CHUMS is helping to #GrowEO
for UK Employee Ownership Day – 24th June 2022

Staff of CHUMS based in Silsoe, Bedfordshire are delighted to be part of the UK Employee Ownership Day (EO Day), run by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), on Friday 24th June 2022.

We’re taking part in this year’s EO Day which has the theme of #GrowEO, to celebrate and showcase how employee ownership has helped to grow our business, our employee owners and the economy.

CHUMS started as a voluntary service supporting bereaved children, young people and their families in 1997. In 2000, funding was provided by Macmillan to offer a countywide bereavement service. Thereafter until 2011, CHUMS was supported by the NHS. However, in 2011 CHUMS ‘spun out’ of the NHS to become a social enterprise, community interest company (CIC), enabling development and growth to become the service it is today.  From this point on we began our journey as an employee-owned organisation.

This decision was taken to enable colleagues from across the organisation to play a greater role in the strategic decision making, and day-to-day operational activities. As a result of CHUMS becoming employee owned, our successful ‘Staff Partnership Forum’ has been established, as well as ‘The Hive’ – a group of colleagues who work together to advise on environmental and sustainability issues.

CHUMS is proud to celebrate employee ownership alongside others in the sector across the UK, as Dawn Hewitt, Chief Executive for CHUMS, explains:

 “The decision to evolve into an employee-owned organisation made complete sense for us here at CHUMS.”

“We’re incredibly proud of our team, who all work so hard each day to help young people who have experienced bereavement, trauma or who have other mental health needs. It’s important to us to ensure that they have the opportunities to share their ideas, and to help formulate the wider strategy – as they are often the ones who best understand what is happening within the community.

“We’ve been delighted with the reaction from the team, and contribution from The Staff Partnership Forum has already been so valuable in helping us to make the right decisions strategically and on an operational level.”

James de le Vingne, CEO for the Employee Ownership Association, said:

“Companies such as CHUMS are great examples of the economic and social benefits that can be achieved when employees have a stake and a say in the business in which they work.

“Over the last ten years since we began celebrating EO Day, the UK employee-owned sector has grown significantly. This year we will be asking, how can we make it grow even more quickly in half the time?

“By making as much noise as possible we can to help raise awareness with business owners, professional advisers and stakeholders to help #GrowEO.”

The benefits of employee ownership have been proven in EOA-led research, and include improving employee health and wellbeing, increasing productivity and fostering creativity and innovation across an array of industry sectors. In addition:

  • UK employee-owned companies contribute over £30 billion to the UK economy annually

  • Employee-owners have higher levels of job satisfaction, feel a greater sense of achievement and job security, and are more likely to recommend their workplace than employees in non-employee-owned businesses

  • Employee-owned businesses operate in a range of sectors including healthcare, social care, education, transport, manufacturing, retail and professional services

With numerous events running across the UK and the involvement of thousands of employee owners and other partners, EO Day is an integral part of the EOA’s events calendar and was introduced to raise awareness of employee ownership as an economically strong and balanced business model.