Our commitment to volunteering.
We often take for granted people giving their time to help others. What would happen if people stopped volunteering? We often reflect on the number of vital services run on unpaid volunteers and the important role they play in communities and society as a whole.
It is important to us that we encourage, support and engage our employees into volunteering. We truly believe that people who have a purpose outside of their everyday working role are more motivated, healthier and happier.
Ideally we aim to engage 20% of our employees in volunteering for their communities and during work time each year. We believe that volunteering can be fun and fulfilling, allowing employees to experience many diverse opportunities not always possible elsewhere.
Volunteering is built into our culture and wellbeing. We feel it improves confidence, skills, improves health and allows us to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Each employee is given time off during working works to support volunteering activities. Our employee volunteering policy shows our commitment to encourage employees to get involved. As a reward for volunteering outside of work we offer time matching. They convert their volunteering time to cash for their charity or community group.
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it both challenging rewarding.
Our six reasons we encourage volunteering linked to staff wellbeing:
- Develop new skills. Gaining skills, knowledge and expertise are common when volunteering. Experience you can share in your workplace and your own personal goals.
- Meeting new people. Loneliness and boredom are common in society today. Volunteering can help relieve this sense of social isolation and help you find new friends.
- Giving back. Doing something for the community you live in and imparting your wisdom on others. Community groups are often run of volunteers especially sports clubs.
- Growing confidence. Volunteering is an excellent way to find your mission in life. Helps boost your self-esteem and greater self-worth. Helping others makes you feel good about yourself. That fuzzy feeling.
- Gain a new perspective. Life can be hard and when you’re feeling down, your problems can seem insurmountable. Volunteering can offer a new perspective – seeing people who are worse off than you are, yet still hanging in there, can help you see your life in a whole new light.
- Know that you're needed. Feeling needed and appreciated are important.
Research has shown that the good feelings you experience when helping others may be just as important to your health as exercise and a healthy diet. This is built into our Health and Wellbeing agenda and our Culture.