The year 2021 proved to be also very challenging for social and community activities within the Corinthia Group. The COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the different national protocols and Corinthia’s own internal regulations restricted physical contact and frustrated events which normally involved gatherings for fund-raising and sharing a good time with those who are in need.
Naturally, virtual contact was resorted to, but in some cases it proves to be a very poor alternative. During this trying period, many hotels and members of the Group increased their efforts to help members of the staff who needed assistance. They also felt a particular urge to brighten the morale and instil a strong camaraderie and togetherness amongst all employees. This latter need acquired a sui generis meaning of a social activity when in other times it would have been merely considered an internal staff exercise.
Yet some have admitted that these challenging periods have made them more acutely conscious of the necessity to be active in assisting others in need. Thus, for example, Corinthia London has decided to partner with one of the top rate consultancies called BRE to work with them a proper CSR strategy for an all-encompassing approach, including, responsible sourcing, sustainability, philanthropy, charity, staff welfare, social community engagement etc.
Conscious that staff required also tender loving care as a social duty, Corinthia London has, during the lockdowns, created its own virtual program to stay connected with all employees. Under the name Corinthia Connects, it offered colleagues the opportunity for 5 days a week to stay engaged and connected via daily zoom sessions, covering topics, such as Corinthia gets Healthy, with classes or healthy lifestyle tips; Corinthia does DYI, sharing and showing tips in and around the house; Corinthia Eats & Drinks, dealing with cocktail making to cooking classes; Corinthia Educates, informing the team about the hospitality industry and Corinthia’s competition; and Corinthia Entertains, offering interactive quizzes with the team. With this commitment, Corinthia London entered the Caterer People Awards and was declared winner of the ‘Employee Engagement’ category.
In Budapest, Corinthia did not fail to assist the Robert Burns International Foundation, which ensures that sick Hungarian children receive much-needed support. Instead of physical participation, they delivered exclusive take-away meal boxes, which included traditional food and drinks. All proceeds from the sale of the food boxes went to children’s hospitals in Hungary.
Corinthia Budapest also assisted Beyond the Moon by contributing vouchers to be raffled, and donating all proceeds to the Beyond the Moon Foundation in Malta, which offers free holidays to families with seriously ill children.
It also assisted the yearly Xpatloop Bonfire Night, which is an international community fundraising party in Budapest organised by expats together with cosmopolitan locals from local business, diplomatic, and cultural circles in Hungary. Vouchers provided by Corinthia were raffled and proceeds were directed to the Csodalampa Foundation which realises around 300 wishes every year to ill children.
At the close of 2021, Corinthia Budapest participated as a collection point in a countrywide clothing collection campaign in support of the Hungarian Red Cross’ mission to assist various residences, homeless shelters and families’ temporary homes.
Panorama Hotel Prague participated in Do prace na kole (On a bike to work), which is a project that supports green travelling. If one cannot ride a bike, one can walk or run instead. The aim is to travel to and from work each day of the month of May and collect green kilometres which are used for good causes.
Several colleagues in this hotel also participated in the Teribear Run. This year, one could run on his own and not join the crowd. Kilometres still counted to be changed into money for children in need. They also participated in Run for Svetluska, a foundation that helps blind or visually impaired people.
Panorama also organised for the sixth year, a charitable event for the foundation Moje Velke Prani (My big wish) which fulfils wishes for elderly people who are very ill or do not have anyone who could help them. These wishes are normally a crave for some special experience, like visiting a theatre, meeting a famous person, riding a horse etc.
It also participated in the project O krok, which works with different companies to assist people with different disabilities to return to regular work. Part of the project involves a visit from a so-called ‘trouble gang’ who visits the work- place and explores the amenities and features. Some of the ‘gang’ would be suffering from different disabilities, so in their visit they examine if they could work with that company. Their report would then trace the right person to join, after an interview and on-the-job training.
The Peninsula Hotels – Corinthia St George’s Bay, Radisson St Julians, and Marina Hotel organised several joint activities. Here are some of them:
Bay and Pembroke clean-up during May: This joint initiative to clean their surrounding area was strongly supported by the NGO, Iz-Zibel, and a considerable amount of waste, including plastic material, was collected.
Pink October fund raising activity in support of Marigold Malta was organised by HR department for #PinkOctober, whilst Animal awareness month to support AAA (Association for Abandoned Animals) was organised where employees donated re-used materials like clothes, pillows, sheets etc.
Donations were made to Len & Jacob Wellness Fund to assist twin boys with a rare health condition, whilst food donation was made to Food Bank Lifeline Foundation, whose belief is that ‘no child or adult should ever experience hunger’, thus doing their uttermost to ensure that these people have enough. This is an annual event organised by HR where donations of food help and support families in need.
Radisson St Julians also led a team to paint the Selmun Family Park in Mellieha and gave it a much needed lift up for young residents in that area.
Corinthia Khartoum once again organised an Outside Cleaning Campaign, which involves collecting wastage, debris in the hotel outside perimeter to preserve clean environment. The latest campaign involved 35 employees and it is now the fourteenth time since the initiative was first launched in 2017.
In collaboration with IVWG (International Voluntary Welfare Group – Sudan), Corinthia Khartoum also sponsored 60 ladies for their event in May 2021. This Group, which was established in 1965, is a team of volunteers from all nationalities, working together to provide support to the poor and the needy, mostly women and children in the three towns of Khartoum, identifying urgent community needs and raising funds to meet those needs.
QP worked on a number of social initiatives with the main objective to firstly help colleagues and their respective families. QP launched the Welfare Fund & Vacation Leave Policy to help colleagues in need, especially when the going gets tough and they suffer extraordinary distress. This is an expression of solidarity with each colleague and aims at ensuring the welfare of all staff. Each staff member contributes a monthly amount from the salary and the Company tops it up at the end of the year. QP have created a protocol and a fund application through which those colleagues who are experiencing particular difficulties which qualify under the terms of the fund, can apply for assistance. Each case is screened and assessed by a committee and if a particular case qualifies, certain funds are made available.
QP have also launched the provision of counselling and psychological services to staff in difficulty through Richmond Foundation, and are currently studying the provision of assistive devices to autistic and blind children through the Malta Trust Foundation, which encourages vulnerable young people to improve their lives through education and training. The assistance would consist of custom-made devices, adequate to the particular needs of each and every child. So far, they have seen some amazing results, to the extent that one blind student is now studying sound engineering. Another blind student is playing the piano, whilst another student who is non-verbal and on the autism spectrum has actually written a book. QP is in discussion with Blood Bank Malta about the possibility of organising a visit by a Blood Bank mobile unit to QP and neighbouring companies. The Blood Bank ensures an adequate supply of blood, free from diseases, readily available for the major hospitals in Malta.
Corinthia St Petersburg has continued its support for SOS Children’s Villages, the international non-profit non-governmental charity organisation which helps orphans. To avoid physical contact, this year a good number of large fruit baskets with boxes of candies and cookies have been be delivered to every house in the Village.
In view of COVID-19 difficulties, Corinthia St Petersburg have recognised the need to retain high spirit within the staff and hence have introduced some initiatives for this purpose, such as continuing with more emphasis the Colleagues Social Media Page in VK.com (equivalent of Facebook in Russia) which is continuously being used as a hub of internal communication, news sharing and space for colleagues’ engagement. Besides displaying points of interest, links to useful articles about healthy lifestyle, food, sport, culture and colleagues’ wellbeing, they also include uplifting posters related to work and personal life. They also distribute every Monday, Colleagues Pages, an internal booklet of two pages used by teams on the floor for departmental briefings as well as those who work remotely or currently on sick leave to feel connected and learn about current hotel life. They have also introduced in spring 2021 a Colleagues eLearning Library, which is an online learning hub for the team with links to free online courses on subjects that are very much in demand across the hotel, thus giving colleagues the chance to learn at their own pace and in their own way, even when circumstances force them to absent themselves from work.
Corinthia Lisbon has donated slippers to Acreditar Foundation, which is responsible for monitoring the legislative situation for supporting children with cancer and their families.
They have also handed out blankets to Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, (the Municipal Council of Lisbon) to help homeless people, donated food on a daily basis to Refood Benfica, which offers help to the most needy in the parish, and have also provided blankets and clothes to Vida e Paz Community, which offers sterling help for the homeless. During confinement, a food bank was created internally with the aim of helping the neediest families.
Raddison Blu Golden Sands. The pastry workshop and other employee recreational areas have been fitted to be wheelchair accessible, following the recruitment of an ITS student who is wheelchair bound.
In February 2021, a clean-up of Golden Bay was organised in collaboration with the NGO ‘ For a Better Environment – Mellieha’.
In another initiative, Coast is Clear, which was co-funded, Raddison Blu Golden Sands assisted environmentalist Mark Galea Pace in a clean-up campaign and also had members of staff join him for a day.
They organised an Elderly Home Sunset Outing on the Agliolio Restaurant terrace for some elderly people who had been confined to their care homes for 13 months, and also hosted the public beach cleaners at the AglioIo Restaurant to thank them for their sterling work in keeping the Golden Bay area clean.
They have also raised awareness during the month of October for Breast Cancer, with proceeds donated to Action for Breast Cancer Foundations.
Corinthia Tripoli resorted to creative ways how to assist staff and their families who found themselves in financial and humane difficulties.
Ramada Plaza Tunis have continued their participation in the Wyndham Green Project which strives to improve the health and sustainability of our planet with green– or eco-friendly – hotels and resorts.
We are proud to say that Corinthia has once again shown its gracious kindheartedness and unfailing compassion even when the going was tough.