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The specialist construction company builds on its Community Foundations.

Specialist construction company O'Keefe Group, which has offices in Greenwich (Dreadnought Street) and Kent (Ightham near Sevenoaks) has launched a community initiative designed to take Corporate Social Responsibility to the next level.

Not content with the usual CSR programme, O'Keefe has launched an ambitious CSI (Corporate Social Investment) scheme, Community Foundations,which will see the company put its mouth where its money is, with its stakeholders encouraged to invest time as well as O'Keefe money in its local communities.

Community Foundations is designed to support the communities in which O'Keefe operates and to give back to society. Where possible it will support projects which work with the young and with the old from disadvantaged backgrounds as they work to change their lives.

It has also been especially designed to enable O'Keefe staff and other important stakeholders such as clients, suppliers and sub-contractors to become actively involved through volunteering and offering their skills and experience to the organisations the company will support.

This will in turn organically evolve O'Keefe's internal community of employees and stakeholders into an external one as well, with the initiative kicking off with a focus on three particular beneficiary organisations - 21 Together, K Sports and Blackheath Rugby Club.

21 Together is a new charity in Kent set up by four mothers, each with a child with Down's syndrome. Its aims are to provide local, accessible training for parents, carers and professionals, support for parents and families, and information and awareness  of Down's syndrome within the wider community.

K Sports is a uniquesporting organisation developing a Sport for Social Inclusion programme centred on the 28-acre Cobdown site in Kent. The scheme aims to increase participation in sport and to foster and encourage excellence, alongside supporting academic achievement and vocational learning.

Blackheath Football Club was founded 160 years ago by some of the old boys of Blackheath Proprietary School as an open club and as such became the first rugby club in the world without restricted membership.

O'Keefe head of marketing Roger McKerlie said: “Community Foundations is the O'Keefe Group's Corporate Social Investment programme.It is deliberately positioned as an investment activity as opposed to a responsibility because putting something back into our communities is not a burden to us but is something we want to do.

“Working in the built environment sector enables us to contribute at an early stage to the creation of new communities through the buildings we help to build and as an organisation with a rich family heritage, we recognise the importance of the community in everything we do.”

The company's community ethos was marked in December when a team of five, including CEO Patrick O'Keefe, braved the elements on a Sunday morning to support its sponsorship of what is arguably the capital's most unique race event, The London Pantomime Horse Race.

More recently (Saturday21st July), O'Keefe entered two teams of eight (including quality and systems manager Jo Strahan, and Roger McKerlie as goalie), and business partner Redrow entered five teams of site and office staff, in a six-a-side family football tournament at K Sports which raised a total of more than £10,000 for 21 Together.

Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society and MP for Chatham and Aylesford Tracey Crouch also came along to show her support for the event.

In addition to 21 Together, K Sports and Blackheath Rugby Club, O'Keefe will also continue to work with the Kent Construction Group, the SE London and Sevenoaks Chambers of Commerce, and other industry and local charities.


Pictured: The O'Keefe teams.


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