Working for

Old The Calico Group logo

We firmly believe that our difference lies with the people who work here. We have a genuine focus on unlocking individual strengths. Our expectations are high and we value everyone as an individual, encouraging you to be the best you can be.

We promote an environment where managers and leaders are inspiring and supportive, so that you get the most out of your work. We aim to find out what you love and enjoy doing and build on this throughout your career at Calico.

It’s how we do what we do that makes us so successful.

Anthony Duerden, Chief Executive

Calico staff jumping outside Towneley Hall

How we think and how we behave

At Calico, we work better because we share a single vision: to provide quality services that make a difference to people’s lives.

Staff came together and agreed how we could make this work. The Calico Promise is:

Strive to be better, and we will give you the opportunity to be your best.

We will help you to do just that. We will:

  • Give you the opportunity to maximise your potential by focusing on your strengths, trusting you to take responsibility and allowing you to reflect and learn from your experiences.
  • Develop authentic leaders who will ensure your work is challenging and rewarding.

In return, we expect you to:

  • Grasp the opportunity to maximise your potential by applying your strengths with commitment and passion, and taking responsibility for your actions.
  • As an Ambassador for Calico, you will rise to the challenges presented.
Calico Staff Conference 2015

Several companies, one family

Syncora - A Calico Group Service
Syncora brings together specialist companies and charities with collaborative services that achieve maximum social impact and make a real difference to people’s lives.
Acorn - A Calico Group Service
Acorn Recovery Projects is a registered charity that provides a range of innovative drug and alcohol rehabilitation services across the North West.
Calico Enterprise
Calico Enterprise Limited is a registered charity that undertakes a range of activities including housing related support, provision of worklessness initiatives, and information and advice services.
Calico Homes - A Calico Group Service
Calico Homes Limited is a housing association whose principal activity is owning and managing approximately 4,600 properties. In April 2013, it became a registered charity..
Delphi - A Calico Group Service
Delphi Medical specialises in the clinical and psychosocial treatment of substance misuse, and delivers flexible and innovative solutions in the community and in the custodial setting.
Ring Stones - A Calico Group Service
Ring Stones Maintenance and Construction LLP undertakes maintenance and house building contracts on a commercial basis.
SafeNet - A Calico Group Service
SafeNet is a registered charity that empowers women and children to live free from domestic violence and abuse.
Calico staff at Blackpool Pride

Equality, diversity & inclusion

We’re committed to promoting and celebrating the positive effect that diversity has both in our workplace and within our community.

As part of that commitment, we ensure everyone’s views are taken into account and that we promote inclusivity at all times, both in the workplace and in the wider community. We recognise and value difference, creating a culture and practices that embrace every individual’s unique strengths and preferences.

We know this is key to ensuring we maintain high staff engagement and satisfaction. We also firmly believe that understanding the different needs of our employees, customers, partners and the many other groups that we deal with, is essential to maximising our potential.

Calico apprentice with sheltered scheme resident

Wellbeing – feeling fantastic and functioning well

Wellbeing is about the combination of our love for what we do each day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our physical health, and the pride we take in what we have contributed in our communities.
Calico supports the view that a healthy balance of these five essential elements leads to positive mental health and the ability to effectively manage the differing and sometimes conflicting demands of work, home and social aspects of our lives.

Love what you do

As ambassadors for Calico, we expect you to achieve the highest levels of performance and step up to each new challenge we present with passion and commitment. To help you do that, and to achieve positive career wellbeing, we offer:

  • Support your efforts as you strive to be better
  • Help you focus on your strengths
  • Enable you to maximise your potential
  • Trust you to take responsibility for your career
  • Allow you to reflect and learn from your experiences
  • Provide you with work that is challenging and rewarding.

Quality relationships

We encourage everyone to balance their careers with a healthy and fulfilling life outside work. Social wellbeing stems from the relationships we share, the pastimes we enjoy and the social activities we take part in. To help you achieve positive social wellbeing, we offer:

  • Flexi-time wherever possible
  • Maternity/paternity with enhanced leave
  • Adoption and parental leave
  • Home working (where practical)
  • Career breaks
  • Voluntary reduced hours
  • Emergency and compassionate leave
  • An annual staff Christmas conference
  • Many social and fundraising activities
  • Sports and social clubs
  • Great on-site facilities.

Security of finances

People with thriving financial wellbeing are satisfied with their overall standard of living. They manage their personal finances well so, free from day-to-day financial worries, they are able to spend even more quality time with the people whose company they enjoy the most. To help you achieve positive financial wellbeing, we offer a range of benefits, including:

  • An attractive salary package and pension scheme
  • Occupational sick pay
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Discounts at stores
  • Healthcare plans
  • Calico Stars reward and recognition scheme
  • Mobile phones
  • Company vehicles
  • Car parking passes.

Vibrant physical health

Food, exercise and sleep all have a profound impact on our physical wellbeing. It’s important to us that everyone at Calico eats healthily, gets plenty of rest and lives as active a life as possible. To help our people achieve positive physical wellbeing, we offer:

  • Corporate gym membership
  • Free eye tests
  • A Cycle to Work scheme
  • Weekly free fruit deliveries to offices
  • Fitness programmes
  • Flitered water and orange juice
  • Wellbeing awareness events
  • Holisitic therapies
  • Health surveillance
  • A health care plan
  • Workplace adaptations
  • Free sun cream.

Pride in your community

We believe it is important that everyone contributes to the purpose of ‘Making a Difference to People’s Lives’, in a way that goes beyond their job roles. To achieve this, staff are offered a range of corporate activity opportunities, which can include community projects, volunteering for another team, health & wellbeing activities, fundraising and neighbourhood inspections. We believe this helps our staff to develop new skills and experience, increase their knowledge of our diverse business, improve their wellbeing, and give something back to the community.

*Text in this section references Harter, J and Rath, T “Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements”
Positive mental health
Calico apprentices prepare to work on the property

Personal growth

We think a career with us should be rewarding on every level, not least when it comes to personal development. On that basis, we do all we can to help you grow in your current role and match your commitment when it comes to preparing for future challenges.

Play to your strengths

As an Investors in People Gold organisation, our entire People Strategy is based on promoting staff engagement and working to identify your strengths. This involves working with you to understand what makes you happy at work and helps you to make the most of your unique strengths.

To determine what your strengths are, we have lots of different tools to help you. Personal development sessions focus on identifying, developing and deploying your strengths more at work, rather than relying on what your manager thinks you need to do or improve upon.

Research has shown that people who have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be enegaged in their jobs and three times as likely to have an excellent quality of life in general. That increased level of engagement clearly leads to a higher level of performance – both for you and the company as a whole.

Once we’ve helped you identify your individual strengths, there are a number of different learning and development initiatives we have in place to help you progress in your career:

Calico Study – Professional qualifications can open lots of new doors. If there’s a specific course or qualification you are interested in, you can apply for help with the fees as well as time off for college, study leave and travel expenses. In many cases, colleagues will have already completed the course and be on hand to offer all kinds of valuable advice.

Calico Discover – Evening classes are a great way for you to broaden your minds, your horizons and your prospects. This is why we set aside a fund from which you can apply for up to £175 to pay for your course fees.

Management Development – To those joining us in a Management role, we offer all the necessary resources and support to complete a modular programme of development as part of your 12-month induction. We also sit down with you and create a more targeted personal development plan, aligned with both the needs of the business and your own ambitions.

Workplace Coaching – Delivered by our qualified workplace coaches, our coaching is designed to help you identify what you want to achieve in your work, support you in making positive choices about your future, and help you move successfully towards your professional goals.

Calico Extra – A range of full or half day training sessions to find out more about your colleagues’ work and our different service areas, as well as an opportunity for you to learn essential new skills from experts in their field.

Calico staff holding food

Benefits of working with Calico

We know that attracting and retaining the best employees is key to the success of our business. The Calico Group wouldn’t be where it is today without its people, and it is this underlying principle which provides the basis for our benefits scheme, ensuring the rewards we provide offer fair recognition and ensure we maintain happy and satisfied employees.


We have a Calico Stars Reward and Recognition Scheme, where managers have the opportunity to recognise hard work and achievements through the year by rewarding employees with things like High Street Vouchers, flowers and even spa days. We also offer discounts with Jewsons Building Supplies, phone packages from O2, and corporate gym memberships.

Financial education

All employees now have full access to the Centre for Financial Education (CFED), who can support you with any financial decisions you may face, or just in general with your current financial circumstances, such as personal finances, credit cards, mortgages, pensions, wills, insurance, debt assistance, and future financial plans.

Social networking

We have regular coffee mornings which provide the opportunity to socialise with colleagues and raise money for good causes. We have a Sports and Social Club, which offers the opportunity to socialise with colleagues outside of working hours, and a Calico Choir.


The wellbeing of our employees is extremely important to us as having positive wellbeing allows staff to demonstrate high levels of engagement and performance, achieve job satisfaction, and realise their potential. We have holistic therapy sessions, weekly fruit deliveries, the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge and much more.

Giving something back

We participate in a number of charity fundraising and community events. We also have a volunteer procedure for employees. We encourage staff to Go One Step Further with a range of opportunities away from their day job.

Leadership Programme

Our managers will be enrolled onto our Leadership Programme. This programme has been designed especially for Calico, equipping our managers with the skills they need to develop and strengthen themselves as leaders, and to enable them to lead through our values so that they can help our teams to be the best they can be.

Career break

Sometimes a longer period away from work is required. Reasons for this may include college or university courses, childcare or other family responsibilities, pursuing a personal interest, undertaking voluntary work, or maybe oversees travel. If so, a career break may suit you.

Employee assistance programme

We work with an assistance scheme, offering help to you and your family whenever you need it. The scheme offers a range of free services, including counselling, legal advice, debt advice, hardship grants, course funding, and retirement housing throughout the UK.

Cycle to work scheme

The Cycle to Work scheme allows you to purchase a new bike and the appropriate safety equipment out of your salary, before you pay tax on it. This means you will pay less tax and National Insurance on the purchase than you would if you bought it on the high street. The bike must be used for at least part of your journey to/from work.

Making a Difference awards

We like to recognise the hard work and commitment of our colleagues. Every year, we hold the Making a Difference awards, our internal awards ceremony. It’s a chance for us to celebrate success stories and recognise the achievements of our colleagues.

Health cash plan

We offer a health cash plan to all employees. This provides affordable cover for both you and your family. Starting at only £1.20 per week, this will be deducted from your salary.

Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS)

The company operates a pension scheme. Further information will be detailed in your employment terms and conditions.

Eye care vouchers

We provide employees with vouchers for a full eye test every two years. Assistance will be given for employees who need glasses for DSE use.

Childcare vouchers

If you have a child under the age of 16, you can save money on registered childcare costs by paying directly from your salary. Taking part in the scheme allows you to save money on tax and National Insurance.

Career development

We believe developing our employees is an essential part of being happy in your job role. We provide opportunities such as workplace coaching, job shadowing, sponsorship for professional qualifications, apprenticeship schemes, leadership programmes, learning lunches, internal training sessions and many more.

Lauren from Ring Stones with two children from Valley Street Holiday Club colouring in with felt tips

We’re listening

We believe in being the best we can be.

It’s crucial to us that we’re always working together: talking to each other, sharing our knowledge and expertise and using our individual strengths for the benefit of all our customers.

Our distinct, open culture is built on strong communication. This is why we’ve created a range of different channels through which you can share your thoughts, opinions, knowledge and ideas. We’ll make sure all the structures are in place so that knowledge flows and we trust you to make sure you access them.

The ways we communicate:

  • Corporate plan presentation
  • Quip – Intranet
  • Team meetings
  • All staff emails
  • 1-2-1 meetings with your manager
  • Listening groups