RPS & TREE AID Win Major Third Sector Partnership Award

 RPS & TREE AID Win Major Third Sector Partnership Award

Erik van Deurssen receives the Thomas Bedford Memorial Prize from Karen Bufton of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.

The Bongo River Trees Project has now contributed to TREE AID winning high-level recognition for its humanitarian work in sub-Saharan Africa and its first major award. RPS has received public recognition for its charity work for the first time. The Charity Partnership Award has been won jointly by both organisations in the ‘energy and industrial’ award category.

The Business Charity Awards 2016 was hosted by Third Sector Magazine and organised by their publishers, Haymarket Media Group.

These awards recognise the valuable charity work of corporations and charities working together and are judged by an independent panel of 28 judges. The panel looks for strong working relationships between business and charity where there is relevant common ground; effective, successful and transferable models that make a positive difference such as influencing policies or practices; and partnerships which have lasting benefits for beneficiaries.

Tree Aid’s Marian Rose and RPS Business Information Manager Douglas Lamont accepted the award.

Douglas Lamont thanked TREE AID for offering RPS Group and its staff the opportunity to make an enormous difference to the education, life prospects and degraded environments of people living in some of the poorest, most vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa or indeed anywhere on earth. He also thanked RPS Group Plc’s long-standing CEO, Dr Alan Hearne, for not only signing all the cheques but for actively encouraging the relationship between TREE AID and RPS so it could thrive in an atmosphere of confidence, collaborative creativity and considerable ambition. ”It’s been inspiring for all of us” he said.

TREE AID was established by a not-for-profit humanitarian organisation originally a team of forestry professionals in 1987 in response to famine in Ethiopia – with the aim of helping to create long-lasting solutions to repair the damage caused by drought. The Bongo River Trees Project in Upper East Ghana is one of a series of projects run by the partnership of RPS and Tree Aid working with communities in rural Africa to develop sustainable reforestation, improving soil quality and flood risk management and building a better environment for future generations. Such projects work with rural communities helping them to take ownership and responsibility for their local environment, sharing knowledge and skills. Long-term project results are already showing in improved environmental conditions and greater scope for local, sustainable trade.

RPS was initially approached by the charity as a leading multidisciplinary environmental and energy consultancy that could be interested in helping to fund charity projects. RPS has been able to not only fund some of Tree Aid’s biggest projects but also provide global expertise on environmental management and professional ground and ecological surveying and engineering services from professional volunteers. Tree Aid’s West Africa staff, Bongo District communities and RPS volunteers have worked closely together sharing knowledge, skills and training to underpin the physical delivery of the planting and weirs.

Bongo River Trees has focussed not only upon the matter of appropriate strategic vegetation planting to strengthen river banks and withstand and prevent erosion, but also to plan and develop weirs to retain water during the rainy season – reducing surface flooding damage and raise the water table – allowing for a greater supply of water available for supporting newly planted trees and shrubs, agriculture and livestock.

The Business Charity Awards 2016 are a part of Fundraising Week.