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 Dawson Kaveney HR I operate a responsible business model and am committed to working with other organisations to improve the environment and surroundings in which I live and work. I believe in supporting local business and charities and regularly support a local animal charity (where my treasured rescue cats are adopted from), the Great North Air Ambulance and in keeping with the original company’s founder (Sue Kaveney), I regularly volunteer for and support the Royal British Legion.
Professionally, I volunteer to the Cumbria branch of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) supporting the HR community and mentoring those developing their HR Careers, workplace experience and knowledge.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job and one of the nicest sides of HR is working with businesses and charities who actively engage in supporting local and national charities and supporting their own team members to volunteer within community projects. I’ve met many wonderful people through volunteering and can’t recommend it highly enough!
If you’d like any advice or support with developing your own volunteering policy, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org