We know that we play a central role in the communities in which we operate. Our venues often serve as a social hub, and our Mecca clubs in particular are a key place for interaction amongst our older cohort of customers. Having established close ties with local residents, charities and groups during the pandemic, it was important to us that we maintained those connections and utilised our position to facilitate even more positive outcomes for these communities.
At club level the nature of the charitable activities undertaken is driven by local need, from providing spaces in our venues for groups to use as meeting places or for events, to employees fundraising for charitable causes that are close to their hearts. This venue-based approach resonates with our employees, creating tangible impact in the communities which they are often a part of themselves.
As well as our localised initiatives, we have a long-standing, Group-wide partnership with Carers Trust in the UK, and this year alone raised £283,000 for the charity. We established Rank Cares Grants, a grant programme to which carers can apply to receive. The grants are offered under three brackets: Carers Essentials Fund, contributing to the cost of vital equipment such as washing machines, cookers, fridge freezers or beds; Carers Take Time Out Fund, offering carers time out from caring to relax, do something for themselves and recharge their batteries; and Carers Skills Fund, enabling carers to learn new skills to help them with caring or to return to work.
Our efforts were recognised at the 2023 European Casino Awards, where we won the Corporate Community Engagement Award.