Giving back to our communities ‒ the RX way.
September is Cares month at RX, when we join with our colleagues across RELX to focus on volunteering and fundraising – and to celebrate all those who selflessly devote their time to support our communities throughout the year. We highlight some of the many amazing ways our RXers have been making a difference to those in need.
RELX Cares is our global community programme which supports employee volunteering and charitable giving that makes a positive impact on society. Last year, 32% of RELX employees engaged in volunteering through RELX Cares (compared to an average volunteering rate of 8% for all sectors, according to Business for Societal Impact data). Together we contributed £20.6m to charities, encompassing cash, products, services and employee time ‒ but the benefits work both ways. 90% of RELX volunteers surveyed in 2021 said their motivation and pride in the company had increased as a result of volunteering, and 75% said their team spirit had increased as a result.
Caring for children in need
Caring for disadvantaged young people has long been a focus of RELX Cares activity – indeed in September RELX announced a new three-year, $150,000 global fundraising partnership with Save the Children.
In RX, our China colleagues kicked off their Cares Month activities on 9 September with a walkathon in support of Beijing Stars and Rain, China's first private, non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational services for children with autism, which RX been supporting since 2019. Employees, family members, friends and customers were invited to participate in the ‘Walk for Love’ which took the form of a WeChat steps donation campaign. 252 participants generated more than 28.5 million steps, raising RMB 5,000 for the school.
For the past three years, our China business has also supported the Shanghai BabyHome, a charity center providing medical assistance and rehabilitation care for severely sick orphans from all over the country. This year a dedicated team of RXers set to work hand-stitching drool towels for the babies, raising RMB 6,900 for the BabyHome. “Each stitch was filled with the love and the most sincere blessings for the babies to be healthy and happy” said volunteer Carol Tang.
Both charities also shared the RMB 8,837 receipts from a series of Pop-Up Markets held across our China offices on RELX Cares Day itself. All items for the market were donated by RXers – including ‘blind boxes’ donated by the leadership team and home-made sweets and treats, which quickly sold out.
While their China colleagues were stepping out for Stars and Rain, the UK’s Richmond office undertook a 700-minute Rowing Challenge in aid of Shooting Star Children Hospices. Since it began supporting Shooting Star in 2008, RX UK has raised £97,408.69 to support the hospices work caring for 700 babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
“This year our target was to collectively row 700 minutes - one minute for each of the 700 families that Shooting Star support” said UK Cares Champion, Sonia Gandhi. “We had a rowing machine in the hub, kindly provided by Nuffield Health Twickenham. By the end of the week, RXers collectively rowed 749 minutes.”
Combined with the takings of a cake sales on RELX Cares Day, the team raised a total of £663 for Shooting Star. A separate raffle organised by our UK based international sales team generated £515 in ticket sales for UNICEF. And a Book Drive by our St Albans office collected almost 500 books for Oxfam and the St Albans Rennie Grove Hospice Care charity. One outstanding individual, Adam Ridway, contributed 362 books alone. Now that’s what we call dedication to the cause!
Helping causes close to home
As part of RELX Cares, everyone within RX gets two full days paid leave each year to dedicate to their own community work, and many are inspired to get involved during RELX Cares Month, with a special focus on RELX Cares Day, Thursday 22 September.
UK based Global Marketing Manager Sarah Kitley-Spencer completed the 50K Thames Path Challenge in September to raise funds for the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust. Sarah’s grandmother Jean passed away at Treliske hospital during lockdown. “Sadly, we were not allowed to visit her to say goodbye, like many others who found themselves in the same very sad, frustrating position,” said Sarah. “Thankfully some lovely nurses were present at the time to hold her hand on her passing.”
Sarah’s mother is now receiving treatment for cancer by the same caring NHS team. Sarah almost doubled her £500 target, raising £968 “for Treliske’s amazing NHS staff and everyone who leans on them”. Sarah Kitley-Spencer is fundraising for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity (justgiving.com)
Supporting our event communities, year round
RELX Cares Month provides a focus for our fundraising and volunteering work – in fact, our event teams are hard at work throughout the year supporting their communities and local charities.
Every year, New York Comic Con holds an annual Charity Art Auction to support lifesaving research and treatment for the children of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. At the event, art enthusiasts bid for the chance to own a piece of original artwork generously donated by comic book artists attending the ReedPop event.
The auction is the brainchild of Global Comic Guest Manager Mike Negin who has been masterfully coordinating auctions at NYCC and C2E2 in Chicago for the past 10 years. This year’s NYCC auction, held on 8 October, raised a total of $74,130 bringing the cumulative total to over $840,201! In appreciation of ReedPop’s efforts, Mike was flown to St. Jude headquarters in Memphis to receive their ‘Event Coordinator of the Year Award’ and tour the hospital. “It was a truly humbling experience” he says. “I was honoured beyond words.”
Recognising those who care
As the annual focus for our volunteering efforts, RELX Cares Month is also a time to celebrate the efforts of those who go the extra mile to help others, through RELX’s annual ‘Recognising Those Who Care Awards.’
Ana Paula Dias de Carvalho from RX Brazil won this year’s Individual category for her proactive and motivational leadership of the RX Brazil Cares Team, winning $4,000 for a charity of her choice. One of Ana’s stand out initiatives was ‘Together for those who make it happen’. Launched in partnership with our fellow event organizers, the project provided food packages to contract and freelance event employees who were severely affected by the shutdown of the event industry in Brazil during the pandemic. Between April and December 2020 more than 56 tons of food were donated supporting more than 1,000 families, and in April 2021 the initiative was resumed until face to face events began to return in September 2021. Ana will receive five extra RELX Cares Days as well as a $4000 donation to a charity of her choice.
RX France were runners up in the Team category for their participation in the ‘Connected Against Hunger Challenge’ for Action Against Hunger. In July, 99 RXers across 10 teams challenged themselves with sporting activities including walking, running, cycling and yoga, logging their kilometres in the Connected Against Hunger app to earn points for their team. Together they raised over €9,600 for Action Against Hunger for which they will receive $2500 for a charity or NGO of their choice.
“Our partnership with Action Against Hunger goes back 10 years” explained Amrane Lamiri who helped to organise the challenge as part of the RX France Cares team. “Everyone competed with joy and humour, and we organised weekly updates for all our people (whether taking part in the challenge or not) around a delicious and vitamin-packed coffee and cake break, to unveil the latest team rankings and keep everyone motivated. The challenge was also a great opportunity for RX France to forge bonds, as every team was made up of members from different departments.”
Congratulations also go to RX Tradex Vietnam whose nominated charity, Go Vap District Association for the Blind, was one of five winners of the 2022 RELX Cares Challenge, which is aimed at encouraging employees to use their two volunteer days to make a difference and foster broader participation in the local community. The $5000 cash prize will go towards supporting 92 blind people who have had their ability to earn money through providing massages impacted by Covid-19.