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Joining the certified practices this month as a Gold member is the Campbell Clinic.
The Campbell Clinic is a dental referral practice in West Bridgford, Nottingham, owned by Colin Campbell. It has a team of around 30 dentists, nurses and support staff. TCC has been including CSR as part of its core business for a number of years and has partnered strategically with good causes.
Colin talks about the work they have done regarding CSR, and why they decided to apply for certification…
As a practice for some years now, we have set aside 1% of our turnover for what we call Social Legacy Projects. For us, the ‘Why’ was that we feel we were so lucky to be in our business, we made a great team and we felt as a group that we were very privileged, and so we want to give something back. We had a real responsibility for the wider community and we wanted to feel part of that wider community. And the CSR project was always a way to try to pay back into that and to pay forward a little bit as well and to cement our place in our local community.
We started this from a perspective of gratitude, but there have been some very positive internal benefits for us. They’re not why we do it, but they’re there nonetheless. The whole thing brings the team together and adds some strength to the cultural glue that every business needs if it’s going to get the job done well and get through the tough spots we all face. It’s done our standing in the community no harm either, and we hope it makes it clear to colleagues that we stand for something more than the dentistry part – that’s important.
The pot of money we set aside is quite significant (£28-£30k a year), and that takes some management and becomes a significant budget and someone has to work with that to get the most out of it. And if I’m perfectly honest it’s quite difficult as a practice owner to juggle up everything all at once and to pay attention to the things you really want to pay attention to because you want to pay attention to everything. And so we wanted a framework to manage that so it was effective for the people we want to help, and didn’t drain time unhelpfully from the business.
We worked with Mark Topley (The CSR Coach) to structure that, formalise it and it gave us some great ideas and energised the team in terms of taking us forwards. We have a charity committee at the practice now which is chaired by one of our team and they take the lead on the Social Legacy stuff. The other thing that we did with Mark was that we were able to go to the team and ask them what they wanted to do with Social Legacy Projects, and Mark arranged a session where interested people in the team would pitch charities for support from the Social Legacy Project fund. So we had a session where team members pitched charities they wanted to for personal reasons which were really quite emotive and amazing and there were three charities pitched and we genuinely couldn’t decide. So 50% of our Social Legacy Project goes to Bridge2Aid which is very close to my heart and we’ve worked very for a very long time with them. And we now have hundreds and thousands of people in East Africa who are given emergency dental care access as a result of the work that we’ve done. And the other 50% goes to three other charities – local Nottingham-based charities who work in social justice and welfare, and genuinely we’re really proud to support them.
We’re 12 months in, and the project that Mark built with us moves on. We now use the information that we gained from the charities we help to tell the stories to our patients about what we’re like, but also just to keep us structured and focused on this Project.
When Dental CSR Certification came about in the spring, it was the natural step for us to take to get certified. There were two reasons for this.
Firstly, whether you like them or not, certificates show people who aren’t as close to the business that you’ve done something that has been recognised by an authority on the subject. Whether that’s a dental phobia, additional qualifications or whatever, it’s an easy way to show that you have reached a standard. And for us we’d reached that standard so why not make it easy for people to see and understand how our values played out with CSR?
Secondly, we wanted to make sure we were doing it right and staying current. When we applied for our gold certification from Dental CSR, the team came across more simple yet powerful changes to make, not only to help others but also to help ourselves and the environment. This was a huge added benefit in so many ways.
Our Social Legacy Project started out as an aside, an extra thing to offset how lucky we were against the many problems we see around us. It has become much more and is now a major driver in the business allowing us to use it as a narrative to move forward. Imagine being able to say to your team, “if we get to this milestone that will be 1 million people in Africa with emergency dental care because of us. ” That is where we are going.
None of this could have been achieved with the invaluable help and expertise of our friend Mark (Topley).