site_authorenquiries@theprioryrooms.co.uk The Priory Rooms news 2017-04-20T19:47:00Q http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/feed/atom The Priory Rooms news feed running on finetune cms site_dscpn Corporate Social Responsibility… what does it really mean? http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/181 2017-04-20T19:47:00Q Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a term that’s bandied around quite frequently. Here at The Priory Rooms we like to think we tick the CSR box well and so we thought we’d look at the topic in further detail.

Priory_Rooms_-_Social_Media_-_CSR.jpg Firstly, we know CSR indicates something positive about the way a business operates, but what does CSR actually mean?...

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), also known as corporate conscience or responsible business, has many different definitions. How it is understood and put into practice varies from one context or company to another. In general though, CSR is a concept focussed on encouraging ethical, sustainable business that considers the social, economic and environmental impact, and has a positive impact on the wider society.

How does The Priory Rooms demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility?

As a social enterprise and a Quaker led, not-for-profit business, corporate social responsibility is closely aligned with our values around fair, ethical and sustainable business that contributes positively to social change.

Our primary focus of course is to provide all customers who use our meeting and conference facilities with an exceptional service. This in turn supports them in their work. Our flexible meeting spaces, varied catering options and competitive prices, see us taking bookings from all sectors, including a significant proportion from those in the government, public, health and charity sectors.

We put our profits to good use in various ways. Firstly, we reinvest an amount each year into maintaining and developing our building and facilities. Over recent years investments have resulted in upgrades to our lighting, seating and technology, ensuring the venue is fully equipped and comfortable for conferences and events. This summer we plan to have a new kitchen fitted, to support efficiency of our hospitality service. The main part of our building was constructed in the 1930s as Quaker Meeting House and so we ensure that renovations are sensitively undertaken to preserve the historic architecture of the building.

Secondly, we donate a large proportion of our profits to Central England Quakers which helps to support their community projects. Here in the West Midlands the projects we support include the Birmingham Peace Hub and the Northfield Ecocentre. The Quakers also support projects abroad, such as the Hope Project in Uganda, focusing on sharing peace building skills.

The Priory Rooms supports independent charities too, such as Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and Macmillan Cancer Support, by engaging in fundraising activities through the year. This has involved staff organising in-house cake sales and joining in street collections in the city centre. These events enable our staff and customers to support the work of local and national charities, as well as typically providing a delicious array of impressive cakes to sample!

Another way we exercise corporate social responsibility at The Priory Rooms is through our commitment to operating in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. We have a number of initiatives in place to achieve this including serving Fairtrade teas and coffees, providing meeting room water in recycled glass bottles, and supporting the Meat Free Monday campaign by offering an entirely vegetarian menu on Mondays. We minimise waste and recycle as much as possible, this includes harvesting rain water from the roof to flush a proportion of the ladies toilets. We’ve invested in various upgrades to the facilities too, such as improvements to the buildings insulation and installing energy efficient LED lighting, all to reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Read more about our environmental and social initiatives on our website.

How could your business increase its’ CSR initiatives?

Here at the Priory Rooms our CSR efforts focus on charitable giving, reinvestment in our building and environmental initiatives. How CRS is implemented though will vary depending on the context and company. The good thing is there are all sorts of activities a business can do and everyone in the organisation can get involved to some degree.

Your business could look at working in partnership with local community projects. Instead of, or in addition to, giving a proportion of profits to charity, your company could allow your staff time away from their desk to volunteer for a not-for-profit organisation. You could choose to make socially responsibility investments or invest in your employees to maintain a sustainable workforce. It may be a social or environmental goal is at the heart of your work already, as such your focus might be around minimising any negative impact on the planet as you go about your work. There’s lots companies can do on a variety of scales. Key to successful CSR initiatives seems to be getting the buy in and involvement from employees, and communicating CSR efforts and outcomes with all stakeholders.

Sharing Ideas

This month is a great time to think about CSR as Corporate Social Responsibility Share Day will be taking place on Friday 21st April. This 24-hour, global Twitter campaign led by the organisation Positive Impact will share stories of people and businesses who are making a positive impact on sustainability around the world. The day provides an opportunity to share best practice and get ideas and inspiration from others. You can read and contribute to the online conversation at https://twitter.com/CSRshareDay using the hastag #CSRShareDay

We are always keen to improve on our environmental and social initiatives, so if you have any CSR success stories or ideas you’d like to share please tweet us @theprioryrooms

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Living Wage Accreditation http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/180 2017-04-11T20:04:00Q The Priory Rooms is pleased to announce that we are now accredited as a Living Wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation

Living-Wage-Logo.jpgThe Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually, calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage commitment means all employees here at The Priory Rooms receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.45 - significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.95 and the minimum wage premium for over 25s of £7.20 per hour introduced in April 2016.

The Priory Rooms is committed to paying employees the Living Wage and upwards, as we see this as the right and fair thing to do. As a Quaker led venue this reflects our values around equality, integrity and ethical business. We now have accreditation to illustrate our commitment and show our support for the Living Wage movement.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said: “We are delighted to welcome The Priory Rooms to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.”

For more information about the Living Wage Foundation and the scheme visit www.livingwage.org.uk

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May it Please the Court http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/179 2017-03-18T09:54:00Q Last month our Main Meeting House was brought to life with drama, despair and dispute when it became a court room for the day.

ACT_National_Mock_Court_Trial_Feb_2017_Collage.jpg The event was a mock criminal court trial, organised by A.C.T. National Ltd in partnership with IOSH Sports Grounds and Events Group and Magdalen Chambers.

Themed on a health and safety prosecution of an event company, the day brought together managers and workers in the events industry. The mock trial aimed to give attendees a practical understanding of what happens when a criminal trial is brought to court, and where responsibilities and accountability lie in such cases. Attendees were given the chance to act as the jury and to ask questions to the legal team, as well as network with fellow professionals.

The trial was run by practicing criminal barristers giving a realistic experience. The setting of our Main Meeting House enhanced the court room atmosphere and the feedback from the organisers and attendees was highly positive.

If you are interested in hosting a mock trial or another large event in our Main Meeting House space, please get in touch for prices.

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The Priory Rooms Top Ten Features - preview http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/177 2017-02-21T19:30:00Q Hidden_Gem_in_the_City.jpg Here at The Priory Rooms we believe we have an exceptional venue for anyone wanting to hold a meeting, conference, course or event in central Birmingham. We are naturally a little bias, but we judge how well we are doing from our customers’ feedback. We would like to share with you what we have identified to be The Priory Rooms top ten features we believe draw people to our venue and a few snippets of feedback from our recent customers.

Read the full article

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The Priory Rooms Top Ten Features http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/178 2017-02-21T19:13:00Q Here at The Priory Rooms we believe we have an exceptional venue for anyone wanting to hold a meeting, conference, course or event in central Birmingham. We are naturally a little bias, but we judge how well we are doing from our customers’ feedback – and we find we have many happy customers, as you’ll see from comments below. We also see that once a new customer has discovered The Priory Rooms they want to return time and time again.

We would like to share with you what we have identified to be The Priory Rooms top ten features we believe draw people to our venue.

Our top ten features:

  1. Excellent location - Located in the heart of Birmingham, we’re easy to get to by all means of transport; – road, rail, tram, bus, taxi and on foot.
  2. A hidden gem in the city – Once new customers discover our place, hidden amidst the office blocks of Colmore Business District, they typically want to return again and again.
  3. Flexible meeting space - Our nine meeting rooms can accommodate 2 to 200 people in a variety of layouts and we can offer full day, half day and evening hire.
  4. Contemporary facilities – Our modern extension provides a contemporary suite of rooms as well as a light and airy atrium. We can provide a range of conferencing equipment and technical support is on hand too.
  5. Historic architecture - The main building was constructed in 1933 as a Quaker meeting house and it’s been sympathetically modernised to retain its historical charm.
  6. Fresh & versatile catering - Our menu offers a wide variety of hot and cold options, allowing you to choose a selection of fresh food to fuel focus and productivity.
  7. Supporter of charities and community - We donate a significant amount of our annual profits to Central England Quakers to help support various community projects. We also regularly hold our own fundraising events to support local and national charities.
  8. Environmental & ethical values – We are committed to operating our venue in a sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly way wherever possible. We have various initiatives in place to achieve this including recycling schemes, waste reduction measures and serving Fairtrade refreshments.
  9. A courtyard garden – We have a small, but special landscaped courtyard garden, offering a little fresh air and peace amongst the bustling city.
  10. A dedicated team – And finally, our most essential asset is our team of staff who aim to ensure that each and every customer has an exceptional visit to The Priory Rooms.

Priory_Rooms_-_Top_10_Features_Full_Infographic.jpg

Happy customers

We receive plenty of wonderful feedback from our customers and would like to share with you some examples from the first couple of months of 2017:

“Thank you so much! I’ve been really impressed with everything about your facilities…”

“The delegates and our team were really impressed and we will certainly come to you again in the future.”

“Always a very positive experience when we use the facilities at the Priory Rooms - staff fantastic and the venue perfect for our internal colleagues and customers to meet.”

“A beautiful venue for a work event. We were well looked after, the rooms were wonderful and the general manager was very nice in showing us around and telling us more about the history of the Priory Meeting Rooms…”

“Today’s been fantastic, the room’s been great, the facilities have been great, the foods been amazing… and it’s a great location as well.”

“Everything has been great about the venue today… great welcome, great set up, equipment perfect, catering brilliant, the whole lot… everything we’ve needed they’ve given to us, highly recommend this venue…”

If you are interested in making a booking at The Priory Rooms, please get in touch by calling 0121 236 2317 or emailing enquiries@theprioryrooms.co.uk

We hope to see you soon.

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Upcoming Friends Activities & Projects http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/176 2017-02-06T19:15:00Q Move More, Eat Well Project Launch

Move_More_Eat_Well.jpgThis January the brand new healthy living project, Move More, Eat Well (hyperlink to website www.movemoreeatwell.com) launched in Birmingham. Delivered by the Quaker led Northfield Eco Centre, together with their project partners Garden Organics, Sustrans, Sport Birmingham and Health for Education, the project will offer a programme of free events, support, activities and opportunities to help people in South Birmingham feel healthier.

Over 2017 to 2019 the Move More, Eat Well team will engage with residents, community groups and schools across the wards of Longbridge, Cofton, Northfield and Rubery. They will encourage people to move more by taking up cycling, volunteering, sports and active hobbies. As well as to eat well, by growing their own fruit and veg, adding to a collection of healthy recipes and cooking more healthily.

Find out more on the Move More Eat Well website www.movemoreeatwell.com

You can also sign up now for the first of their free courses:

Family Food Growing Course - 5 week beginners gardening course for families

When: Wednesday 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th March 2017 10:00am to 11:00am

Where: Coney Green Drive Allotments, Northfield

More Info: Eventbrite

30 Years of the Pacemakers Celebrations

Peacemakers_Celebrations.jpgIn 2017 the Peacemakers project will celebrate their 30th year anniversary. Peacemakers is an initiative that focuses on helping schools build more peaceful communities, informed by Quaker philosophy around peace and conflict resolution. The Peacemakers activities include courses for children and young people, training peer mediators, strengthening social and emotional learning, developing adults’ and children’s conflict resolution skills and introducing restorative approaches to schools.

To mark their anniversary the Peacemakers will be organising activities through 2017 to celebrate their work in the West Midlands, raise the Peacemakers profile and introduce more schools and more people to the benefits of education for peace.

You can keep up to date with their activities on the [Peacemakers website (http://www.peacemakers.org.uk/ "http://www.peacemakers.org.uk/")

Take Twenty

Peace_Hub_Events.jpgTake time out from your busy week to stop and reflect by joining a Silence in the City session.

Once a week Birmingham's Peace Hub organises 20 minutes of group silence, providing an opportunity for some calm and inner reflection. This is then followed by tea and coffee. All are welcome to join in any Tuesday session.

When: Tuesdays 1:00pm to 1:30pm

Where: Peace Hub, 41 Bull Street, Birmingham.

More info: Peacehub website

Quaker Quest Bitesize

This February the Peace Hub is hosting a series of short Quaker Quest sessions, providing an opportunity to find out more about the Quaker way of life.

Anyone with an interest is welcome to drop in to one, or all, of these half hour sessions which will focus on different themes.

When: Thursday 9th, 16th & 23rd February 1:00pm to 1:30pm.

Where: Peace Hub, 41 Bull Street, Birmingham.

More info: Peacehub website

Bull Street Quaker Meetings

Quakers_Events.png If you’d like to join or find out more about the Quakers meetings for worship at the Bull Street meeting house just visit the Central England Quakers website





Other News

For other news visit http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news

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New Year, New Opportunities http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/175 2017-01-20T21:35:00Q The Priory Rooms January newsletter is now available. This month we explore what our unique, central large conference space has to offer. We look forward to developments and events happening this year around our thriving city. We share with you a number of learning opportunities coming up soon, plus highlight the upcoming 30th anniversary for the Peacemakers project. We also introduce you to another one of our team members.

Happy_New_Year_from_the_Priory_Rooms.jpg

Read the newsletter here.

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The Priory Rooms Gives Back http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/174 2016-11-03T19:29:00Q At the end of September The Priory Rooms hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and raised a total of £175.

MacmillanCakeCollage.jpg Donations were collected for servings of cake, of which we had a wonderful delicious selection, many home baked by The Priory Room’s staff, directors and some of our regular customers. In fact, we had so much cake we ended up running the event over two days!

The Priory Rooms team were delighted to be able to give back to Macmillan, who are one of our top customers, with staff from their various offices regularly utilising our meeting spaces. The coffee morning funds will aid Macmillan’s work to provide important emotional, practical, medical and financial support and information to people facing cancer, as well as their work to campaign for better cancer care.

Thank you to everyone who supported the event.

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Join us for our Macmillan Coffee Morning 2016 - Wednesday 28th September from 10:30am http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/173 2016-09-19T19:02:00Q Macmillian_Coffee_Morning_Table.jpgWe are raising money this month for Macmillan Cancer Support by holding a coffee morning and you are all invited! Tea, coffee and cake will be available at The Priory Rooms to customers and visitors for a small donation.

Date: Wednesday 28th September 2016

Time: 10:30am onwards (until the cake runs out!)

All funds raised from the event will go to the national charity Macmillan, supporting their work to provide emotional, practical, medical and financial support and information to people facing cancer, as well as to campaign for better cancer care.

Let’s help make sure no one has to face cancer alone.

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Heritage Open Days 2016 at Bull Street Quaker Meeting http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/news/permalink/172 2016-07-29T19:00:00Q Main_Meeting_House_2.jpg

Bull Street Quaker Meeting will be opening for Heritage Open Days on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September 2016 from 1.00pm to 5.00pm on both days.

Today the building includes the meeting house and Priory Rooms Conference Centre but there has been a Quaker meeting house on this city centre site since 1702. The current meeting house was completed in 1933. Information will be available on the meeting house today together with artifacts and information on the history of Quakerism.

The meeting house is accessible by wheel chair and has an accessible toilet on site.

Refreshments available

All welcome

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