As part of Volunteers Week (1 – 12 June 2016) we have given awards to four Huddersfield based businesses that support communities through Corporate Social Responsibility – Syngenta, Cummins Turbo Technologies, the Kirkgate branch of McDonald’s and One17Design.
How does volunteering support Kirklees Economy?
Volunteering is worth in excess of £414m to the Kirklees economy.
This figure doesn’t even include the valuable role volunteers play in making older people happy and healthier, giving children and young people life changing opportunities, getting blood and organs to medical emergencies and providing opportunities for people to participate in sport.
Adding in the personal health and employability benefits volunteers experience, the Bank of England estimates that that figure could be doubled, possibly even 10 times over.
Businesses, small and large, have started to see the benefits of their workers’ being more involved in their local area, and communities and groups are really starting to see the benefits building relationships with businesses, beyond fundraising.
The four businesses being rewarded for their efforts each have a slightly different approach, but they all share a common desire to support their local community and give something back.
Cummins Turbo Technologies
Last year Cummins Turbo Technologies encouraged around 800 of their staff to spend days helping in the community. They gave more than 7,000 hours of help and support to Kirklees communities. They held employee days where they worked in the countryside – planting trees, building walls and footpaths, clearing scrubland and digging ponds.
Their expert project managers also lent a hand on a project looking at transport for lonely older people; and their workforce has raised money for charities and regularly supports two foodbanks with food donations.
Huddersfield based Syngenta, have a full community engagement programme that involves a significant degree of support and resources from both management and staff.
They support all types of organisations to provide benefits for their local community. They also often support small charities by loaning their staff’s skills to help develop them as organisations.
Each year Syngenta hold a fantastic celebration for all the community groups they have supported, both past and present. This year’s event will be one of the biggest yet, demonstrating how much they have done for the local area.
Also receiving an award are the staff from the Kirkgate branch of McDonald’s in Huddersfield. They have given up 504 hours of their own time to work in the great outdoors, to help with tree planting, hedge laying, seed sewing and plant growing.
As a restaurant they wanted to give back to the Kirklees community by volunteering a day a month to undertake any activities in the local community. taking part has given us them the opportunity to take part in a project which will last long into the future.
Another local firm being rewarded is One17Design team. One17Design are a firm of architects with a passion for helping the local community. A percentage of all their revenue goes towards their charitable trust, and trustees meet regularly to consider requests for all types of support, from the local area. They have funded charity posts, requests for items of equipment, sponsorship and regularly work in schools to develop educational and employability programmes.
Rachael Loftus, Kirklees Chief Service Officer said:
“Volunteer hours are a precious resource and we know the people least able to give their time are people with full time jobs. So, when companies release their staff, it often brings people into volunteering for the first time, or in ways that are more focused. What is even better is that all the evidence indicates employers get the benefits of happier staff, staff with better insight about customers and they feel better about their employer. So, it’s a win, win, win.”
By making it possible for their employees to give up their work hours to volunteer, these businesses help to create more volunteers, and once they have had a taste of volunteering, many people will want to do more and may start to add hours from their own time.
Cities of Service Chief Service Officer Rachael Loftus and Kirklees Council Chief Executive Adrian Lythgo are presenting the awards to the businesses and at their individual premises.
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