Giving back to our communities ‒ the RX way.

Giving back to our communities

The RX way.

Together we contributed £20.6m to charities, encompassing cash, products, services and employee time.

RELX Cares is our global community programme which supports employee volunteering and charitable giving that makes a positive impact on society. As part of the programme everyone within RX gets two full days paid leave each year to dedicate to their own community work.

Last year, 32% of RELX employees engaged in volunteering through RELX Cares (compared to an average volunteering rate of 8% for all sectors, according to Business for Societal Impact data).

And it turns out, giving back feels pretty great! 90% of our RELX volunteers in 2021 mentioned they felt more motivated and prouder of our company after volunteering. Plus, 75% felt a stronger sense of team spirit.

We highlight some of the many amazing ways our RXers have been making a difference to those in need.

Together for the Brazilian events industry

Ana Paula Dias, Operations Manager for RX Brazil, was one of just eight winners in the ‘Individual’ category of the ‘Recognising Those Who Care Awards’ for her proactive and motivational leadership of the RX Brazil Cares Team, particularly during the pandemic.  

One of Ana’s stand out initiatives was ‘Together for those who make it happen’. Launched in partnership with our fellow event organizers in Sao Paulo, the project provided food packages to contract and freelance event employees who were severely affected by the shutdown of the event industry in Brazil due to Covid-19. Between April and December 2020 more than 56 tons of food were donated supporting more than 1,000 families. In April 2021 the initiative was resumed by RX Brazil until face to face events began to return in September 2021.

Ana received five extra RELX Cares Days as well as a $4000 donation to a charity of her choice. She has donated her prize fund to ‘Casas André Luiz’, an NGO which supports people with intellectual disabilities, and spent her additional volunteering days supporting an NGO which donates food for the homeless.

For 2023, under Ana’s continued leadership, RX Brazil is supporting several different charities as part of its RX Cares efforts. April saw them fundraising for a Brazilian NGO that drills artesian wells in Congo, Africa. In May, to celebrate Mother’s Day, the Cares team invited the Mary Kay cosmetics company into RX to sell their products with a percentage of the proceeds going to RX Cares charities. And in June the company will be running a campaign to encourage RXers to give blood.

RX France takes Action Against Hunger

RX France were runners up in the Team category of the ‘Recognising Those Who Care Awards’ for their participation in the ‘Connected Against Hunger Challenge’ for Action Against Hunger. 99 RXers across 10 teams challenged themselves with sporting activities including walking, running and cycling, logging their kilometres in the Connected Against Hunger app and earning points for their team in the process. In total RX France colleagues travelled 3,085km cycling, 1,897km running and 13,626km walking and raised over €18,610 for Action Against Hunger. RX France will receive $2,500 for a charity or NGO of their choice. 

“Our partnership with Action Against Hunger (ACF) goes back 10 years” explained Amrane Lamiri who helped to organise the challenge as part of the RX France Cares team. “Everyone competed with joy and humour, and we organised weekly updates for all our people (whether taking part in the challenge or not) around a delicious and vitamin-packed coffee and cake break, to unveil the latest team rankings and keep everyone motivated.”

RX France has donated its $2,500 prize fund to Action Against Hunger, continuing its long-standing partnership with the charity. Earlier this year they organised another cycling event with them in support of earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey, raising €5,000. Now plans are underway for the 2023 Connected Against Hunger cycling challenge with 130 participants signed up (compared to 99 last year)  ̶  all highly motivated to beat last year’s total!

RX Vietnam supports the visually impaired

The RELX Cares Challenge is aimed at encouraging employees to use their two volunteer days to make a difference and foster broader participation in the local community. RX Tradex in Vietnam won one of five $5,000 cash prizes for its work supporting the Go Vap District Association of the Blind in Ho Chi Minh, a project which was initiated, and is now led by Senior HR and Admin Executive, Dang Phuong Thao.

“The Association works with local authorities to support blind people with resources such as educational courses on using braille and mobile phones” explained Ms Thao. “It helps them to access all levels of education and provides life skill classes for blind children. It also provides employment for blind people in therapeutic massage facilities.”

RX Tradex’s support for the Association for the Blind continues and Ms Thao and her colleagues now have a second fundraising ambition for 2023 – to raise money to provide accommodation for the rural poor living in central Vietnam, who lack shelter from the sun and rain, and access to even the basic necessities.

“It is so important to me to support people who need our help, and the NGOs who do such an important job. RX Cares is a wonderful opportunity to engage our people. My best memories of the ‘Together for those who make it happen’ campaign is seeing people who would normally be competitors joining forces to help colleagues in the event Industry. Most of the people we were able to help are still working on our shows. The legacy is that if we work together, we are stronger.”
“We are incredibly proud to be a runner-up for a team award. Together we can make things happen and go so much further than alone. The challenge was also a great opportunity for RX France to forge bonds, as every team was made up of members from different departments.”
“Visiting the association, and the homes of some of the 92 blind people it supports, enabled me and my colleagues to understand the physical and financial challenges of their daily lives. We were humbled and inspired by their resilience and positivity and are happy that our prize fund will go to help them. Covid-19 has impacted their ability to earn money through providing massages, and donations have been essential to supporting them through this time and enabling them to integrate into the local community”

Julian Barker, Global Strategy Director, UK

I volunteer as a Trustee for the very excellent Postal Museum in London.  London. My RELX Cares time lets me attend meeting and experience the museum during the working week. I find it hugely rewarding and professionally valuable, giving me a totally different perspective on many of the same topics I work on at RX. It is not all fun ‒ one of my jobs is to review and sign off the annual report and accounts and approve the budget. But most of the time is supporting and encouraging the professional team to do great things. I am particularly proud of their work to provide accessible experiences to children with autism, resulting in winning the prestigious Best Accessible Museum award. The best bit?  I get to ride the secret underground railway ‒ which you can too when you visit The Postal Museum!

Kurt Gamauf, Vice President, HR, US

By far, one of my favorite benefits working for RX is our Cares program. Being able to donate time and energy towards a great cause that you are passionate about can be extremely fulfilling. I’ve been very privileged to spend most of my recent volunteering efforts as a member of the Board of Trustees at the German International School Chicago (GISC). The mission of GISC is to prepare young students to become well-rounded, creative, and responsible global citizens in a German/English dual language education setting. Having immigrated to the US from Austria many years ago, and married to an American foreign language teacher, I am extremely passionate about opening the world to children and teaching them the values of other cultures and languages, in the hopes of creating a more globally respectful, tolerant and open-minded society.

Lucimara Thomazo, Facility & Office Support Coordinator, Brazil

I participated in a Children's Day action at the Pivi institute in Sao Paolo. Being a RELX Cares volunteer is an intense and transformative experience that changes the way you see the world and yourself. RELX Cares allows us to share affection, love and skills, through actions and gestures for those who have so little. It's putting your heart into important causes that should never be left aside. It is having the opportunity to learn and give a new meaning to all our ideas and ideals, to value the act of extending a hand to someone, to experience the possibility of making other people's dreams come true, and to receive smiles and thanks in return.

Sachin Jadhav, Sr. Manager – Strategic Accounts, India

I was motivated to volunteer by the condition of the education facilities in villages in India. Along with my friends we have donated a projector and a library to the school in my native place. It is operational and more than 200 students are actively using these facilities. I strongly believe that, if given a proper guidance and opportunity, students from rural areas also can achieve great success.

Meghan Hurley, Director, Human Resources, US

I volunteer as a mentor for the Norwalk Mentor Program, as well as sit on their Advisory Council. I’ve been a mentor with the program for the last 10 years and have had a few different mentees throughout my time with them (and still keep in touch with one who graduated a few years ago)! I like being a neutral person that a kid can talk to or get advice from, and someone they know is just there for them. Aside from learning new hip things that the kids are saying (FYI, “hip” isn’t one of them), I really value the time that we spend together!

Elsa Wu, HR Specialist, China

It is a pleasure for me to volunteer at Beijing Stars and Rain, which provides educational support for children with autism.  We accompany the children in different activities such as reading to them, helping them to play safely, or simply sitting quietly with them if that is what they want. I like to help people who need support by passing on kindness. One day, perhaps I will need this kindness too. Helping people helps me. Love never ends.

7 great ways to make the most of volunteering

We asked some of our RX Cares volunteers to tell us about their experiences and reveal how and why they are motivated to give back.

Craft your own experience of volunteering

Marc Simon, Event Vice President for the PGA Show in the USA, is a great advocate of RX Cares volunteering. “Being able to give back to worthy causes, and learning more about their important work and people they benefit is of course really important,” he said. “The flexibility to participate in activities that work for you, or to craft your own experience giving back, is also definitely helpful. At the same time connecting with your teammates outside of the work environment is fun, great for bonding and just a really cool experience.

Supporting the Kids in Crisis golf challenge is right up his alley, combining his love of golfing with support for Connecticut-based Kids in Crisis (KIC), which has been a charity partner of RX USA’s for more than a decade.  He also enjoyed participating in a community clean-up in Stratford, CN, for several years and, when it was discontinued, took it upon himself to do his own clean-up in the neighbourhood he lives in.

“It’s truly eye-opening to see the amount of trash that is discarded in certain areas, and it is gratifying to know the neighbourhood is better for the work that has been accomplished once complete” explained Marc. “While it is a demanding day (and great exercise), it is awesome to be outside and also gives you time to really think, something we don’t have a lot of time for in our day-to-day lives anymore.”

Use your transferable skills (and give blood!)

RX Global Health and Safety Manager, Emma Dengate, recently became chair of her son’s school Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and used some of her RX Cares hours to help at an Easter Bake Off event.  “My son attends a small village school which, like most schools at the moment, is finding things hard financially” she acknowledged. “With my background in event operations I thought I had some transferable skills for the school summer fair! We raised £280 which is pretty impressive for a one-form entry village school!”

Emma also uses her Cares hours to donate blood – she recently chalked up her 32nd donation! “My blood type is O which can be given to anyone as it’s a universal doner type” she said. “That means that it’s the most sought-after because it can be used in an emergency before the blood type of the patient can be confirmed. One donation can save up to 3 lives! You can give blood every 12-16 weeks and it only takes about an hour, with the actual giving blood bit only 10-15 mins. The process doesn’t really hurt – the worst bit is always taking off the plaster the next day!”

Share your story of adversity and resilience

Emma Riley is passionately against bullying in any form because she knows how it feels to be bullied. She was bullied individually, throughout school, and institutionally, having been thrown out of the Royal Navy for being gay. As RX’s Programme, Governance and Operations Manager she uses her Cares hours to volunteer for Diversity Role Models whose mission is ‘to promote understanding and acceptance of individual differences and end LGBTQ+ bullying in schools.’

“I believe that talking with people, being visible as yourself with your full authentic identity, and being vulnerable and open to discussion and challenge is a way that bullying can be combatted. People fear what they don’t know or understand,” said Emma, who won ‘Hero of the Year’ at the British Diversity Awards 2024, and features on the Diva Power List 2024 as a role model. “I use my story of adversity, resilience, and that one person can make a difference, to help kids learn a more nuanced understanding of those of us who don’t fit into the neat sexuality and gender boxes they have.”

“Every session they have an anonymous hands-up survey at the beginning and end of the workshop asking whether they would support a friend coming out at their school – without exception many more put their hands up at the end which gives me hope for their future, their gay and trans friends’ future, and all of us,” added Emma. “I am hugely grateful for the support RX and RELX gives to me, children and LBGTQIA+ folks in enabling my volunteering with Diversity Role models.”

Pay care and compassion forward

Cornwall Hospice Care is a charity very close to Sarah Kitley-Spencer’s heart, as it provided loving care and support for her mum through the last stages of cancer. Now Sarah uses her RX volunteer hours to support the charity, so that other families can receive the care they need, in the time and place that is right for them.

Sarah, who is Corporate Communications Manager for RX, recently spent a very cold, wet, and windy day in the charity’s car park, unblocking leaves from the drains to ensure a non-slip surface for visitors. “With wellies full of water, alongside my brother and my daughter we got the job done, with much thanks from the hospice” she said.

More of Sarah’s Cares hours were used to launch and complete 'Mum's Walk' a dedicated charity walk with all funds going towards new chairs for Cornwall Hospices. Her mum’s partner Pete and all the Kitleys, including the six grandchildren, trekked 10K around the Cornish coast in March, raising close to £3K for this great cause.

Reflecting on her efforts, Sarah said: “I'd encourage anyone that can spare some time to volunteer to do so. Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to the community and make a positive impact. When you volunteer, you not only contribute your time and skills, but you also gain valuable experiences and connections. It’s a win-win!”

 Challenge yourself on behalf of others

The London Marathon is the most popular marathon in the world and more than one million people have completed the event since it first took place in 1981. Among those taking part in the 2024 marathon, on 21 April, was Senior UK Sales Executive Michael Pestell, who joined six colleagues from our parent company RELX, to take part in support of RELX’s global charity partner, Save the Children.

“It was a fantastic experience to run the London Marathon, and also incredibly satisfying to know that my achievement would also directly support children around the world,” said Michael. “My friends made signs and came to support me on the day, and the overall atmosphere was amazing. I managed to finish in 3 hours 28 mins which was a lot quicker than my target time. Although I struggled to walk up the stairs in the days after, it was definitely worth it!”

With the support of his family, friends, and work colleagues, and match funding from RELX, Michael raised £2,200 for Save the Children.

Make new friends, while making a difference

Volunteering as part of a team is a great way to make new friends, and strengthen existing relationships, whilst making a difference. In November 2023, 24 colleagues from RX China took part in the 10th JP Morgan Corporate Challenge event in Shanghai. Powered by fitness, friendly competition, and fun, the 5.6km race is the world’s largest corporate running event.  The RX team were led by none other than Michael Cheng, President of RX Greater China. As well as getting fit, and enjoying quality time together outside work, the team raised CNY 6885 for Enlai, a Chinese non-profit organisation which supports training programs for workers engaged in public service.

Using their dedicated RX Cares hours, a team of six RX France employees visited their local Libraries without Borders to help select and sort books. The books were then used to prepare bags to suit the needs and tastes of the children who will receive them as part of the charity’s ‘My Book Bag’ project. Thanks to the team's energy and enthusiasm over 3,300 books were sorted over the course of the day.

Andre, Rachel Hecksher and Mariana Vasconcelos from RX Brazil recently joined together with colleagues from our sister company, Lexis Nexis, to prepare sandwiches for the homeless near Sao Paulo city centre. The volunteers rolled up their sleeves, donned gloves and aprons, and set up a production line, producing over 150 sandwiches for distribution the next day. “The heartfelt gratitude from those we helped was incredibly moving and reaffirmed the importance of our efforts,” said Andre. “As Jacques Diouf once said, ‘hunger is not an issue of charity. It is an issue of justice.’ We are proud to stand by this principle and make a tangible difference in our community.”

Marc Simon

Marc Simon

Emma Dengate

Emma Dengate

Emma Riley

Emma Riley

Sarah Kitley-Spencer

Sarah Kitley-Spencer

RX China

RX China

RX France

RX France

RX Brazil

RX Brazil

Celebrating a year of RX caring in 2023 

Shooting for the stars 

Since they began supporting Shooting Star in 2008, our UK colleagues have raised over £99,400 to support the hospices work caring for 700 babies, children, and young people with complex and life-limiting conditions.  

Our support for Shooting Star includes volunteering as well as fundraising. In March, a group of volunteers spent the day at Shooting Star’s distribution warehouse. “We helped to organise many key areas of the warehouse including toys, shoes, books, DVDs and more for easier distribution to high street stores” said RX volunteer, Hannah Ware. “During our day, we also learnt that only two employees work in the warehouse permanently - all the other team members are volunteers like us who they rely on to help keep their warehouse operational and raise money for their life-saving hospices. It was a very rewarding experience for us all.”​​​​​​​ 

Small acts of kindness 

RX Greater China has been supporting Shanghai Baby Home since 2019. The charity centre provides medical assistance and rehabilitation care for severely sick orphans from all over the country. Unable to visit the centre during the pandemic, our colleagues set to work to hand-stich drool towels for the babies, raising RMB 6,900 for the Baby Home. And it was with great delight that they were able to resume their visits to the Baby Home on May 31, 2023 , to celebrate with the children in person, ahead of ‘Children’s Day’ on June 1.   

“Six volunteers from our Shanghai office visited Baby Home to spend valuable time with the children” said Carole Tang, who leads RX Cares in China.  “We brought plants and toys for them and spent time chatting and playing games with them. We believe that each small act of kindness will help them to embrace the future with more courage.” 

Food for thought 

The Bridgeport Rescue Mission in Connecticut provides vital services to men, women, and children facing hunger, homelessness, and addiction, offering help to heal and return to the community whole. In coastal Connecticut, many people struggle to put food on the table because 70% of their pay check is used for rent. The Rescue Mission’s Pantry offers fresh produce, dry goods, meat, and dairy items to enable them to feed their families. 

In May 2023, a group of volunteers from our US international sales team helped in the food pantry, sorting, organising, and distributing food to those in need. This was the second time the group have volunteered here, and plan to do so again.  Joanne Van Steen, Sales & Customer Service Support, said: “Our day volunteering at the BRM was very productive and eye opening. We handed out lots of food and various items to many people in need. It was great being able to work together as a team and we enjoyed giving back to the community."  

Giving blood 

On June 14th, 2023, World Blood Donor Day, 16 RXers in Brazil used their volunteer days to give blood. 10 attended hospital together to do so, while another six colleagues donated individually close to their homes. As a result of their combined contributions, 48 patients were helped.  

Among the group was Sales Manager, Carlos Cavalcanti, who is in the habit of donating blood every three to four months. “Donating blood is not just an act of kindness towards others that can help save lives; in fact, it also provides numerous benefits to both the recipient and the doner.”  

“Donating blood has emotional and physical health benefits. It can reduce stress, improve emotional well-being, benefit physical health, help get rid of negative feelings, provide a sense of belonging, and reduce isolation” Carlos explained. “Additionally, donating blood requires a health screening that includes checking your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, and haemoglobin levels. This free mini-physical can offer excellent insight into your health and detect underlying medical conditions or risk factors for certain diseases.” 

Procurement Analyst Geisa Maranho added: “I've been donating blood for 20 consecutive years, and I think donating blood to others is the simplest and truest act of love there is!” 

 Beating plastic pollution 

Sydney-based Defy Design is a plastic recycler and manufacturer whose main goal is to divert plastic waste from landfill and keep it in circulation. They produce custom furniture, ornaments, and trophies from recycled plastics. 

In June 2023, in support of World Environment Day’s #BeatPlasticPollution campaign, 16 colleagues from RX Australia, including members of our Sustainability and Social Committees, volunteered at the plastics recycling factor, participating in tasks such as cleaning, sorting, and processing plastic, shredding, trimming new products and packing orders ready for delivery.  

“Our task when we arrived was to sort out literally thousands of plastic drinking straws into separate colours” explained Matt Smith,  Sales Director. “We set to the task with gusto, and as is usual at RX Australia, it turned into a highly competitive affair with inter and intra table races to see who could sort their packets first!  The whole team put in an excellent shift and the team agreed it was a terrific activity to be involved in  ̶  great for team building and getting to know others you may not work with so closely, while supporting the planet.” 

Paddleboarding and litter picking 

Every year, teams of RXers from our UK office in Richmond take to the tow path, and the water, as part of a community effort to help clean up the river Thames. This year’s annual ‘Get on Board’ event on June 22, organised by ‘Be Richmond’, saw five RXers take to paddleboards (after a mandatory training session!) to collect plastic from the river. Meanwhile a group of their colleagues walked the towpath to pick up litter. 

As well as contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment, the litter picking events also bring RXers together explained Laura Williams, a senior sales manager for RX’s International Sales Group (ISG). Laura used her RX Cares volunteer hours to join a subsequent litter picking session in July. “Getting involved is as a great way to meet colleagues from across the business unit , as I mainly work with show teams outside the UK . But most importantly, I wanted to be involved as the planet is in a tricky place right now. If everyone starts to do their bit, we can all hopefully make a difference. The RX cares hours are so important, and every year we use them to do something amazing for causes that do essential work all over the world and locally. Thank you to RX for letting me have the time to make a difference on planet earth. I really appreciate it.” 

For the love of horses 

A combined team of HR, Legal and Compliance compliance colleagues from our US business came together on July 14, 2023, to participate in an RX Cares Day at Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. The CVH Animal Sanctuary is a Connecticut-based non-profit organization working to promote compassion and healing through human-animal connection, founded in 2013 to commemorate and honour the life of Catherine Violet Hubbard, a six-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. 

The team worked to set up for the Sanctuary’s ‘For the Love of Horses’ event that was happening over the weekend, including weeding in the ecotype pollinator garden, which provides shelter and sustenance for beneficial insects, butterflies, and pollinators. The day started with torrential downpours, thunder, and lightening, but when it came time to get to work, the skies cleared, and it turned out to be a wonderful day outside! 

Among the RX volunteers was our Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Ray Rhodes, who said: “Thank you so much to  CVH for welcoming us, and for sharing so many stories about this very special place, and how it came to be. It was a pleasure doing our small part in making the event a success. And thank you for the great insights shared about the Monarch butterflies - we planted milkweed in our home garden the very next day!” 

Climbing for Cancer Research 

RX UK’s Hannah Ware used one of her volunteer days towards a Kilimanjaro climb in support of Cancer Research UK in July. “I raised just over £10,000 individually and as part of my wider group of 43 people we raised over £250,000” she said. “It was a seven day climb with a group of strangers who all feel passionately about supporting cancer research. On the summit night we left at midnight to walk in the pitch black, freezing cold (no water – it was ice), in the crazy altitude and climbed for 16 hours watching the sun rise and fall throughout the day – it was amazing!”  

Taking action against hunger 

On 21 September 2023, RXers from our French business came together to walk, run and cycle for Action Against Hunger, which is working to tackle the causes and effects of life-threatening hunger in 51 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Divided into 13 teams, to add some competition to the mix, our colleagues covered a remarkable 36,310 kilometres between them, raising €18,800 in donations for the charity. 

Supporting veterans through poppy making 

Based in Richmond upon Thames, close by RX’s corporate HQ, The Poppy Factory is the UK’s leading employment charity for veterans with physical or mental health conditions. Since 1922 it has offered them a supportive place of work, making poppies, wreaths, and other remembrance products, and helping them find a route back into employment.  

Aldene Geiling, Financial Planning, Reporting and Analysis Controller, joined members of RX’s corporate finance team and their RELX finance colleagues in volunteering at the factory during our 2023 September Cares Month. “We all had a really great day helping a really good cause and meeting our finance colleagues from the other business units in RELX” she said. “We started in the warehouse cleaning and restoring the fencing for the plots that are used at Westminster abbey for Remembrance Day. We then learnt how to make a poppy with just one hand and then helped make Poppy wreaths. With over 100,000 wreaths and 250 Royal and special wreaths made every year, every little bit helps!” 

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