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Giving something back
Rapid takes its ethical and community responsibilities very seriously. There are a number of initiatives Rapid undertakes that support local and national charities.
For example, Rapid has been a key supporter of the Poppy Appeal for several years. In 2011 the company was chosen to assist a local branch of the Royal British Legion with fundraising activities. This involved employees helping to sell poppies and other merchandise at the largest supermarket in Colchester. Staff were allowed to volunteer for the activity and with the agreement of line managers could take part during working hours. This raised £3000 for the Poppy Appeal in 2011, while further contributions were made by the company's directors and from sales of poppies to staff and customers.
With its distribution centre and offices situated close to the stadium of Colchester United FC, Rapid charges football supporters a small fee to use its car parking facilities on match days. The company has offered this service since the stadium opened in 2008. The considerable sums of money raised from this service are donated to a number of charities, including a local hospice. Charity donations are also generated from other initiatives such as in-house staff events and the sale of discontinued products.
As well as sponsoring educational initiatives and schemes such as the Toyota Technology Challenge, Project Horizon and the Children's University, Rapid makes ad-hoc donations of products to educational or charitable projects upon request. In the past the company has supported the Cambridge University Eco Racing team in a solar-powered challenge across Australia, and has recently assisted with a volunteering project by Leeds Metropolitan University in a remote South African school.