Employee volunteering run by the charity, Business in the Community.
Give & Gain Day is the only International day of employee volunteering. Now in its ninth year, it will see thousands of people from hundreds of companies volunteering on 20 May 2016.
The day encourages businesses to give staff paid time to volunteer to help local good causes and over 30,000 people are expected to take part this year. It gives local community organisations, social enterprises and schools across London the benefit of volunteered resources, skills and knowledge from business. On Give & Gain Day 2015, businesses donated time worth £2.37 million, which highlights the growing appetite amongst business to help their local communities thrive. In London over 15,500 volunteers got involved and helped 71 community organisations – from delivering employability workshops, to running sports days and tidying up gardens.
One local organisation that benefitted is Southfields Academy who were supported by volunteers from Carillion to deliver an employability day for their pupils. Maria Fearon, Mentor Coordinator, from Southfields Academy said: “They were fantastic role models, sharing about their jobs and empowering the students to use their first language as a platform to access employment.”
In 2016 projects running in London include:
• Supporting a primary school with a reading workshop for students
• Delivering employability activities to those with multiple barriers to work
• Helping to run a sports day in a primary school
• Supporting the delivery of healthy eating and cooking activities in schools
The benefits to business of employee volunteering are demonstrated by a recent survey from NCVO and CIPD, which found that 81% of those who took part in volunteering reported increased community awareness, 65% had increased communication skills, and 59% reported an increase in confidence. 65% of the people would be more likely to work for an employer that encourages and supports volunteering, yet 39% said their employer did not support volunteering.*
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said: “Volunteering is a powerful tool which builds dialogue and relationship between groups of people and organisations who might otherwise not have the opportunity to engage in a community. It also offers genuine mutual benefit – the experience builds skills and motivates employees, while helping to make a positive contribution that meets community needs.
“Give & Gain Day is all about celebrating what can be achieved in communities through the power of volunteers – but it’s more than just a day and we urge businesses that take part to use it as a springboard into deeper long term engagement in communities across all year round”
Tina Varns, Manager, Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing at Waitrose, sponsor of Give & Gain Day, said: “Volunteering is such an important part of what we do – each of our shops supports its staff to volunteer for local good causes. Waitrose donates thousands of paid hours a year for Partners to give their time and skills to support local good causes. This will really come alive on Give & Gain Day. “
Ms Varns added: “Over 60 of our branches were involved in Give & Gain Day last year. Our branches all reported it was such a rewarding event, they hosted community conversations, networking events that brought local businesses together with community organisations to discuss local challenges. We’re really looking forward 20th May. Volunteering is a key way in which businesses such as ours can help make a real and visible difference to the communities in which we operate.”
Companies can get involved with Give & Gain Day on 20 May 2016 by visiting their website here.
Businesses across London are being encouraged to sign up to Give & Gain Day, the world’s only annual day off.