Phil Childs is a man who loves a project. As the Operations Manager for Clear Channel’s Dartford and Hayes depots, Phil not only manages his team of local operatives, but he is also heavily involved in the background work that goes into launching new exciting Clear Channel projects. He also throws himself into a lot of charity work, both in connection to Clear Channel, and outside of work. This month we sat down with Phil who filled us in on his latest projects.
“I guess I like to fix things and help people” Phil explains. “Volunteering is very important to me. I think it’s fantastic that the company supports lots of charitable initiatives and gives employees the opportunity to get involved with fundraising events. I think it is great to give back, and although raising money is important, sometimes I feel money isn’t enough and it’s giving your time that’s most helpful. That’s something that was very obvious when I volunteered at Action for Children, Clear Channel’s Christmas charity partner, last year. Although we’d raised money, it was really the time spent helping decorate the children’s centre that made all the difference to them.”
Phil also takes time, outside of work, each year to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health, on behalf of the Movember Foundation.
“The fundraising event my wife and I always take part in in September is The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, that sees motorcycle riders, dressed in dapper clothing, unite across the globe to ride classic motorbikes. I’ve always loved and been around bikes, and they’re a huge part of my life, so it’s great to be able to join together with other enthusiasts to raise money. The cause is also particularly close to my heart, as my grandfather was a biker and he suffered from prostate cancer. The ride is always great fun and this year, even though we did get soaking wet, we raised over £400.”
"...I feel money isn’t enough and it’s giving your time that’s most helpful."
As expected, this year Phil is also heavily involved with events for Clear Channel’s 2019 Christmas Charity partner: Homeless Link. They are an umbrella charity for numerous local charities that work directly with homeless people across the country.
“This year we’ll be hosting a series of charity initiatives and staff events to help raise money for a number of charitable organisations supported by Homeless Link, as well as volunteer our time, in the run-up to Christmas. We’ve worked with one of their member charities before – The Connection at St Martins - and they specifically offer amazing support to the thousands of homeless people across London. Like all the other charities that fall under the umbrella of Homeless Link, the charity provides immediate shelter for people, as well as offer help to those looking for housing and employment.”
Last year, Phil was actually involved with hiring a formerly homeless individual who had been staying at a London charity shelter, and who now works as one of Clear Channel’s cleaning operatives in the capital.
“He is one of best employees” Phil says. “He works heavily in our Westminster area, helping keep our New World Payphone sites looking as smart as they can be. Without him we really wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had with the Westminster site roll-out. Since becoming employed with Clear Channel, he has moved into his own place, twice, and been able to fly out to visit his family abroad. He’s been an amazing asset to the team, and is a testament to how The Connection at St Martins help not only with immediate issues, but also help people work towards employment and a better future.”
“It’s something Clear Channel is helping more and more with” Phil continues. “This year we’ve also launched our beach cleaning initiatives in Brighton and Swansea. This project actually employs other formerly homeless individuals to help us clear beaches and recycle plastic waste.”
It’s clear Phil is proud of all his operatives and the extensive and varied work his team do, not just at Dartford and Hayes, but across the area, working closely with the other depots.
“Teamwork and a team ethic is massive – without it, nothing gets done. We in Dartford in particular operate over a huge area – around 90% of all the land within the M25, all of Kent, and a small part of Essex - so we’re certainly organised. Our core responsibility is posting sites, coupled with maintaining our digital estate, however we’re also able to get involved with the planning and execution of new exciting Clear Channel projects. One project we’ve had the privilege to work on recently is the launch of Billboard Live; Clear Channel’s new initiative to install digital billboard sites across the UK, which the company announced at our recent On The Record event. Accompanying these sites will be ‘vertical meadows’ which is a project my team have been heavily involved in planning.”
"It should also give everyone confidence that these initiatives aren’t just tick boxing exercises..."
“Working on projects that are accompanied by ‘social good’ benefits, like the inclusion of vertical meadows, may sometimes be challenging for the team – we’ve had to build huge full-size test panels and water irrigation systems for our meadows for example - but it’s fantastic to know that your hard work is going back into a project that benefits the local environment and communities. It should also give everyone confidence that these initiatives aren’t just tick boxing exercises because I actually get to see all the hard work and background planning that goes in months ahead of time to make sure these things actually work. It’s easy to make hopeful statements, but I think our ‘Difference’ – the way we go above and beyond to make a positive impact – is demonstrated through our commitment, and certainly my team and I are proud to be part of that.”