One of Bedfordshire’s largest employer shares its community spirit story. As part of its community outreach efforts, giving back to the local community in which it operates, and where a large number of its employee population lives, Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill site has a dedicated STEM outreach, and local volunteering and charity / fundraising programme that is focused around making a difference to the lives of others.
At Lockheed Martin people are the heart of its business. Whether that’s the Armed Forces user community, who rely on defence industry capabilities and products to help them achieve their missions safely and successfully, its employees, who the organisation see as ‘mission critical’ to its success, or the local community where it operates – people are central to everything Lockheed Martin does. And giving back to the community is something that the business sees as its responsibility.
Over the past few years, Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill has supported the KidsOut charity. The charity does amazing things to help provide disadvantaged children with a positive experience, and through its Giving Tree, they provide children in refuge with toys, books, and days out like trips to the cinema.
“Supporting a charity that brings joy to the lives of disadvantaged children is a wonderful way to do your bit for the community. Every child deserves to open a gift on Christmas morning, and by working with KidsOut, we’re able to provide a helping hand in making that happen,” said Julie Bevan, Head of Communications and Fundraising Lead, Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill.
Photo: Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill – gifts donated by employees for KidsOut Giving Tree
“The Giving Tree is a great initiative. We request tags, which include details of the toys, books, etc. that the children have asked for, and once we receive those, we hang them on one of the Christmas Trees at our facility. Our employees then take a tag off the tree and buy the gift requested on the tag. We then collect all the gifts, and hand them over to KidsOut who take them back to their warehouse, ahead of dispatching to the children. Some of our employees volunteered at the Luton warehouse, over the Summer, helping sort and pack the gift ready for dispatch – it was great to be able to see and understand how the donated gifts are processed before they reach the children,” continued Bevan.
Photo: Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill employees volunteering on their off Friday at KidsOut charity
And it doesn’t just happen at Christmas. Lockheed Martin’s charitable, volunteering and donation efforts are something the business gets involved with throughout the year. Earlier this year, its Ampthill based employees raised over £200 for Shelter, a charity that supports homeless people, and donated 699 meals – over 2870 kilos of items to the Bedford Food Bank.
Photo: Lockheed Martin team with Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire (third from right, KidsOut representative second from right, Bedford Foodbank representative second from left)
“Sourcing locally is really important to our business. We’re keen to support small businesses, whether that’s through our supply chain for the products and programmes we deliver to our customers, or when we are looking to bring services into the business,” said Jonathan Ward, Head of Supply Chain, Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill.
When the business was looking for a new catering provision that would support the fluctuation in volume due to hybrid-working, which meant no one day would see the same number of employees looking to buy their lunch on-site, the procurement team was keen to bring in a local business, hoping to benefit a small business in the local community.
Since late 2022, The Cottage Bakery has been fulfilling that ‘roll [all pun intended].’ The local bakery based in Ampthill comes onto the Lockheed Martin site every day (Monday to Thursday as Lockheed Martin employees work a 4-day week!), has a designated ‘shop area’ where employees can go to buy their lunch. Initially the service was set-up as a 3-month trial period, and following its success, the provision was brought in as a more permanent solution, providing tasty treats, hot bakes, salads, and sandwiches – there is so much choice available! The Cottage Bakery has extended its services to Lockheed Martin, and started to provide a buffet service for meetings etc.
Photo credit: The Cottage Bakery
“We have served the broader community for years from our artisan Ampthill bakery, with four bakers and four confectioners. And we’re now delighted to be able to supply Lockheed Martin with their catering needs too. The team enjoys producing new lines to take to Lockheed Martin to delight them on-site, and support them with additional catering needs, such as events and meetings too. The support for local businesses, especially The Cottage Bakery from Lockheed Martin, is heart-warming and much appreciated,” said Simon Solway from The Cottage Bakery.