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Making a difference in volunteer week

A new volunteer week has kicked off at UK Power Networks inviting staff to get involved in local community challenges.

From Press releases - 23 September 2014 12:00 AM

A new volunteer week has kicked off at UK Power Networks inviting staff to get involved in local community challenges.

Projects are lined up in Bedfordshire, Kent and Norfolk to mark the company’s inaugural employee volunteering week from September 22 to 26.

The electricity company gives staff two paid days a year to get involved in voluntary work across London, the South East and East of England, the three regions where it owns, maintains and operates the electricity network for 8.1 million homes and businesses.

Staff have already spent 2,200 hours this year volunteering with local charities, community and conservation groups. Some projects taking place this week are:

• Scrub clearance at Totternhoe Nature Reserve, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, on Wednesday (24). Volunteers will be helping Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust by removing scrub to encourage rare insects, flowers and plants to thrive which would otherwise be smothered by coarser vegetation.

• Maintenance at RSPCA Animal Rescue Centre, Leybourne, Kent, on Wednesday (24). Fifteen staff from the HR team are returning to the centre following last year’s visit to help with gardening, fence painting, kennel clearing and other jobs. Wendy Waghorn, HR adviser, said: “We supported the centre last year and felt we made a difference by delivering some of the manual works, allowing the centre’s team to invest more of their time and effort in helping these neglected animals regain their health, their trust of people and their chance of rehoming. We want to offer that support again this year.”

• Fen raking for Norfolk Wildlife Trust at NWT Upton Broad and Marshes, South Walsham, Norfolk, on Wednesday (24).

• Conservation of pingos at NWT Thompson Common, Thetford, Norfolk, on Thursday (25) for Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The team will be cutting and clearing scrub and small trees from the pingos. These are glacial ponds which are home to rare invertebrates that would not survive without regular management of their habitat.

Phil Spiby, sustainability adviser at UK Power Networks, said: “We have seen significant increase in staff taking up the opportunity to get involved in volunteering across our workforce this year. This is our first employee volunteering week and we have set the foundations to build something much bigger next year.

“Team challenges develop new skills, enhance team working, bring colleagues together and our employees really enjoy them. We recognise the benefits they bring to our company as well as taking satisfaction from producing tangible benefits for wildlife and the local community.”

With 5,600 staff located at offices which include London, Crawley, Ipswich, Maidstone, Potters Bar and Bury St Edmunds, a range of volunteering events take place throughout the year.