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

Rowan_Minibus un-veiling_2014_04_15

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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Art rides again for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

pmc-badgeFor the third consecutive year CSR Burlington’s Art Weeks will be riding the Pan-Mass Challenge to raise money for adult and pediatric cancer care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Donations to help fight the battle against cancer can be made by visiting the rider webpage for Art Weeks: http://www2.pmc.org/profile/AW0120

Last year, with the help of CSR and its employees, Art raised $6850 as part of the $39 million total donation. 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar goes directly to the cause. This year Art has set a personal goal of raising $7000 and once again will look to CSR for support in achieving this goal.

As an incentive to donate to his ride, Art will be raffling off a pair of front row Red Sox / Yankees tickets for game on the 2nd of August. Every $10 donated by the 30th of June will get one entry into the raffle with the drawing to take place in early July.


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Good Deeds Day

good_deeds_day_logoIn Israel, the annual Good Deeds Day, held this year on the 11th of March, includes hundreds of schools, youth groups, thousands of academic students, and employees from 500 businesses. More than half a million people pledged to do a good deed, creating more than two million hours of volunteering in some 8,000 projects.

CSR Israel is also participating in this event by volunteering and giving back to the community in the following projects:

painting and renovating at a daycare center for children with autism by Haifa Operations team; painting and renovating of a youth center by the System Group together with the teens from the center, also employees and kids cooking dinner in the Haifa woman shelter, holding a sports event for less fortunate children in an after-school daycare and donating computers at all of the above.

In the spirit of CSR’s volunteering activities, at the end of this month CSR’s Haifa office holds its bi-annual blood drive and fund-raising campaign for the purchase of food packages for the upcoming Passover holiday.

Tali Senesh (Team Lead, Q&R, Operations) says: “The kids will get a big surprise when they come to the daycare facility tomorrow afternoon and this makes us all feel proud of giving back to our community”



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CSR Cambridge donates to Country Park to aid cyclists charity project

                            Will Gardiner hands over the cheque to Mick Woolhouse, Company Secretary for Cambridge Sports Lake Trust who manage Milton Country Park

CSR Cambridge has donated £7,500 towards one of its 3 charities of the year for 2014. The Milton Country Park is located close to CSR’s HQ and is used extensively by its employees during lunchtimes for fitness and time out from the office.

The management of Milton Country Park was taken over by the charity Cambridge Sports Lake Trust (CSLT) in April 2008. Since then the Park has not received any regular local council, or central government support for its day-to-day running costs.  The Park has to be entirely funded by the Park users, partnership arrangements and where possible grants & donations.

CSR already have a close working relationship with the park as last year we funded, and a group from CSR planted, a hedge around “The Wild Place” which is their outdoor education facility

All pictures kindly taken by Natalie Faux, CSR

The donation is going to further develop their All Abilities Cycling Project (You Can Bike Too) – this is a partnership which aims to give accessible cycling opportunities to both disabled and able bodied people. In addition they will be able to provide power and water to “The Wild Place.”

Will Gardiner, CFO at CSR handed over the cheque and said: “Milton Country Park is a fabulous local amenity, which many of our employees use on a regular basis. CSR strives to support community organisations and charities in Cambridge, both with contributions and volunteering. We are thrilled to continue our relationship with The Park, where our employees have volunteered their time to plant hedges and are currently raising funds for the ‘You Can Bike Too’ scheme.

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CSR team runs Tokyo Marathon for earthquake charity

CSR Japan’s Hitomi Sakamoto reports…

The Tokyo Marathon 2014 was held on Sunday, the 23rd of February. This year, four guys from CSR’s Tokyo office – Hiroshi Honda, Tomohiko Kato, David Fukada, and Yasuhiro Shinozaki – each ran the full marathon distance as part of the company’s Social Responsibility efforts. All of them finished the 42.195km course in times between 4 hours and 5.5 hours. They each didn’t forget to wear their Nike FuelBand fitness tracker to record their physical activity over the race.

Thanks to our four runners’ wonderful accomplishment a grand total of JPY300,000 (about $3000 in US dollars) was raised. This amount was donated to a charity which helps cover the school fees of children who lost parents to the 3.11 Tohoku earthquake disaster.

Hiroshi Honda said afterwards: “I was very impressed to see so many people cheering the runners. While I was running through the centre of Tokyo, the air felt so good and the city looked very inspiring, which relieved my tiredness. It was great fun.” And Tomohiko Kato added: “I learned that Tokyo is a great city with so many sights to see.”



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CSR author writes book on his father’s amazing experience on Devil’s Island

CSR’s Bashir Saoudi (Staff Yield Data Systems Engineer, Foundry Interface) has undertaken a second career as an author and the keeper of his family history. The novel tells the amazing story of his father’s years in one of history’s most notorious prisons; Devil’s Island.

“In 1920s French-controlled Algeria, Kaci is in the frame for the brutal murder of his French boss. Kaci is faced with a stark choice: name his cousin as the killer and win his freedom, or keep quiet and face 25 years’ hard labour in the infamous Devil’s Island penal colony. Either way, one of them is destined for the world’s worst prison…a hell on earth that few men survive. The Guillotine Choice is a novel based on the true story of an Algerian man’s years in one of history’s most notorious prisons. A real-life Shawshank Redemption, it is an inspirational story of endurance and the triumph of dignity over despair in almost unimaginably horrific conditions.”

We wish Bashir all the best with this exciting new venture!


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CSR revisits Shishu Mandir school

CSR’s CEO Joep van Beurden, CSR India General Manager Prabhu Shastry, and other CSR Bangalore staff made a return visit to Shishu Mandir school on the 4th of February. Their mission this time was to gift the school new classroom furniture – desks, tables and chairs – plus much-needed stationery and a printer. The visit began with a communal lunch – CSR staff joined 200 children and teachers – and then a tour of the premises and facilities, including the school’s busy computer lab. Afterwards, Joep van Beurden announced CSR’s backing of an annual award for scholarship: going forward, the top student of the 10th grade will be sponsored by CSR during his/her following 11th and 12th grade years.

The pupils entertained their guests with colourful and energetic performances of traditional dance, drumming, and an impromptu display of trick uni-cycling! The day’s fun concluded with a friendly game of basket-ball with a team of CSR staff pitted against the older pupils. The CSR visitors enjoyed a lovely time at the school and seeing the many happy faces. CSR looks forward to supporting Shishu Mandir in more ways over the coming years.

Shishu Mandir is a school run for local village children – 70% girls, 30% boys – from challenging family backgrounds. (“Shishu” means Children and “Mandir” means Temple). For almost 30 years Shishu Mandir has been working quietly towards creating a generation of children who are not bound by the difficult circumstances into which they are born.

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Foodbank benefits from CSR donation

Lighthouse of Oakland CountyLighthouse of Oakland County, Michigan provides services to low-income families in crisis. It is the single largest non-profit provider of emergency food and housing to low-income families in Oakland County. Lighthouse of Oakland County feeds up to 300 families a month. Families range in size from single to a dozen members.

At the end of December, CSR Detroit’s Kimberly Krutty visited Lighthouse and met with Alayne Hansen. Kimberly handed over a cheque from the company for $1827 plus $405 cash collected from employees themselves through drink can returns and personal donations. Kimberly, not only collected donations of cash, she and some of the Detroit employee’s purchased things from their “wish list” which consisted of baby and hygiene items.

Pictured here are Alayne Hansen of Lighthouse of Oakland County and Kimberly Krutty of CSR Detroit’s social responsibility committee. On behalf of Lighthouse, Alayne thanked CSR: “I cannot thank you enough for sending us such a generous check to give to our community.”


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North Texas Food Bank

North Texas Food Bank logoCSR US social responsibility committee recently made a special donation to the North Texas Food Bank, a non-profit hunger relief organisation based in Dallas, Texas. Pictured are Brock Denson, Director, Field Applications, CSR and Meredith May of the North Texas Food Bank.

North Texas Food BankStarted 30 years ago, the North Texas Food Bank now runs 14 feeding programs providing access to food for children, families and seniors via more than 1000 locations throughout its service area.




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Ronald McDonald House Charities

CSR’s US social responsibility committee has made a contribution to the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in Phoenix, Arizona, writes Barbara Ureste…

Ronald McDonaldThe families who benefit from RMHC travel far from home to receive treatment for their child at world-renowned pediatric centers located in Phoenix. Their child’s treatment may last a day, a month, or even longer. It’s a long time to be away from home or to divide a family, and often times commuting or staying at a hotel is either impossible or financially challenging for a family. RMHC is able to help families overcome these obstacles by providing low-cost, temporary housing that is near their child’s hospital.

Thanks to the outstanding commitment of volunteers, the generosity of donors, and the support of its communities, RMHC has been able to serve more than 37,000 families since 1985.

In the photograph (seated near to Ronald McDonald) is Pam Franklin, Administrative Coordinator from CSR Tempe, Arizona office and Leslie Tan of RMHC.

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