Caer Las is very aware of its responsibilities both internally and to others, acknowledging how we may impact upon the communities and the environment in which we operate.
The Board and executive teams lead by example in this regard; continuously integrating our CSR concerns into day to day work. The Board make certain that proper organisational structures exist to identify, follow and manage all CSR matters and performance as are pertinent to the organisation.
Caer Las is a Welsh, charitable company, operating in the third sector.
We work with people who encounter barriers and exclusion to social networks and mainstream services; for example, people whose lives can be traumatised by homelessness, poverty, mental ill health or substance misuse.
We provide accommodation, support, advice, and advocacy, together with training and learning opportunities. We support people to gain confidence and self-esteem in order to build the life they want.
[Taken from our Memorandum of Association]
The objects for which the Association is established is the relief of poverty, sickness and old age in particular (but without in any way limiting the generality of the foregoing words) for the relief of poverty of persons who by reason of mental or physical infirmity are unable to fulfil their duties as citizens or their obligations to their employer
- We believe that everyone has the strength to help themselves
- We treat people with dignity and without judgement
- We are committed to equality in everything we do
- We are driven by the challenge of always putting the client at the centre of everything we do
We are accountable to:
- The clients we are constituted to serve
- Our trustee board
- Our employees and volunteers
- The statutory and independent bodies that fund or commission our work
- Partner Organisations
- The communities in which we work
- The charities commission and other regulatory bodies, e.g. Companies House, CSSIW
- Health & Safety Executive
In remaining accountable we are bound by:
- Our Articles of Association
- Our Memorandum of Association
- The contracts that regulate our work
- The laws and statutory regulations of the UK and Welsh Government
- Our Health & Safety Obligations
- Our Environmental Considerations
- Our Values
Our approach to accountability reflects that of the Charity Commission’s:
“accountability is a charity’s response to the legitimate information needs of its stakeholders”
We are committed to the provision of clear, coherent, transparent and qualitative information to our stakeholders. We also encourage feedback and comment on our work. We are committed to continuous improvement of the services we offer, both internally and externally
Our publicly available information provides clarity, to all those who have a stake in the organisation:
- With regards to our purpose, identity and values
- That resources are being properly used to support our purpose
- How well we provide value for money in everything that we do
- That we have clear procedure to manage and ensure continuous improvements to the quality of our services
- That we are committed to co-production, feedback and good communication
The Clients We Are Constituted To Serve
The purpose for the charities existence is to provide services to its clients. The charity’s mantra is to put the client at the centre of all we do. This is ensured by beginning each new piece of work with clients by understanding their hoped for outcomes from service, and continually monitoring progress against this in subsequent conversations. This activity is recorded as part of the support planning process, and evaluated when the service reaches a conclusion.
Additionally clients are invited to participate in project annual reviews, where they can give feedback in the presence of commissioners and funders.
Our Trustee Board
Our Trustee Board are legal guardians of the charity’s finances. As such the Executive and the Co Secretary ensure that the board are furnished with timely and appropriate information to allow the Board to effectively scrutinise the performance of the organisation in line with the expectations of our clients, as well as our commissioners and funders. The Board are also given adequate opportunity via appropriate process to discharge all of the legal duties, including formulating the organisation's overarching strategy. The Executive team and the Co Secretary ensure that the Board meet regularly, where they have appropriate agendas papers and minutes.
Our Employees and Volunteers
Caer Las has a formal communications strategy that ensures that staff within the organisation experience opportunities to contribute to the organisation’s decision making, receive appropriate support and supervision, and have the chance to feedback on their experience.
The Statutory and Independent Bodies that Fund or Commission our Work
People who invest in the services provided by Caer Las have a number of mechanisms to review, comment, and scrutinise the work of the charity:
- Regular reports
- Formal review meetings
- Project Audits
- Published Accounts
Partner agencies can involve formal or informal relationships. Our accountability to partners is fulfilled by:
- Openness and transparency regarding the Governance of Caer Las
- Regular meetings and information exchanges
- Adherence to legal or formal documentation between partners, such as Memorandum of Understanding, Service Level Agreements, Leases or Licences.
The Communities where we Work
Interaction with our communities is of fundamental importance, and employees are encouraged to engage positively with the local communities in which they operate.
In order to foster constructive relationships with communities where our projects are located, staff are encouraged to have open dialogues, that sit alongside formal feedback and complaints procedures. We attempt to foster good relationship with [but not exclusively]:
- Local neighbourhoods
- Local politicians and councillors
- Local residents and other interested groups
- Local organisations
- Local businesses
Community Investment and Community Benefits
The organisation will aim to develop beneficial relationships with communities and will combine community investment considerations into decision-making and operational practices. Wherever the organisation operates, we will endeavour to provide employment and economic opportunities in the community.
Our commitment to community and social responsibility is about delivering benefits to both the organisation and society, and to work continually to improve the positive impact of our Charity. We commit to carry out our activities in a socially responsible way and uphold the following key principles:
- to treat employees fairly and equitably
- to operate ethically and with integrity
- to respect basic human rights
- to sustain the environment for future generations
- to be a caring neighbour in the community
To support these objectives, we adopt a Community Benefits Method Statement that evolves to complement the organisation as we develop and grow. The Method Statement covers five key initiatives:
- Training & Employment
- Supply Chain
- Community Initiatives
- Environmental Considerations
Areas of priority, current targets, action plans to achieve targets and assigned responsibilities are outlined in the Method Statement.
The Charities Commission and other Regulatory Bodies, e.g. Companies House, CSSIW
Caer Las is obliged to return annual audit and accounts to The Charity Commission and Companies House. We also run projects regulated by the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales. We may from time to time be subject to audits, project visits, formal reporting, attendance at the committees of public bodies, or other regulatory inspection as is required.
We aim to ensure that requisite information is always provided within the expected and required timescales, be of sufficient quality, and where recommendations are highlighted they are implemented in a timely manner.
Health & Safety Executive and Environmental Considerations
We aim to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all our employees, outside contractors and visitors. The company complies with all relevant local legislation or regulations, and best practice guidelines recommended by national health and safety authorities. We also liaise with staff regarding our policies and practices so that we can continue to maintain a healthy, safe and enjoyable environment.
Working to our Environmental Management Policy, we will strive to advance responsible environmental practices and continue to improve our performance in this area.
All of our staff and volunteers are responsible for helping to work in a safe workplace and for operating in an environmentally accountable manner.
Chief Executive Officer