Creating opportunities through sport
We believe that sport can have a hugely positive influence on the lives of young people.
We are committed to working in partnership with organisations who can provide platforms that benefit people who want to participate and excel in their chosen sport.
William Hill also make substantial contributions to sport through levy and media rights payments into horseracing and greyhound racing, as well as exploring sponsorship opportunities.
Everton in the Community
We have partnered with Everton in the Community to create a Youth Zone evening programme to engage young people in the Merseyside area in Sport. The Youth Zone works with young people aged 5-19 years old who are living in poverty, at risk of being criminally exploited, in care or at risk of entering the care system.
The programme gives them the opportunity to experience fun activities, improve physical wellbeing and also to explore family and personal difficulties to help enhance their emotional security.
In 2017, the programme saw a total of 118 sessions delivered in football, dance, fitness and karate, engaging 161 different individuals. 128 of those individuals have been retained and are attending sessions each week, increasing their physical activity by at least 150 hours per week.
Through follow up research with the Children’s Society, it has been recorded that the young people on the programme had demonstrated improved self-esteem and confidence as a result of the Youth Zone.
The researchers said they felt the ‘young people had a shield around them being involved in the programme, even though they were facing challenging life events'.
Support for Sport
In 2017, we made our overall Horseracing levy payment was over £19million, and we have sponsorship deals as the Official Betting Partners for Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton and sponsor the William Hill World Darts Championship.
We also have a partnership with Matchroom Boxing which has seen us sponsor Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua fights this year, including his bout against Wladimir Klitsckho at Wembley Stadium.
Haringey Box Cup
As the main official supporter of the Haringey Box Cup, the largest International amateur boxing competition, we help provide an opportunity to young boxers from across the world to compete in the 3 day annual event at Alexandra Palace.
In the 4 Box Cups since we partnered with the tournament through Close to HOME, 350 different clubs and 700 different boxers have been able to compete at the event.
We have had a presence at the event over the 4 years where we run competitions to find out from visitors and boxing clubs how we can support their area through Close to HOME.
As a result, we have supported the Double Jab Boxing Club in Newham, Rumbles Boxing Academy in Sittingbourne and the Solly Boxing Club in Liverpool through Close to HOME projects; these involved fundraising, carrying out renovation on the surrounding area of the gym, and running an employability sessions with boxing club members.
We have continued our commitment to support the Haringey Box Cup for 2019.
Promoting skills and opportunity
As one of the largest employers in the betting industry, William Hill offers a huge range of career paths across our Group functions, as well as our Retail estate of over 2,300 shops.
Working with a number of organisations that specialise in getting people back into employment is therefore a natural fit for us a company. This approach has also given William Hill colleagues’ the opportunity to share their learnings and skills with individuals so they can further their careers, either with William Hill or elsewhere.
Since Close to HOME was launched in 2015, we have run 19 programmes across the UK providing employability skills to people of all ages across the country.
Just under 200 individuals have been through these programmes gaining employability skills through the company, with 106 of those finding employment with the company.
We partner with Our Club, a social enterprise organisation that provides employability and work experience training for people of all ages who have been out of work.
The programmes build confidence in the candidates through a series of workshops, work experience and interview training over a 3 week period. At the end of the programme, candidates are then prepared for their final interview for a job at William Hill.
‘The programme was great preparation for the interview with William Hill. I’m normally really bad at interviews but the Our Club experience gave me confidence and communication skills that helped me so much in the final interview. I’m now starting to move around different shops, learning new skills and meeting new customers, from whom I’ve had some really positive feedback.’
Evon, William Hill Our Club graduate
In 2017 we ran two joint Small Business Accountancy Courses in partnership with the Chelsea Foundation. The courses, delivered by an AAT accountancy qualified trainer at Stamford Bridge, provides adults who are looking to start up their own business with basic accountancy skills to help them maintain solvency in the medium to long term of their business cycle.
Members of the William Hill accounts and estates teams delivered workshops over the course to provide financial skills to help the group manage their businesses whilst they are starting out.
We now have plans to deliver an employability programme in partnership with the Foundation, commencing in September 2018
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation
We have run bespoke work experience programmes as part of our ongoing partnership with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
As part of our sponsorship deal with the club, we provide the Foundation with a £100,000 grant to provide meaningful job opportunities in the London Borough of Haringey, where we have had a significant Retail and Office presence over a number of years.
Improving the local environment
We partner with a number of organisations to help strengthen systems of support for people in our local communities.
Our partnership with the SFA on their ‘Support Within Sport’ Initiative looks to support people who are at risk or who are suffering with symptoms related to increased anxiety and stress.
Our work with major national charities such as the Bobby Moore Fund and Prostate Cancer UK has enabled us to use our significant presence in Retail to run awareness campaigns around diseases that are particularly prevalent in the UK and in our local communities.
This has involved promoting relevant information to our customers, colleagues and their families, which encourages them to seek support from their GP if they have any concerns about their health.
Scottish Football Association (SFA) mental health initiative
William Hill is now in our second year of supporting the ground-breaking work that the SFA, the National Stadium Sports Medicine Centre and PFA Scotland are engaged in as part of their Support within Sport Mental Health Treatment Pathway. The initiative followed a study, which showed that a significant number of footballers in Scotland were suffering from mental health issues.
The programme provides confidential access for players, managers and coaches to a variety of mental health services.
Impact data received from the first year of the programme has shown that to date 123 people have made contact with the service, including 7 coaches and 2 referees.
Following 3–6 months of specialist clinical support, individuals demonstrated significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety and depressive illness.
We also launched a ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’ Community 5 a side league in partnership with all SFA clubs to raise awareness of the initiative.
Prostate Cancer UK
In May 2018, we launched a partnership in Scotland with Prostate Cancer UK to raise awareness and funds for the charity.
Over a 3 month period, prostate cancer information and leaflets will be available within all 310 William Hill shops in Scotland, awareness videos will be played on the screens, and all colleagues are receiving training on key prostate cancer message to bring up in conversation with customers.
We will be fundraising for the charity through the selling of the charity’s ‘Man of Men’ pin badges over the counter, and also hosting collection tins in every shop. Colleagues are also arranging ‘Kilt Walks’ across the region to raise further funds.