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TAKING HEART

Collective CSR bonds at FTI Consulting

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Last month, FTI partnered culinary training school for the disabled and disadvantaged - Dignity Kitchen- to host the children from Club Rainbow in a bake-off.

Singapore

SEEING that many in its staff volunteer at non-profits during their free time, the Singapore office of business advisory FTI Consulting felt their efforts to serve the community would be multiplied by working as a team.

In March this year, FTI Consulting embarked on the implementation of its first firm-wide collective corporate social responsibility programme (CSR) in Singapore.

Speaking to The Business Times, Ellyn Tan, managing director and head of community service committee at FTI Consulting, said: "We felt that a well-run CSR programme would support our diverse workforce in integrating with the community."

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Staff were polled on which causes and non-profits they were keen to support.

As a result of the poll, FTI Consulting formed a year-long partnership with Club Rainbow in June. The non-profit provides support for children with chronic illnesses and their families through education, social integration and financial assistance, among others.

Ms Tan said: "We believe that to create impact for the community and build a more inclusive society, we need to not only help disadvantaged and disabled members of the community, and ensure that these individuals are not left behind."

In September 2018, FTI Consulting partnered a culinary training school for the disabled and disadvantaged - Dignity Kitchen - to host a "bake-off" for the children supported by Club Rainbow.

"We wanted to do something unique for the children and provide them with a fresh experience that allows them to learn something new as well as showcase their gratitude to their caregivers," Ms Tan explained.

The children received lessons on how to bake both cookies and muffins from Dignity Kitchen's head baker, who is hearing-impaired.

One of the stars of the show was a Club Rainbow beneficiary who shared tips and tricks she learnt from frequently baking with her mother with those in attendance.

The children were also able to bring the goodies that they baked to share with their family and friends.

Ms Tan said: "This bake-out gave us the opportunity to understand the journey that our new friends at Club Rainbow and Dignity Kitchen go through and how they are not limited by their challenges."

Meanwhile, a Club Rainbow representative noted: "The bake-out has really developed our children's pride and confidence in their skills and ability.

"It also gave some time for caregivers to bond and share their experiences while the kids were having fun baking."

The American-headquartered company has also been actively involved in community outreach efforts elsewhere.

In its home market, staff from the US offices actively participate in Steptember, an annual fundraising initiative sponsored by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation.

This has seen more than 400 staff organising office events that encourage movement, including group fitness classes and walking team meetings in the past 12 months.

In the UK, the company is currently working with children's mental health charity Place2Be. FTI Consulting staff work with the charity on a number of skills-based volunteering initiatives including analysing Place2Be's data to demonstrate the organisation's impact on supporting children with mental health issues and executive coaching to support the charity's long-term growth strategies.

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