issue 021, 2023 q2

Community spotlight: global community champions program

Christine Millar
international head, colleague resources, Sedgwick

Sedgwick’s corporate giving efforts center around four pillars that reflect our caring counts philosophy: education, well-being, social services and sustainability. Each quarter, we partner with a charitable organization whose goals embody one of these pillars and align with our corporate values. In the past year, we’ve supported UNICEF (education), Make-A-Wish (well-being), Action Against Hunger (social services) and One Tree Planted (sustainability) to make a meaningful impact.

But we’re not stopping there. We recently launched the global community champions program to amplify the critical work of diverse nonprofits and celebrate Sedgwick colleagues who give back to their communities around the world. Inspired by an initiative that began in our UK operation, the global program showcases our colleagues’ commitment to local causes and the ideals of caring counts outside of work.

Sedgwick colleagues who participate in causes aligned with any of our four strategic giving pillars are invited to submit details on their involvement via an online form. Each submission is reviewed by the company’s corporate giving team, and those meeting the program criteria are added to our quarterly “wall of community champions” — a digital feature on our intranet that spotlights colleagues’ giving efforts, the causes they care about, and their personal passions. Every year, two community champions will be formally recognized for their remarkable efforts and Sedgwick will make a charitable
gift to their nonprofits.

Below, we are proud to introduce you to four of our inaugural community champions. We celebrate each of these colleagues for giving their time and effort to support a cause meaningful to them and to better their community.

This program reaffirms and reflects Sedgwick’s decades-long commitment to taking care of people, communities and our planet. As a leader in our industry, we take our commitment to corporate citizenship and environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts seriously. The community champions program enables us to highlight the parallel importance of charitable giving to our colleagues.


Martin Chamberlain
claims handler and fraud assessment coordinator
Cardiff, Wales, U.K.

Chamberlain has been a member of Friends of Forest Farm for almost 30 years and its secretary for 20 years. The organization was formed in 1990 to protect and develop the Forest Farm Country Park, a natural preserve rich with flora and fauna near Chamberlain’s home in Cardiff. The landscape faces constant threats of development at its borders, but the organization is committed to preserving the park as a place of freedom, recreation and enjoyment that benefits the local and wider community. Members also study the park’s natural habitats, work to expand safety and accessibility, and promote its use for educational purposes.

When his children were young, Chamberlain routinely brought them to events at the park; he then became a volunteer himself. His involvement in the organization arose from his concern for the environment and climate change. Chamberlain lives in an increasingly urban area and observes children in his community having little to no interaction with the natural world. “The future of our world is in the hands of our young people,” he said.

Chamberlain attends monthly committee meetings and volunteers throughout the year in planning, developing, and implementing habitat improvement initiatives. Notably, he’s helped raise funds to develop new wetland areas that have increased the reserve’s biodiversity.

He believes that to effect change, each of us must think global and act local. “If we all do a small thing in our local community, the global impact would make a big difference,” Chamberlain said. “The same can be applied to our day-to-day operations at Sedgwick.”


Maria Bickford
senior finance manager
Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Bickford is a member and frequent volunteer of the Le Bonheur Club, an organization that’s been enhancing the lives of children throughout the Memphis area since its inception 100 years ago. The club founded Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in 1952 and continues to play an integral role in supporting the Memphis hospital’s fundraising, service projects, community outreach and volunteerism.

The organization’s central mission is to improve the lives of all children in surrounding communities, in addition to identifying and fulfilling the needs of the hospital’s young patients. To that end, the club provides an array of resources to brighten patients’ days, including therapy dogs, a hospitality cart, blankets, toys and a family resource center.

Bickford joined Le Bonheur Club to be a part of a driven group of women making a difference in Memphis and the Mid-South. To give back, she regularly attends meetings, volunteers at the hospital, and participates in the club’s annual fundraising campaign.

One of her volunteer duties is stocking Bunny Lane, an area of the hospital where children can pick out a stuffed toy before they undergo surgery. Bickford said she routinely hears from parents about the impact of this tradition and the long-lasting comfort it provides their ailing kids during tough times.

If anyone understands the power of holding a stuffed animal companion before an operation, it’s Bickford; as a child, she was a patient at Le Bonheur. “I can remember picking out a toy from Bunny Lane,” Bickford said. “That experience gave me so much comfort.”

For Bickford and the cause she’s passionate about, everything seems to come full circle. “At Sedgwick, taking care of people is at the heart of everything we do,” she said. “The club lives out that mission through our fundraising and volunteer work for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.”


Becky Parker
workers’ compensation claims representative
Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA

Parker became involved with Run the Streets eight years ago and serves as an adult mentor. RTS, a mentoring program for youth in grades 6-12, uses long distance running as a vehicle for change. Its mission is to teach vulnerable youth the value of goal setting and character development by offering a life-changing experience: training for and completing a half marathon. Student participants are paired with adult mentors, and they train together three times per week for 11 weeks. Then, together, they run a half marathon, side by side.

All in all, youth-mentor pairs log approximately 130 miles pre-marathon, forging a deepening connection throughout. This seemingly simple relationship can have transformative effects: Mentorship has been shown to positively impact youth mental health, increase self-esteem, and decrease symptoms of depression.

Parker decided to become a mentor after talking with several youth participants and being struck by their determination to conquer personal challenges. “We [adult mentors] see their struggles and have the privilege of seeing them overcome them,” she said. “Then we get to see the look of accomplishment they have when they complete their half marathon.”

One RTS season, Parker was partnered with a 12-year-old boy who struggled to keep up at the back of the group. At first, the pair could not meet the required finishing time and had to restart multiple times. The boy never complained or considered quitting — and eventually, he qualified. Parker said she watched as her mentee grew into a young man, gaining confidence with each RTS season. He is now a high school senior; due to his perseverance, he is still active and among the program’s fastest runners.

“I believe I’m reflecting Sedgwick’s core values of empathy, accountability, inclusion, collaboration and growth in every aspect of being involved with Run the Streets,” Parker said.


Jennifer Hastings
claims examiner
Troy, Michigan, USA

Hastings serves as financial director, lead statistician and business adviser on the board of directors of the Michigan Leagues of Academic Games. Established 50 years ago, MLAG is a series of games designed to stimulate and test the knowledge of students in grades 3-12 in a range of subjects, including math, English, social studies and logic. MLAG strives to provide a positive learning environment and empower students of diverse backgrounds to progress academically through a structured competitive tournament setting. Students develop proficiency, gain educational confidence, and sharpen their skills through competition.

Over 2,000 students from districts across Michigan, spanning a diverse range of nationalities and socioeconomic levels, participate in MLAG. Whether a student comes from an upper-class suburb or a less affluent inner-city neighborhood, the only thing impeding a student’s ability to play is their own work ethic. The competitions promote equity and aim to provide a level playing field. “Kids are kids,” Hastings said. “I’ve found they all want to learn and achieve to better their lives.”

Hastings has had a direct hand in structuring the program. She attends monthly tournaments, arranges and schedules the annual Michigan state championship tournament, coordinates with teachers and parents to organize the annual program, and more. She goes to great lengths to empower students through learning. “I have seen kids go from not wanting to go to school, to being the first in line at the door — all because of academic games,” Hastings said.

We thank Martin Chamberlain, Maria Bickford, Becky Parker and Jennifer Hastings for sharing their stories and for all they do in their communities to show how much caring counts.