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Global community day as staff step up for charity

29 March 2016

WILLIAM HILL staged their first international community day last week with staff from across the group’s international locations helping and fundraising for local charities and good causes.

The concept had its origins in the bookmaker’s Close to Home community project launched by chief executive James Henderson last year. William Hill director of security and community affairs Bill South said: “Last year we ran a number of projects in the UK, largely the ideas of people who worked in the betting shops and those local areas. “The international community day was about officially launching Close to Home throughout the organisation. “The idea was to have 24 hours of continuous community activity in all of our sites – seven countries, four continents in a 24-hour period.”

The day launched in Sydney, Australia last Monday evening and finished in Nevada in the US 24 hours later, taking in projects near William Hill locations in the Philippines, Bulgaria, Britain, Gibraltar and Israel. They included a football clinic for children in Manila, refurbishing work for a children’s home in Doganovo, a village close to Sofia, collecting Easter eggs for a children’s charity in Leeds and helping an animal shelter in Gibraltar. South said: “They all had specific local organisations or causes they worked with. T

here were at least 400 people who were actively involved in the event and there was a considerable number who were supporting it. “In essence, it was really about supporting William Hill colleagues and recognising they have a real affinity to the communities where they live and work.” South said that more events would follow the international community day. “ What we want to do is highlight to as much of the organisation as we can what their colleagues are doing,” he added. “James’s mandate is to ensure the organisation supports what William Hill people are doing, whether that’s giving them financial support or allowing them to have time off so they can act in a voluntarily capacity or whether it’s just to sometimes use the resources a large organisation like ours has to support things. “We hear all the bad news stories in relation to the industry but this is a good news story that is reflective of these people who really want to make a difference.”

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