The trustees of Islamic Relief Worldwide are required to state how they have complied with their duties “to have regard to matters in Section 172(1) of the Companies Act 2006”. The matters alluded to are given as headings below and in each section, we have detailed how the trustees have complied.

The likely consequence of any decision in the long term

The charity operates under a five-year Global Strategy and in order to meet this, the Board of Trustees has to pay due regard to the long-term consequences of its decisions. Throughout the life of the strategy, its implementation is regularly monitored through bi-annual progress reports, which help inform the long-term decision-making required to achieve the objectives set out in our strategy. A new long-term strategy has been developed during 2022.

The Interests of the Charity’s Employees

The trustees fully appreciate the work of our colleagues and involve them to the greatest extent possible so that their interests are served. For example, we conduct general consultation with our colleagues on policies before bringing them to the Board of Trustees for approval. Another example is that of the Gender Equality Steering Group, which is chaired by a trustee, supported by two co-chairs from amongst our staff. The Group is made up of individuals from across the Islamic Relief Worldwide workforce, representing all sections of the organisation. The Chair of the Board of Trustees and the CEO hold regular organisationwide webinars in which colleagues are encouraged to express their views and concerns. The Chair then reports back to the rest of the Board so that appropriate actions can be taken to address any matters raised. We also intend to formalise and strengthen the organisational identity that will underpin the development of the new strategy, with consultation extending to every colleague.

The need to foster the charity’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others

The trustees recognise the value in fostering relationships with all the charity’s stakeholders, which leads to loyalty, mutual respect, trust and openness. Although our vetting processes for on-boarding partners and suppliers are necessarily rigorous, we try to build their capacity whenever possible by offering advice and sharing policies and procedures.

Islamic Relief Worldwide would not exist were it not for the generosity of our donors, so we exert a great deal of effort in keeping in touch with them in the manner that they prefer and informing them of what their contributions have achieved.

We try to give our volunteers the most rewarding experience possible, not least because we know that such an experience may lead to them becoming a committed employee, donor or advocate. Most volunteers support our fundraising efforts, others volunteer at the charity shops, get involved in campaigning, join our call centre operation, deliver cakes or act as brand ambassadors. We value their time and commitment and offer our recognition through initiatives such as our annual Volunteer Award Ceremony. We have also developed several volunteer development programmes that attract young adults and working professionals alike to develop the leadership and life skills needed to be effective volunteers. Our flagship programme, AimIR, allows learners to earn a Level 3 certificate in Leadership.

The impact of the charity’s operations on the community and the environment

The Board of Trustees has fully committed the organisation to the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). This standard puts “communities and people affected by crisis at the centre of humanitarian action”. The charity fully subscribes to this ethos, which we enact in all of our programme delivery. Indeed, the standard is also adhered to by all of our support departments, such as Finance, Human Resources and External Relations and Advocacy.

We are committed to tackling climate change and spend considerable resources advocating and campaigning in this regard, so it is incumbent on us to pay due regard to the impact our operations have on the environment. Accordingly, all our programmes are now designed to ensure that due attention is paid to their environmental impact. We are endeavouring to reduce our carbon footprint by seeking to cut back air travel and making our new headquarters more energy efficient.

Maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct

Our trustees are fully aware that the charity’s reputation for high standards of business conduct has played a major part in our growth over the past years. Accordingly, the Board of Trustees consider it imperative that this reputation is maintained. To this end, we employ rigorous vetting procedures when recruiting staff and set out clear standards of behaviour expected from them in the Code of Conduct, which is instilled in them at their induction and subsequently reinforced. We have fostered a culture that abhors bribery and corruption, and actively implements policies to prevent wrongdoing.

Our procurement and ethical vetting procedures ensure that values are a key deciding factor in our selection of suppliers. Islamic Relief Worldwide requires all suppliers to adhere to our Code of Conduct which encompasses the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the International Labour Standards as defined by the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations Global Compact’s 10 principles, which cover human rights, labour, the environment and anticorruption. In this way, we aim to attract and do business with partners who strive for the same high standards, cementing our reputation still further.