Community

Community

"We are committed to ensuring that all of our customers are able to access our products and services with the minimum of effort."

Halfords' Work Inclusion Programme

Following the Seeing is Believing visits, Halfords was introduced to Bikeworks, a social enterprise company, specialising in using cycles and cycle repair to engage with disadvantaged NEET individuals.

Bikeworks already run a work-based training programme, over a three-month period, that is design to give individuals the technical skills and work experience to be ready for employment in the cycle industry. The successful trainees gain a bicycle maintenance qualification as well as being exposed to a working cycle-retailing operation where they develop customer service and team-working skills.

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Halfords has, therefore, entered into a partnership with Bikeworks to create and deliver a programme that not only meets the Company's CR community objectives but also supports the Company's "Best Cycle Shop in Town" strategy by creating a programme of Cycle Repair training for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and, where appropriate, employing them in Halfords stores, delivering a knowledgeable, skilful and competitive cycle repair service.

Plans for this partnership were finalised in March 2012, and from 1 April 2012 Halfords has committed to not only sponsoring Bikeworks to deliver out-reach "Build-a-bike" courses and to deliver the "Cycle into Work" course to a number of individuals, but we have also committed to employing the best, in Halfords stores local to each individual. In FY13 we aim to employ a minimum of 10 individuals in the London area through this Work Inclusion Programme.

Accessibility

Our stores serve their local communities with our products and expert services and we are conscious that all, irrespective of disability, should be able to access both our stores and our online offering. We treat our responsibilities very seriously and we are committed to ensuring that all of our customers are able to access our products and services with the minimum of effort. We are committed to ensuring that both customers and colleagues have acess to our facilities and we have taken various actions in order to fulfil our responsibilities, including in 2011 working with the Employers Disability Forum to deliver training to some of our Head Office and store colleagues.

Ethical Trading

We place great importance on the selection of our suppliers and how they interact within their own local communities and, where appropriate, we will visit manufacturing sources to verify that effective quality procedures are in place and that supply chain costs are minimised. We are always striving for improvement and we believe it is important that our suppliers are responsive to feedback from our customers and store colleagues. Halfords recognises that the development of close supplier partnerships is essential for the ongoing provision of an innovative and "value-for-money" product offer. Halfords has a Sourcing Code of Conduct ("the Code"), which can be viewed on the Company's website (halfordscompany.com).

Charity of the Year

Our policy on charitable giving is to concentrate on working with one main charity over a two-year period. Since April 2011 we have partnered with Cancer Research UK.

Apprenticeships

The Group is aware of the need to provide employment opportunities within local communities and our Autocentres have the largest independent Apprentice Scheme in the motor industry. The scheme has been in operation for over 20 years and we have never failed to offer employment to apprentices who complete the three-year scheme.

Industry Forums

Halfords retail values opportunities to work closely with trade associations, research institutes, standards authorities, universities and government organisations to improve performance standards and safety. During the year we have worked with ProMOTe to challenge proposed changes to MOT testing and the Plain English Campaign who awarded their "Crystal Mark" to both our brakes4life brochure and our "Helpful MOT" Guide.

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