Volunteering and Community
In the wake of the recent Coronavirus Pandemic, economic uncertainty and what feels like a constant struggle, it seems the whole world is out of sync and things are somewhat bleak. But look beyond the headlines and despite the daily challenges faced by Britons across the nation, you’ll find countless acts of kindness and selflessness happening every day.
It may be hard to believe but in these times of austerity there’s still an army of people who are willing to give up their time to volunteer in the community and help those less fortunate. Research carried out by The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) shows that over 14 million people in the UK volunteer their time at least once a month to a charitable cause, organisation or activity, a figure that has stayed stable in recent years.
It’s official - volunteering is holding its own. And as this trend continues more and more businesses are realising the positive impact that volunteering can have on their organisation and exploring opportunities to get involved.
Volunteering provides opportunities to give something back to the community, share skills and experience, learn new things and make new friends. Everyone’s motivation is different, but research shows that regular volunteers repeatedly report that their activities have had a positive impact on their lives.
As responsible businesses and employers it is vital that we demonstrate our commitment to our communities, our clients, our people and their families. Supporting volunteers helps an organisation build links with the local community and has a positive impact on its reputation within it. There are also many other demonstrable benefits to the business.
As well as the positive PR, team members who volunteer often learn new skills that can be brought back and shared within the organisation. Volunteering helps build confidence, nurtures team leadership and boosts morale – as well as many other health and well-being benefits. Team members benefit greatly from working with people from different backgrounds and sectors.
It can broaden horizons, increase experience and inspire change. Many businesses who actively engage in volunteering programmes also report an increase in staff retention.
Increasingly, businesses are recognising that volunteering can help them be more inclusive, enable them to engage with their workforce and it can fulfil many of their corporate and social responsibilities. Organisations are going beyond a basic level of involvement and are developing their own volunteering policies and programmes. Many of these policies include paid or unpaid leave for their employees to engage in volunteering opportunities on a more regular basis, providing a bigger impact and more sustainable results for everyone involved.
Here at Kaveney HR Solutions I operate a responsible business model and I am committed to working with other organisations to improve the environment and surroundings in which I live and work. In my spare time, I am on the board of trustees for Carlisle United Community Sports Trust, a local charity which delivers multi skills activities for all ages in the local community. I am also an Advisory Board Member for Active Cumbria and I am an avid fundraiser and supporter for The Royal British Legion.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is supporting clients with their volunteering policies and watching the businesses, charities, individuals and communities blossom, flourish and grow as a result. It’s one of the nicest sides of HR. My clients work with a variety of local and national charities and organisations and support their team members to volunteer with community projects. I’ve met many wonderful people through my own volunteering and can’t recommend it enough.