From serving lunch to cleaning windows, from packing hampers to delivering care packages, our staff have been busy volunteering over the past seven months.
It means that at the end of the year, staff have donated more than 1,200 hours of time to local good causes; that’s the equivalent of £18,500-worth of time spent helping out. Now, over the course of the next 12 months, the goal is to increase this to £50,000.
Community Insight and Investment Officer Kay Rose said: “This has been the first time we’ve had a volunteering programme and it’s been amazing to see so many staff get involved and be so positive about the experience. We’ve had some great feedback from staff and will be taking this on board when we look for volunteering opportunities over the next year.”
One of the comments the programme’s received was from Business Administration Apprentice Jasmine Newton, who said: “It is important to give back to your local community. People are in need everywhere you go and by donating just a few hours of your day you can really make a difference to somebodies life. I think everyone should volunteer at some point in their life. I think it's an amazing opportunity getting to volunteer in work time. It's hard to source volunteer work out of usual working hours, so it gives everyone a chance to take part in something new and fulfilling.”
Over the course of the next year, as an organisation we need to donate 2,100 hours’ worth of time to the programme to meet our target of £50,000-worth of time by 2018. And the following year, we’ll be aiming to donate £50,000 worth of volunteering time in just one year.
“Volunteering really is a brilliant way to give something back to the communities that we work in,” Kay added. “Everyone in the business is allowed to spend one day a year volunteering with a local good cause. You can do it all in one day, split it into two half day sessions, or even spend an hour a week volunteering for eight weeks. You can volunteer by yourself or find an opportunity to volunteer and use it as a team building exercise, like the ICT team did recently.”
Last Wednesday Finance & Resources Director Sue O’Neill joined our ICT team to spend the day helping out at Avon Valley Railway at Bitton, painting and polishing and getting things looking good ahead of the charity’s busy Easter period.
Sue said: “It was great to be doing something different from the day job and at a really worthwhile local charity. Avon Valley Railway is supported by a group of dedicated volunteers and we were really pleased to provide some additional help, by painting, polishing and gardening."
Meanwhile painter and decorator Beth Tanner has been volunteering at DIY SOS’s Big Build project in Hartcliffe, as part of a team of more than 100 volunteers from organisations across the area and getting to rub shoulders with Nick Knowles.