by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Deloitte has praised the contribution its employees in Belfast have made towards achieving the firm’s goal of positively impacting the lives of one million people across the UK.   The professional services firm said its">‘One Million Futures’ initiative has reached its goal a year ahead of target, with over £21m and 115,000 volunteer hours contributed to UK charities, schools and social enterprises since its launch in 2016.


One Million Futures aimed to help one million people get to where they want to be through access to education and employment. It focused on improving skills, education and inclusion through meaningful partnerships with 90 inspiring charities, schools and social enterprises.


The One Million Futures initiative has been so successful that we are now aiming to impact Five Million Futures as part of Deloitte’s global World Class ambition of supporting 50 million people by 2030.


Across the UK more than three quarters of the firm’s people have volunteered hours and the firm has carried out 36,500 pro-bono business hours, equating to over £21m of benefit to organisations.


In Northern Ireland, its society partners are the NOW Group, Simon Community NI and Hazelwood Integrated College, with more than 300 employees in Belfast contributing almost 4,250 volunteer hours between them to projects.


Deloitte’s work with NOW Group has helped the organisation to support 250% more people with autism and learning difficulties into work. Deloitte has provided strategic advice on the expansion of its catering division ‘LOAF’ and is currently helping the Group to pivot their LOAF strategy to effectively respond to COVID-19 and protect jobs.


Deloitte has also helped the team at Simon Community NI analyse its service design, helping the charity identify potential opportunities for service improvement. During the period Northern Ireland spent in lockdown, the firm provided laptops to the charity to allow staff to work remotely and clients to keep connected to the rest of the world. The firm has also reached £20,000 in fundraising in the first year of its partnership.


With Hazelwood College the firm developed a Business Internship which sees students working for 6 months on real ‘future of work’ dilemmas facing local businesses and industries. Bringing together the school and local businesses has delivered a life-changing experience for the pupils involved.


Deloitte has also supported the team at Kinship Care in its amazing work for vulnerable children across NI, with staff helping raise over £80,000 for the charity.


Jackie Henry, Office Senior Partner at Deloitte in Belfast, said: “I am very proud of the way that our people in Belfast have embraced the ethos of One Million Futures and made a real, practical contribution to the lives of others through the fantastic organisations we support in Northern Ireland.


“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus how important charities and social enterprises are to our society and highlighted the resource pressures many of them currently face. It is incumbent on the business community to support the vital work they do in Belfast and we at Deloitte are committed to playing our part.”

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Peter Allen, Partner at Deloitte Northern Ireland and Simon Community NI CEO Jim Dennison.


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