William Birch takes a pride in the contribution we make to the communities where we are known and trusted. We strive to be a part of the local community in which we live and work and we engage with a wide range of organisations including training organisations, charities, sports clubs, the faith communities and other trade related organisation.
Some of the ways in which William Birch has engaged with the community include Health and Safety Tours, Fund Raising and Charity Days, Apprenticeship events, Training and Development, Local Sponsorship, Sports sponsorship.
Poppy Road Poppy Project
To mark the 140th year of William Birch in 2014 the business is supporting the Poppy Road Poppy Project, a living memorial to commemorate the centenary of those who died in the First World War. The project aims to turn empty land in Holgate into wildflower poppy meadows to mark the centenary of the Great War.
Chris Birch, Chairman, said: “the end of the First World War was a turning point for the William Birch business, and we were heavily involved in the post-war regenertation in York, working on housing projects such as that at Tang Hall. It therefore seemed particularly fitting that we support the Poppy Road Poppy Project to mark our 140th year in business as a thank you and a reminder of all those that served in the war 100 years ago. Giving back to the local community has also contributed to the longevity of the business, both Jack Birch, and his father, William Henry Birch served as Lord Mayors in the city; we continue to support local charities such as the Poppy Road Poppy Project as well as the region’s Reserve Forces amongst other things”.
Local School events
William Birch worked on three phases of development at Knavesmire School in York for the city Council. During the build process we engaged with the pupils and staff on a number of occasions We held a ‘bricklaying’ workshop and invited ten pupils – aged from five to eleven – to lay a brick in the front wall of the new school entrance. This was around the time of the school centenary year so we incorporated discussions around the historical nature of the building, time capsules and timelines, contributing to the history syllabus.
Head teacher Adam Cooper said: “It’s a great opportunity for the pupils. As the school approached its centenary, it was very exciting for the children to think that in another 100 years’ time, people will be looking at the wall that they’ve built.”
Supporting Our Local Heritage
As a contractor with skills and expertise in historic restoration and refurbishment we have always taken a great interest in our local heritage in York and its sustainability. We do have a committee which donates to charities in the local area, for example one year the committee decided to make a special donation to the fund to help York’s most famous monument, the Minster. The appeal was to restore York Minster's East Front with its famous Great East Window, is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world.
Chris Birch, Chairman said "As a construction company, we are aware of the costs of carrying out a project like this and, as a York firm, we want to support something that is so important to the character of the city. We used to be based near the Minster, so we've always felt a close relationship with the cathedral."
Over and above any Company charitable giving, employees have instigated their own charitable activities such as sponsored walks, marathons, race nights and dragon boat racing leading to regular donations to local charities of their choice.
Not only has William Birch consistently trained many employees for work within the company, but a significant proportion have moved on to set up businesses of their own and in turn employed more local people.
Carrying out a wide range of project sizes allows William Birch to identify and use the services of many smaller traders on smaller contracts and then this enables them to grow their businesses as they take on larger projects with us.