Party for Leo Baeck after-school group

Leo Baeck logoEmployees of CSR Haifa recently organised a wonderful Bar Mitzva coming-of-age party for one of the boys attending a local after-school day care center. (This July also marks the 13th anniversary of the company’s association with this particular Leo Baeck center). In the Jewish religion, reaching the age of 13 marks the transition into adulthood and is usually celebrated by holding a Bar Mitzva party.

This epic party took place in the dining room of CSR Haifa with the generous support of CSR volunteers. There was a fun atmosphere with plenty of refreshments and lively music from a DJ. The party-goers watched a personalized video and friends from the afterschool staged a short show. CSR also presented the young man with several ritual items that are of religious importance to him and his family.

The boy’s family – of Ethiopian descent – thanked CSR for organizing an unforgettable celebration. A tour of Jerusalem for the young man and his schoolmates is planned for the autumn.

 

 

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Anuj swims to Save The Bay

Save The Bay logoSave The Bay held its annual fundraiser swim on the 19th of July, 2014. CSR Burlington’s Anuj Sampat (pictured) took the plunge and raised over $400 [donation page]…

This annual swim supports the efforts of Save The Bay to protect and restore the Narragansett Bay region, a bay and estuary of unparalleled natural beauty on the north side of Rhode Island Sound. Nearly 500 plucky swimmers, aged between 15 and 77 years, swim the 1.7 nautical miles (~1.95 miles) across the Bay to raise money and awareness.

The swim started at 7:15am under slightly humid but otherwise perfect swimming conditions — sunny skies, almost no wind, and very little chop in the water. The water temperature was somewhere near the mid-70′s Fahrenheit, which was comfortable for swimming.

anuj-savethebayThough technically not a race, all swimmers received finishing times for their swim. CSR Burlington’s Anuj Sampat finished with a time of 54 minutes and 42 seconds for the nearly 2-mile stretch between the starting line in Newport, Rhode Island to the finish on the other side in Jamestown.

“The entire swim felt pretty strong and the backdrop of the Newport Bridge provided for an amazing view during the swim. Swimmers were greeted at the finish line with “Welcome to Jamestown” and lots of smiles.” said Anuj afterwards. “A big thank you to CSR for supporting this cause!”

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CSR Cambridge Team completes Tough Mudder

End of TM

On Saturday 12th July a nineteen-strong group of employees from CSR Cambridge spent a day running around in an extremely muddy field for 12 miles, with regular breaks (!) for tackling obstacles. The course featured twenty-five obstacles, all in all, which mainly consisted of jumping over things that were much too tall for them and jumping into muddy water that was much too deep for them. This ‘fun’ was also peppered with a bunch of other (arguably ill-advised) activities including jumping into a skip full of ice, being electrocuted – not once but TWICE – and launching themselves up a quarter-pipe ramp. This is otherwise known as completing the infamous Tough Mudder obstacle course.

Leanne Wood, a Paralegal in CSR and one of the plucky band of nineteen said “We can confirm that it was tough, and it was certainly muddy”.

She went on to say – that  “Joking aside, it was an incredibly fun day and we were lucky enough to all complete the course with only minor injuries – we all had just enough cuts and bruises to successfully show off that we had actually completed the course!  Whilst it was fun, and there were a lot of laughs to be had at each other’s expense, we were also running and climbing for a very good cause. Help for Heroes is a UK military charity that provides practical and financial support to our wounded soldiers and to the relatives of those that have been injured or lost a loved one. So far our team have raised over £2400 in support of this charity and that is something we are all really proud of!”

I am led to believe that rigorous training is already well underway for Tough Mudder 2015…

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CSR Bristol donates to Grand Appeal

grand-appeal-noteStaff at CSR Bristol recently donated £2000 to Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, a local charity fundraising for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Sarah Vipond and Helen Haskill from the charity collected the cheque from CEO Joep van Beurden while he was in Almondsbury to officially open CSR’s new Bristol R&D centre.

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CSR helps Shanghai beach clean-up

Allen Zhao, CSR China, writes:

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people clean up beaches worldwide to protect the marine environment. This year, volunteers from CSR’s Shanghai office did the same thing they did last year.

On the 25th of May, fourteen CSR colleagues and their family members volunteered to join the “Beach Clean-up” activity at Nan Hui, Shanghai. This project aims to mobilise volunteers to clean up local beaches in Shanghai, raise awareness for water resources protection, and ultimately reduce pollution to the water environment.

Together with over one thousand other volunteers, they cleaned 5 miles of Dishui Lake beach by picking up over 4,450 pieces of lake trash with a total weight of 320 kilograms. Every CSR volunteer devoted 6 hours to the activity in the sun.

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40 miles down, 60 miles to go in the fight against breast cancer

Avon Walk logoThis year’s 2-Day/40-Mile Boston Avon walk for Breast Cancer (17-18 May 2014) raised $3.9 million and started with a saturating downpour but quickly turned into a beautiful, fun-filled, rewarding weekend… writes CSR’s Frank McSorley [http://www.the3day.org/goto/frankmc]:

Day 1-26 Miles:

The day started at 6:30am with gear drop-off and the Avon Opening Ceremonies in a complete downpour. All walkers were totally saturated even before the first step was taken. However the rain couldn’t dampen the 1000+ walkers who were ready to knock out 26 miles on our way to knock out breast cancer. My Men with Heart team are the boy scouts of these walks and are always prepared. We immediately started passing out all the rain ponchos we carry with us for our fellow walkers.

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CSR hosts “Think Positive” math coaching program

CSR Israel hosted a gathering on the 1st of June to celebrate the end of the year-long “Think Positive” volunteering program, a mathematics tutoring initiative that matches volunteer math tutors to junior high school students:weekly one-to-one lessons take place at the CSR Haifa office.

The program is lead and driven by the “Haifa Coalition for Social Responsibility” partnered by CSR Haifa, Intel, IBM, Phillips, Taro, Qualcomm and the regional Ministry of Haifa. “Think Positive” has shown proven success in improving students math grades by as much as 15%.

The event included gathering of 200 people: students, volunteers and teachers, refreshments, a comedy show based on the program and thank you speeches by Zeev Rich (VP, VLSI Design & Architecture, CSR Haifa) and representatives from the Ministry of Haifa Education.

We would like to thank all CSR Haifa volunteers who take part in the program and to Shahar Gino, who is leading it in Haifa.

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CSR Israel participates in the annual Mountain to Valley race

CSR Haifa recently took part in the annual 215 km relay race which features day and night running in rural areas, from Northern Israel to the Yizrael Valley.

mountain2valley M2V photographer - Gilad Kavalerchik  052-3387998    www.Giladka.com mountain2valleyM2Vphotographer - Gilad Kavalerchik 052-3387998   www.Giladka.com

From 15th to 16th May a large team of our engineers from Haifa, featuring special guest runners including Mark Redford( GM USA Operations & VP Advanced Technology, Operations Management) and  CEO Joep van Beurden took some time out and participated in the race. The M2V starts in “Tel Hai” and ends 21 hours and 215Km later in “Timrat”. Around 4,000 runners in 518 groups participated in what has become one of the biggest and most popular running events in Israel.

This is the third year CSR Israel has participated, and this year 40 CSR runners with the support of additional mountain bike riders and logistics volunteers, tackled the challenge of the 24 running sections. Particularly challenging was the heat on the first day, but this was compensated by the full moon night runs and the finish after the sun rise on the second day.

It wasn’t all hard work and running though. The team took time out to relax on the shores of the “sea of Galilee” and later at night to also eat and rest on the lawn of a colleague’s (Zeev Rich – VP, VLSI Design & Architecture, SoC Design) house near the running course.

CEO Joep van Beurden was later quoted as follows –  “Thank you very much for hosting Mark and me as your guests during this year’s edition of the M2V relay. If there was ever an event that exemplifies our tag-line ‘Push Every Boundary’ it is this one. It also makes clear that the best way to look for your limits is as a team. The whole event was meticulously organised, the logistics, the support from the bikers, the excellent food, the rest place after run 8 at the Sea of Galilee, the hospitality at Zeev’s house. What impressed me most was the sense of ‘family’ among the  team. An atmosphere where everybody  could relax, be his or herself, help each other or  –in my case- be helped by someone!See you all next year!

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CSR Taiwan raises funds for the Children are Us Foundation

Children Are Us is famous in Taiwan for operating bakeries and restaurants that employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The first Children Are Us bakery opened in Kaohsiung city in 1997, and the Foundation has since expanded, opening other branches in Taipei city and Hsinchu city.   It has operated an Italian restaurant in Taipei where people with such a disability are employed and a coffee shop at Taipei’s City Hall. 
 
The goal for this organisation is to inspire and promote the potential talent of its people. The Children Are Us Foundation is a non-profit private organisation (NPO) which provides long term care and job training to people with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, multiple dysfunction and other mental illness. It works on changing people’s general perception, hoping the public can understand and respect its employees. 
 
Our colleagues in CSR Taiwan are closely involved with this project and help deliver products from the bakery to children in remote districts who wouldn’t normally benefit in this way.  A total of 904 dessert boxes were delivered to four primary schools in the remote mountain areas for children who do not have the opportunity to enjoy bread, cake and sweets daily.  
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In addition to this, employees have raised a significant sum to support the bakery and the workers who feel so valued in this Foundation. In addition the CSR Office in Taipei organised a market for second-hand goods and these were all brought into the office on one day where they were bought and sold by other employees. Some of this money went to the Children Are Us charity.

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CSR Cambridge contibutes to a minibus for Rowan art therapy charity

Rowan logoRowan, an arts and crafts therapy charity based in Cambridge, was the recent recipient of a donation of £5,000 as one of CSR’s three “UK charity of the Year” selections.

Rowan was started in 1984 to improve the lives of learning-disabled people through the provision of services and meaningful activities. This was against the background of change that, quite radically at the time, sought to move people out of institutions and into the community. Very quickly, the medium of arts & crafts was identified as a highly effective way to enhance the lives of learning-disabled people, as well as being a platform for reducing social isolation and progressing skills development.

Rowan Humberstone

Andy Skelton, Deputy CFO of CSR hands over the cheque

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The official unveiling of the Rowan bus
Both pictures taken by Natalie Faux

With grant assistance from the NHS and Cambridgeshire County Council, four Cambridge professionals backed the formation of the charity, called The Rowan Foundation, in 1984. In order to provide studio space and a secure home for Rowan the current premises, in Humberstone Road, were purchased in 1993.  In 2003 a new charity, Rowan Humberstone, was established to provide a strong social enterprise ethos, thereby enhancing the sustainability and future of Rowan for its beneficiaries. This is the vibrant and active charity you see at work today, which is known simply as Rowan.

Judith Jones, Marketing and Fundraising Manager for Rowan was quoted as saying  “This donation has helped to buy a minibus for Rowan. Our previous minibus had to be scrapped three years ago, depriving students of the transport that allows them the freedom to explore outside places and activities. The students have been raising funds for a replacement ever since. Through the generosity of CSR as well as White House Arts in Chesterton and  Marshall Aerospace we now, at last, have our minibus. The students, learning-disabled adults, have made their own contribution, undertaking sponsored walks and selling their art work to help raise the funds. Having a minibus again means that Rowan’s students can easily visit new places, take part in community activities and benefit from the cultural heritage of Cambridge
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