Volunteers’ Week 2022: Giving Back to Local Communities through Bruntwood Cares
1st-7th June 2022 is Volunteers’ Week! Millions of people in the UK are volunteers; this week celebrates their efforts to make a difference in our communities.
Thanks to our collaborative approach to creating thriving cities, and our drive to make a strong social impact, Bruntwood champion employer-supported volunteering. Not only do we want to create amazing spaces to work, but we also want to support the vibrant communities within the regions that we operate in. Sharing our time and expertise through volunteering is one key way that we do this!
Bruntwood Cares Volunteering Initiative
The driving force behind Bruntwood’s work is to improve the future of our communities to benefit the generations to come. That’s why colleagues are given a 24-hour ‘Bruntwood Cares’ allowance a year to spend volunteering. They have the freedom to decide how they wish to spend it, whether that’s full days of volunteering or shorter ad hoc opportunities.
There are so many benefits to be gained from employer-supported volunteering! As well as helping the people that they’re volunteering with, it also furthers colleagues' professional development. More than the good feeling that comes from giving back, volunteering is a great way to boost colleagues’ confidence, stretch out of their comfort zone and hone their professional skills.
Volunteering in Action at Bruntwood
Hear from Bruntwood colleagues about how they’ve been giving back through volunteering.
People Director, Jen Atkins says: “I’m the HR Trustee at Hideout Youth Zone, a youth centre in Gorton, East Manchester. HideOut Youth Zone provides a safe, inspiring place for young people to spend their leisure time. I attend board meetings and work with the charity’s CEO and the leadership team in developing their people strategy.
“One of the things I’m proud of supporting was the Youth Zone’s move to Real Living Wage accreditation. All of their employees are now paid the real living wage, which isn’t the norm in the charity sector.”
Wellbeing Lead, Leanne Mullen says: “I’m passionate about young people and the missing piece of education that I never had in school. So, I delivered lessons to year 9 students at Stretford High School every Wednesday for six weeks.
“This volunteering opportunity was organised by Salford Foundation; they run a programme called ‘Inspired to Aspire’ where 12-14-year-olds are mentored about vital life skills, such as teamwork, resilience, communication and problem solving.
“Volunteering helped me develop confidence and time management skills; sticking to the lesson plan and timings with a group of 13-year-olds who want to talk about Game of Thrones is not easy!”
Communications and Engagement Lead, Hannah Smith says: “Samaritans is a listening service with the aim that fewer people die by suicide. I’m there to listen to people and support them when they’re in crisis, or when they’re struggling to cope.
“Volunteering for Samaritans is one of the most rewarding things I do. It really is a moment of pure human connection and each person I speak with is unique and has their own story to tell. Since starting, my listening skills have increased, my perspective has changed and I feel more fulfilled knowing that I can be there for someone who needs it.
“Volunteering was always something I wanted to do but never felt able to until I started at Bruntwood. While I volunteer each week, having the Cares Days allowance means that I can take time to cover shifts or recover from overnights."
Marketing Executive, Mark Dawson says: “I recently sat on the judging panel for Young Enterprise UK's Greater Manchester area final in their 21/22 Company Programme. Featuring nine unique businesses, established by young people aged 16-18 from a variety of schools in Greater Manchester, the event showcased the incredible talent of the next generation of our workforce in the city region.
“The process of judging included: looking at the young people's company reports; challenging their thinking in face-to-face interviews; and watching them pitch their business ideas to an audience of their peers in a state-of-the-art auditorium.
“Through close collaboration, we chose four winners to progress to the next round, as well as awarding recognition for Best Customer Service, Best Teamwork, and Best Presentation. Thanks to Bruntwood for creating such an encouraging climate for colleague development!”
Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thanks - so we’re saying a big thank you to everyone in our community who is a volunteer!
Find out more about working at Bruntwood here.