Employing 16,000 people in nine countries, William Hill is now an international business but we are also a very local one, making an active contribution to the local communities in which we operate.
We make a positive contribution to local economies by offering flexible employment, contributing a substantial amount a year in taxes, in providing a meeting place for members of local communities to take part in an enjoyable pastime, in contributing to and sponsoring a wide range of sports and in supporting our colleagues’ efforts to raise funds for charities.
Our community activities are carefully selected for a number of reasons, including giving back to the industry and communities in which we operate, and also to help those in hardship. At the same time, our approach promotes the very best development in our colleagues and encourages them to be generous with their time and efforts for worthwhile causes.
William Hill makes a substantial contribution to the communities in which we operate and to the industries that are supported by ours.
Our principal charitable donation each year is to the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT), an independent charity, to fund the research, education and treatment of problem gambling. In 2014, we donated £940,000 to the RGT.
In addition, we support colleagues’ fundraising activities through matched donations, which totalled over £41,000 in 2014. Our colleagues are amazingly generous with their time and money, raising funds for numerous personal and local charitable causes. We support their tremendous efforts by matching the money they raise through a scheme overseen by the William Hill Foundation.
Betting and sport have a long joint heritage. Since the 1960s, the UK bookmaking industry has supported the racing industry with a payment levied on our revenues from UK horseracing. Today, we pay up to 10.75% of UK horseracing revenues from our shops together with significant sponsorship investments and, more importantly, very substantial payments for TV pictures from the race tracks that are broadcast in our shops. Our UK horseracing sponsorships include the Ayr Gold Cup and the Kempton Winter Festival.
In addition, we pay a voluntary donation to the British Greyhound Racing Fund to help sustain that industry. Through our two greyhound stadia we assist with greyhound welfare, including funding an establishment that houses up to 25 dogs for up to three months with the intention of permanently re-homing them. We sponsor some of the leading greyhound racing events, including the Greyhound Derby and the All England Festival.
We are now the sponsor of a number of major sporting events and teams in the UK and around the world. We have a ground-breaking sponsorship deal with The Football Association as an ‘Official Supporter’ of the England football team, and ‘Official Supporter’ and ‘Official Betting Partner’ of the FA Cup. In Scotland, we are the ‘Official Betting Partner’ of the Scottish national football team, sponsor of the William Hill Scottish Cup and ‘Official Betting Partner of the Scottish Premier League’. We also sponsor the PDC’s World Darts Championship. In Australia, our sponsorships include the Brisbane Broncos rugby league football club and a number of racetracks, and in the US we sponsor the Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park racetrack in New Jersey.
Find out more about our Sponsorships, within the About us section.
Our work in Africa began in June 2012 when we set upon an ambitious undertaking to offer practical help to the rural Kenyan community of OlMaisor, a small pastoral village near the foot of Mount Kenya.
Project Africa is improving the educational and medicinal facilities of the community, and ensure a clean water supply is available for all whilst developing and stretching William Hill people.
It is supported by the William Hill Foundation and its patron Robbie Savage. To date, William Hill colleagues have raised over £225,000 to support the project. The Foundation directors have created a plan to support the community over a further three years, enabling our investment and colleagues’ generous donations to be fully utilised and to ensure our commitment to sustainability is fulfilled.
For more information, please visit: www.williamhillprojectafrica.org.
Raising education standards
With improving education being our principal focus, our first project in October 2012 was to build a library. During 2013, we finished this work and spent thousands of pounds on stocking the library with a wide range of books. We have also employed and trained two librarians who manage the library six days a week.
In 2013, the main building project was to establish better quality accommodation for the teachers. Many of the teachers live on site during the week, commuting back to their families some distance away at the weekend. To enable teachers to live on site with their families, to make the school a more attractive location for new teachers and to give them a proper environment in which to prepare their lessons, we built eight houses, replacing the ramshackle mud huts they lived in before.
In 2014, we installed a computer room next to the library. The computers are specific desktops designed for the dusty environment as they have no moving parts. Computing skills will allow the children to compete against others from the cities for precious secondary school places.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of our Retail colleagues, we were able to supply every pupil with some essential kit: a pair of shoes, a school rucksack and a full set of stationery items. We are also now sponsoring four pupils a year to go on to secondary school education.
Water is life to this community. It’s also a real problem because the community relies on the river for water to drink, to wash in and for its animals, leaving many children sick with water-borne diseases. Medical facilities are almost non-existent in OlMaisor and they have to travel long distances to find medical help, for which locals have to pay. A significant amount of families’ disposable income is spent on medical care, money that is in short supply.
Our goal for 2013 was to provide a clean water supply for both the pupils and – for a minimal fee – the community, to reduce sickness, to cut the costs incurred by families for medical treatment and to increase pupils’ attendance rates at school. Our massive clean water project saw over 350 metres of oversize steel guttering fixed around every building on the school grounds and seven 10,000 litre water tanks put in place to capture rainfall. Two reservoirs were dug and fitted with linings, alongside a water tower that draws the water through a filtration system.
With this system in place, the next stage was education. We built ‘tip taps’ – simple hands-free kits for children to wash their hands – and set them up around the school and the latrines, then spent time with each class to teach them the importance of clean water and clean hands. In no time at all, the children themselves were encouraging each other and were delighted to receive a toothbrush and toothpaste kit each.
We have continued to turn our attention to the issue of food, after seeing for ourselves the tragic cases of children who are malnourished or – in some cases – starving. Having watched the school cook heat the daily lunch of maize and chickpeas over an open fire in a fire hazard of an old wooden hut, we got to work on activating a bio gas facility, fed with animal dung. Now, she has a clean, concrete kitchen and functioning bio gas hobs on which to cook lunch.
In 2014, the final project team travelled to OlMaisor in Kenya to help build a medical facility at the school.
Our Different Perspectives initiative, which initially focused on developing women managers of the future, moved on to encouraging managers to develop the balance in their lives between working, playing, giving and learning. An initial group of 50 managers gave their time to a variety of charities, most with a personal or local connection to William Hill colleagues.
The programme also supports William Hill colleagues working with specific charities to help those in need of guidance and support, and particularly disadvantaged young people. To date we have established key relationships with charities including Demelza Children`s Hospice, Greatwood Retired Racehorses, Cerebral Palsy Sport, Catch 22, Ziv Neurim, Sick Childrens Trust, Wobbles, Animals in Need (Spain), Caritas (Spain) , Israeli Sports Centre for Disabled, Extern N. Ireland, Sheltered homes for youths Bulgaria, United Way Nevada, YCSA/Columba 1400 Scotland, and Leeds Ahead.