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Employee Volunteering Week

Posted on 26 September 2016 04:22 PM by Spiby1P

Our employees gave more time to volunteering last year than ever before.

We spent over 5,000 hours working with 39 different organisations on a variety of tasks across London, the South East and East Anglia.

Like many of our employees I use two days of paid leave a year to volunteer or fund raise in my local community. I’ve taken part in so many different challenges, from apple-picking with the wildlife trust to helping protect the Brecks Pingos, one of the UK’s most unique natural features created in the last Ice Age and almost untouched since. Last year we were lucky enough to spot a Northern Pool Frog, previously extinct in the UK, but released into the pingos, their last known native site, just a few months earlier.

Making a difference
Volunteering makes a difference and the benefits are definitely mutual. I speak for others when I say I get out far more than I put into the projects. I’ve seen the huge smiles on people’s faces when they spend a day outdoors doing something different from their normal jobs to improve the environment or help their community. There is a great sense of fun, achievement and belonging from giving up your time to help others. It feels good and brings people together in a common purpose.

Appreciative feedback
Projects we got involved in last year ranged from four individuals who gave their time to make weekly phonecalls to people living alone to combat loneliness, as part of Age UK’s befriending programme, to a large team in Chatham who donated 51 volunteering days between them to create a sensory garden for people with dementia. The appreciative feedback we receive from organisations we support is heart-warming and keeps us thinking ahead, planning our next community challenge.

We’re partners with the nine wildlife trusts in the areas we serve and support conservation projects in our regions’ treasured green spaces. Earlier this year we helped with groundworks for a new wildlife garden with Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Celebrating our Employee Volunteering Week
We’ve got a few volunteering events planned in the near future, to celebrate our Employee Volunteering Week from September 26 to 30, so look out for us if we’re working nearby. I’ve included a list of the places we’ll be below. We take part in challenges like this all-year-round, not just during this special week, so if you would like our volunteers’ help then get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.

Catch us soon at:
• Snape Warren, helping the RSPB, Suffolk
• Tunstall Forest, again with the RSPB, Suffolk
• Our annual visit to Thompson Common to help the Wildlife Trust clear pingos, Norfolk
• Aldeburgh beach, Suffolk
• Belfairs Park, Essex
• Higham Hill Park, London
• Tewin orchard, Herts


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