Sunderland housing company gets top marks

A community event hosted by Gentoo at Easington Lane.
A community event hosted by Gentoo at Easington Lane.
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A Sunderland housing company has clinched top marks for its work with the community.

Gentoo achieved 100% in the Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index.

Our staff are at the heart of everything we do and we are so proud of the difference they have made

John Craggs

This earns the Wearside company five stars and is the third consecutive year that Gentoo has achieved this high rating.

The index measures how businesses are integrating responsible business practice into all aspects of how they operate.

Over the past year, Gentoo says they have dedicated themselves to improving local communities and inspiring the people within them.

They have contributed almost 2,500 hours of volunteering time to make a difference in local communities, donated to a number of causes aiming to help the less fortunate and awarded 72 aspire grants to individuals and community groups.

Creating new opportunities for people to learn and develop has always been a priority for Gentoo and in 2016, 20 apprentices were recruited with a further 10 vacancies in 2017.

Gentoo is currently also holding the eighth year of the Genfactor competition, which inspires young people to take part in performing arts and gives them a chance to build their confidence.

John Craggs, chief executive officer at Gentoo, said: “We believe that being a responsible business starts with our vision and values. It’s about how we translate our values of working together and doing the right thing to inspire people and build strong communities.

“In order to make a tangible and sustained impact staff must be committed to the responsible business agenda.

“Our staff are at the heart of everything we do and we are so proud of the difference they have made.

“Gentoo will continue to work alongside other businesses in the future as well as its supply chain to ensure best practice is shared so as to continue being a proud ambassador of the responsible business agenda.”

In order to achieve their aim of building stronger communities, Gentoo has a team that supports perpetrators of anti-social behaviour (ASB), alongside this, they have a partnership with the BIG project which aims to help perpetrators of domestic abuse to change their behaviour.

Gentoo also offers a wide range of support to their employees.

It has 28 domestic abuse champions and 45 mental health first aiders who are trained to recognise the early warning signs of abuse and mental ill health and offer support.

The company is also the only organisation in the North East to be awarded the Stonewall Star Performer for their consistent strong approach to LGBT workplace inclusivity.