DURING THE YEAR, WE SUPPORTED A RANGE OF COMMUNITY INITIATIVES.
Armed Forces Covenant
We continue to offer guaranteed interviews to service leavers and reservists for all roles where candidates meet the minimum requirements. We also support service leavers and reservists by recruiting through the Career Transition Partnership, offering ten days additional unpaid leave for reservists and a range of discounts for those serving in the Armed Forces. As a result we are now a Silver Level employer in the MOD's Employer Recognition Scheme, and were also nominated for The Sun's Military Awards, which are known as the Millies. Halfords Digital Product Owner Charlotte Kertrestel joined the Royal Naval Reserve three years ago, in her own words she "joined to seek a new challenge, and to really push myself beyond the normal 9-5". During her time as a Reservist, Charlotte has learned a huge range of new skills, received some of the world's best leadership and management training from Dartmouth Naval Training College and the Royal Navy Leadership Academy, and she's been awarded a Level 6 certificate in Leadership by the Chartered Management Institute.
Above all, she says being a Reservist has given her the confidence to dive into any new situation, however far out of her comfort zone it is. It has given her practical experience in giving presentations, coaching, and decision-making, and she says it has 'definitely changed who I am as a person today'. Charlotte was attracted to a career at Halfords because she always wanted to work for a big company, and Halfords is one of the most well-known brands in the UK. She explained: "I have learned so much from the experienced colleagues that work for Halfords and Halfords Autocentres", "And it's great to work for a company which promotes fun and is supportive of my Reservist activities that I do outside of normal office hours."
HMP Drake Hall
The Halfords Academy at HMP Drake Hall was launched just over two years ago with the support of the then Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Phillip Lee. The Halfords Academy offers participants the opportunity to train as cycle mechanics, creating the prospect of steady employment and a chance to put their past firmly behind them.
The programme is tailored for each participant with an added focus on mechanics, customer services or retail. Since launch, the Halfords Academy has been a great success and is currently training twelve female offenders. Twenty graduates have joined the business in a variety of roles following their release. Fully supported by Halfords colleagues, participants are subject to the same high standards of training as colleagues at Halfords shops – the training programme is thorough, designed to challenge participants and raise aspirations.
The programme provides offenders with the opportunity to be trained and work on cycles that require being reconditioned. The majority of the bikes are then donated to primary schools in disadvantaged areas to help children access cycling through the Halfords school bike donation scheme.
During FY20 Halfords donated 40,000 children's bicycles to the Krizevac Project. Each bike supports vital charity projects in Malawi. Following a three-month journey, the bikes are unloaded and are donated to Beebikes, Krizevac's bike workshop in Chilomoni, Malawi which employs eight people.
The bikes are fixed so they are like new and are then sold with all proceeds helping to fund the vital work carried out by Mother Teresa Children's Centre, which provides support for 175 children modelled on the UK's SureStart programme.
Halfords has worked with the Re-Cycle charity since 2013. Re-Cycle reconditions bikes and then sends them to Africa for a second life. Since we began our partnership we have donated more than 50,000 bikes, including 12,356 bikes between March 2019 and March 2020.
When the bikes are received at Re-Cycle they are assessed for quality and suitability to send to Africa. They are then sent to Re-Cycle's Africa Partners and 'prepped' by an amazing team of volunteers. Re-Cycle has a zero-waste policy and any parts or components that cannot be repurposed or reused are recycled. From March 2019 to March 2020 Re-Cycle sent 22 containers to South Africa, Zambia, Ghana and The Gambia with about 60% of the bikes donated via the Halfords network.
We continued our partnership with the Bikeability Trust, the national charity for cycle training which supports over 400,000 primary school children every year with access to safe cycle training programmes. During the year, we launched our Pedal in the Park events in Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol which have engaged over 16,000 members of the public.
In schools, we run bike workshops and have also conducted workshops with 50 schools to raise awareness of technician and Retail career opportunities.
We are proud of what we have delivered during our partnership with the Bikeability Trust, enabling 25,000 more school-age children to receive cycle training. The contract came to a natural end in 2019, and we continue to support families and young people to cycle more.
Pledge to Pedal
Last summer, Halfords announced its ambition to inspire one million cyclists with the launch of its Pledge to Pedal campaign. The campaign saw 16,000 entrants and 3.4 million rides take place over four weeks. Halfords also launched a mass participation programme with three Pedal in the Park events held across the summer at Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. Each of the Pedal in the Park events included a cycling course, an electric bikes cycle track where participants could ride an E-bike and a mini mountain bike course for little ones.
Redditch Food Bank
Colleagues at the Support Centre collected an amazing 393kg of items for the local Redditch food bank in the run-up to Christmas 2019. A donation of almost £2,760 also went to the Trussell Trust, which runs a national network of food banks.