Aquiva Give and Gain Day

Aquiva Give and Gain Day

by Maggie Grand on May 22, 2014

IMG_538827 people from Media & Communications company Arqiva came along on Friday 16th May to help at our Hemel Food Garden as part of the Business in the Community “Give and Gain Day”. They were working in our new tranquillity area creating ponds, planting shrubs and strimming our orchard. They made a huge difference in a short time on what was a very hot day. Thank you everyone.

Give & Gain Day
The UK celebrate the power of employee volunteering
13,000 business volunteers; 200 companies; giving over 90,000 hours volunteering, worth over £1 million, helping hundreds of thousands of people across UK communities. All on one day.

• The UK’s only national day of employee volunteering
• Volunteers from Arqiva supported Sunnyside Rural Trust. Arqiva are a communications infrastructure and media services company with an office in Hemel Hempstead and Chalfont St Peter

• UK employees swap the office, factory and store to volunteer in their communities for Give & Gain Day 2014

Give & Gain Day is a global celebration of the power and potential of employee volunteering. On 16 May 2014 over 13,000 employees from businesses across the UK are getting out into their communities volunteering their time to help community groups, schools and local charities.

Sunnyside Rural Trust received help with creating its tranquillity garden at the Hemel Food Garden site in Hemel Hempstead. The charity works with people with learning disabilities through offering work skills in horticulture. Those who attend, for placements of one to five days, gain self esteem, confidence and real experience of growing all kinds of vegetables, plants, fruit and gardening skills. The tranquillity area will offer a place of calm for those who need a little space away from the main group. Many of the trainees who come to Hemel Food Garden have learning disabilities which can result in frustration and anger. Having somewhere to be quiet and calm down will be a valuable resource for the team. The volunteers from Arqiva spent the day strimming the orchard, digging a huge hole for a new pond and planting making a huge difference in a short time.

Businesses across the UK contain legions of skilled, experienced and energetic employees. Almost 200 companies are helping 400 community organisations in the UK. In total, the value of time donated by volunteers across the UK on Give & Gain Day will be £1 million – an invaluable investment for communities. Business volunteers are helping in schools, day centres and youth groups, doing everything from delivering employability workshops and CV training for the long term unemployed to supporting school sports days.

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community said “Give & Gain Day is an opportunity for businesses, community organisations and schools to celebrate what can be achieved through the power of volunteers. Employee volunteering is a win-win, the experience builds skills and motivates employees, whilst helping meet community needs.”

David Crawford, Managing Director of Arqiva, who took part himself on the day said “It’s great to see 27 people volunteering today and really demonstrates the meaning of Give and Gain Day. At the end of the day we’ll be able to see the big difference that we have made here at Sunnyside Rural Trust and that’s very rewarding”.

Lloyds Banking Group, sponsors of Give & Gain Day for the last three years, firmly believes volunteering has an important role to play in helping to build thriving communities. Graham Lindsay, Director of Responsible Business, said: “We are incredibly proud of all of our colleagues who use the national Give & Gain Day to work so hard to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of those with the greatest need. Whilst thousands of our colleagues volunteer throughout the year, this annual date provides an excellent focus for us all. 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.”

Simon Lucas, Managing Director of recruitment and executive search firm Society, comments, “It’s encouraging to see so many charities, Wooden Spoon, Kids Company, Catch 22 and many others, take advantage of Give & Gain Day and the resources business volunteers offer. The impact Give & Gain Day can have is really profound. There’s the short term benefits of community organisations and charities getting an event run or their website improved, but there’s also a fundamental exchange happening. Businesses are getting exposed to the issues that community organisations are grappling with on their doorstep, and the community organisations are getting exposed to business ways of thinking and acting.”

Tina Varns, Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing Manager, Waitrose said, “Volunteering is such an important part of what we do – each of our shops supports its staff (Partners) to volunteer for local good causes, and by 2017 our Partners will have volunteered for 11,000 full working weeks, all while being fully paid.”

Give & Gain Day participants in the UK are in good company, joining a global movement of thousands of volunteers across 26 countries as diverse as Spain, Iran, Nigeria and Guatemala.

Sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group, Society and Waitrose and in association with BT and ITV, Give & Gain Day 2014 is dedicated to getting thousands of employees out of the office, store or factory to volunteer in their local communities. By making volunteering fun, accessible and inspirational Business in the Community aims to make it something that all businesses give their staff an opportunity to do in work time.
www.giveandgainday.org.uk
About Business in the Community
Business in the Community stands for responsible business. We are a unique business movement – the largest business-led charity of its kind – committed to building resilient communities, diverse workplaces and a more sustainable future. We work locally, nationally and internationally with members to transform businesses and transform communities. We believe that responsible leadership is the ability to balance doing both.
We ask our members to work with us on specific campaigns that impact in the workplace, marketplace and community. We offer a range of services that challenge, support and inspire members and help transform their businesses. Business in the Community (BITC) www.bitc.org.uk

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