that also provide services for all young people from the local community.
2020 has brought many challenges, not least to charities such as Coram’s Fields. The two lockdowns have seen their income massively hit and left them with an uncertain future and in need of emergency funding.
In September 2020, a team of 8 from Sykes completed a 50km hiking challenge in the Brecon Beacons, raising over £6700 for them. The 50km (31 mile) route included the highest peak in South Wales; Pen Y Fan, which sits at 886 metres above sea level. The Sykes decorating team were also able to redecorate and refurbish the Band Hall for Coram’s Fields, a hugely important space within the park.
With Sykes relocating our head office to Bloomsbury in December 2020, making us near neighbours of Coram’s Fields, we have confirmed to continue our support for them for a further year as our 2021 ‘Charity of the Year’.