6 Dec, 2018
First slide

Karen Barody, our talented Health Coach and Programme Coordinator writes about her valuable experience of volunteering during her long corporate career and gives insights on how it helped her as a person while the organisations developed their CSR process.

Corporate volunteering is a great way to engage employees, build teams and meet corporate social responsibility targets. Volunteer Ireland manages I-VOL, the National database of volunteering opportunities. They have a wide range of statistics on volunteering. In 2016, over 14,000 volunteers registered with I-VOL which contributed to over 490,000 volunteer hours.

Drawing on my own experience in the Corporate world whilst a Team Leader in a Call Centre environment. One of my many tasks was heading up both the Sports and Social and Community Initiatives. All employees were given 2 days away from work to take part in a Volunteering event. Not only that, the company in question also funded some of the Community Events through their Employee Volunteering scheme. At Wind of Change, our team members come from different corporate backgrounds and they have done their share of volunteering too. Which is good news as this shows a lot of corporates are embracing this nowadays.

Volunteers who are well supported from the start are happy volunteers. Happy volunteers are more likely to “Make a Difference” to society. By developing a strategy for Corporate Volunteering in your workplace, you are further developing your employees to engage, empower and influence. This is just one way to keep morale flying high. A job that is well done by a person who is fully dedicated is always a source of inspiration.

If you or your organisation currently don’t engage in volunteering, maybe this is a goal you could work on in 2019. By taking part, we can make communities become more resilient against natural disasters, economic stress, and political shocks.

From working in an extremely diverse culture, it opened up many channels of charitable organisations we could work with.

Here are some of the things we did:

  1. Hosted and worked with ladies with learning disabilities. We organised a night to remember by showing ladies how to apply makeup, a qualified hairdresser styled hair, we organised nibbles and even brought in a fashion designer to give advice on what clothes would suit body type
  2. Employees went into nursing homes, served up a Christmas dinner. Employees bought presents and they put together a Christmas carol with music and songs for the residents
  3. Some employees were extremely passionate about animals. They worked with the DSPCA on a monthly basis and employees volunteered their time to help out where needed. They held a raffle and bought extra food and blankets for the animals
  4. The Shoebox Appeal: Many employees helped pack the shoeboxes for less unfortunate children over the Christmas period
  5. We worked with Crèche owners in impoverished areas whereby employees with artistic talent went in to paint the baby room, toddler room walls. The company we worked for purchased paint and tools in order to carry out the task.
  6. We worked with Schools to create sensory rooms for autistic children
  7. We also designed a garden with many vegetables and flowers for a few schools and nursing homes

Although Wind of Change is a young startup, our team is committed to making difference in the society by returning back something meaningful to those who need it the most. In 2018:

  1. We hosted Fitness and Nutrition events to hundreds of children in schools
  2. Did workshops with Cancer Charities encompassing the 4 elements of wellbeing
  3. We are happy to share part of our revenue from corporates with a charity of their choice

So, does the Organisation you work for have a mission to connect companies with charitable organisations? If not, maybe it’s time for a change. Why not reach out and start to help people less fortunate than you and your family. It doesn’t have to be money related, it could be just giving up a little of your time. As a parent, I encourage my children to take part in charitable causes regularly. If everyone helps a little, the world would be a better place.

How Healthy are You?

Get a picture of your current health status and habits by taking our short Health and Wellbeing Check!