Good News Series – Wilmington’s Simon Rodgers, Head of Inclusion & Sustainability Back to previous

Good News Series – Wilmington’s Simon Rodgers, Head of Inclusion & Sustainability

Author: Interviewed by Charlotte Wiseman


Aldgate Connect Business Improvement District (BID) and Charlotte Wiseman Leadership & Wellbeing Consultants have collaborated to create the Good News Series – an initiative to inspire and promote well-being throughout the City.

Coming up second in the series, we hear from Simon Rodgers, Head of Inclusion & Sustainability at Wilmington PLC, interviewed by Charlotte Wiseman.

What first brought you to work in the area?
I have worked in the City for quite a few years and I really enjoy the vibrancy and the range of opportunities. Particularly in Aldgate, it’s an incredibly vibrant area and it really is fascinating, and I love the area and the community here.

What three words would you use if you were going to describe the Aldgate area?
Exciting, vibrant and diverse.

What do you love about working at Wilmington PLC?
I have a really special job, and I get to do what I love, which is being around people and diversity. I help to create an environment that is inclusive for everyone who works here, and that is a huge part of what we do here. We also have a sustainability agenda and the people that we have here at Wilmington PLC are crucial to that, and I love being a part of it. It’s important to remember that sustainability stretches way beyond the office, and out into the community.

Which initiative is most close to your heart?
I’m incredibly passionate about the Charity and Community Policy. As an organisation, we encourage colleagues to apply for fund matching for any fundraising activities, and offer two volunteer days per year to encourage successful and meaningful experiences personal to them. This policy really gets people out into the community, doing things that they are passionate about. Whether that’s as an individual or as a part of the team, our employees can find out more about the area around them and contribute to their communities.

With the Charity and Community Policy, we don’t specify that people have to work with a registered charity, it can be anything that is important to them. This means the range of impact we can have is very diverse, and people have the opportunity to think about what’s important to them and can encourage others to get involved. The policy is open and it’s broad.

Are there any stories you can share that might inspire other people?
There are many stories, all very diverse. We had someone who is a carer, and actually being able to have the time to do something that they wanted to do, and support other carers was really important to them, and I could really see the impact that this had. Being a carer comes with the challenge of a very busy work life balance, and it was great to be able to give them space. Other people have gone to support the Commonwealth games in Birmingham, so we have people contributing in a huge range of things.

Personally, I use my leave to sit as a Magistrate to dispense justice in the local area, which is something I’m very passionate about and it’s wonderful that this is supported by Wilmington PLC.

What challenges have you faced?
I would love to see that more people within the community or charities reach out to us, we are always looking for ways we can contribute and we have the capacity to do so. I would like people to know that other organisations in the area also want to support the community. A common question that I get asked is people wondering who needs help, and where they can make a difference.

Another challenge would be communicating to colleagues the enjoyment volunteering can bring. It creates a sense of social value and has been shown to increase wellbeing at work. I often get asked lots of questions about the initiative and how they should use it. We want our employees to know that they can choose what’s important to them and use the time as they see fit. We all fall into the trap of not taking time out from work when it’s busy, but it’s so important to do this. It is beneficial for individuals to take time out of their work time to do something different, sometimes being able to hang out with colleagues in a different environment. I believe it’s really important for well-being too.

So, what’s next?
We have lots of plans in place, and I’m always very focussed on the local communities, sharing more of our stories and what our people are doing. We’re always looking for more and more ways to support and engage with people inside and outside of the walls.

If you were going to give three tips, something similar?

  1. Work on making sure your initiatives are exciting, and this will help you to encourage people to get involved.
  2. Keep it simple. Simplicity is often hard to achieve, especially when looking at charities and community work, you can get caught up in a lot of complexity.
  3. Engage with people! People within and people outside of your organisation.

If you’re within the area and you’d like to reach out to Wilmington PLC for support, they have a huge range of skills and are keen to contribute. You can do this here.

We hope this has inspired you and we encourage you to keep an eye out on more Good News Series coming your way monthly! You can read the first interview of the Good News Series here. If you would like to be involved with the Good News Series, get in touch with Aldgate Connect’s BID Director, Zoe Barwick via email or LinkedIn.

About Simon Rodgers:
Simon Rodgers is a highly skilled and experienced diversity, equity, and inclusion leader. Simon enables organisations to realise the commercial value of equity, diversity and inclusion, while developing strategic interventions to deliver the best employee experience and social impact.

About Wilmington PLC:
Wilmington PLC is a publishing firm and provider of information and training, specialising in compliance, legal and healthcare publications. Wilmington PLC provides high quality Intelligence with a complementary range of Training & Education solutions through customer-led product management culture, and the cross-industry expertise allows the company to deliver solutions that are high value, up to date, and responsive to change.

About Aldgate Connect BID:
Aldgate Connect is a Business Improvement District (BID) set up in April 2020, raising £3.9 million over 5 years being invested back into the local area. With a vast array of cultures, businesses and places to enjoy, it makes this area one of the most diverse and exciting places to be, work, visit and live. Together with the local authority partners, (City of London Corporation and London Borough of Tower Hamlets) and other key stakeholders, the BID works with the businesses and community to enhance it as a destination for all. Inspiration and inclusivity are at the heart of the BID’s ambitions – working on programmes and projects that make it a more appealing, welcoming, stronger and safer area.

Charlotte Wiseman Leadership & Wellbeing Consultants:
An international consultancy that supports companies to apply positive psychology in the workplace helping people to think, feel and perform their best, and businesses to improve engagement, performance and retention. Drawing on over 35 years of empirical research, global experience and a unique methodology, their work focuses on two main areas; leadership development & employee wellbeing so everyone can optimise their mental fitness, enjoying better results and greater workplace satisfaction.