Global accountancy firm Ernst & Young has revealed that its Birmingham staff and partners have raised more than £16,000 - and provided over 1,000 voluntary hours - for good causes across the West Midlands in 2007.
The achievement is part of the UK firm's corporate responsibility programme, which encourages the support of charitable and community organisations through providing paid leave for volunteering, matched funding and donations, with a strong focus on initiatives addressing education, employability and enterprise.
With a range of festive fundraising activities planned over the coming weeks, the Birmingham office's charity total looks set to rise even higher. In the run-up to Christmas, employees will be taking part in a sponsored dress-down week and will be encouraged to make charitable donations rather than sending their colleagues Christmas cards.
Ronnie Bowker, senior partner of the Ernst & Young's Birmingham office, said: "Corporate responsibility is a big focus for Ernst & Young and it's important to give something back to the business world and community.
"In turn, volunteering and getting involved in community projects help to develop our employees' experience and skills in their day-to-day working lives."
Ronnie added: "One of our key projects for 2008 has been organised in conjunction with the staff and students of Hamstead Hall School, who are raising money for the construction of a primary school in Gambia. We will be sending a team of ten volunteers to help prepare the school for its first students.
"The Birmingham office has raised a record amount for money and we have seen our staff do everything from teaching children about business, forest clearing and tree planting to cycling and marathon challenges."
As well as supporting the firm's national community partners, The Prince's Trust, Comic Relief and NCH, and city schools, the Birmingham office has also supported John Taylor, Mary Stevens and St Mary's Hospices.