As part of our in-kind giving, we encourage employees to volunteer their time, skills and expertise through our ‘Just an hour’ volunteering scheme. We support our people to actively participate in their local communities by giving them work time to volunteer in projects of their choice. During the year our people have helped hundreds of community projects, completing tasks as varied as beach clean ups, organising charity balls and taking on ambitious gardening and decorating challenges.
For example, a group of employees volunteered their time to support people with disabilities to take part in an activity weekend organised by the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. Together, volunteers and service users enjoyed outdoor activities including abseiling and taking a zip wire across a river. Further highlights came from the Essex based employees who collected over 1,000 boxes of food supplies as part of the Harvest for the Hungry campaign 2010. This important contribution helped the humanitarian campaign to provide an essential lifeline to villages and communities scattered across Eastern Europe.
Currently 27% of employees take part in the ‘Just an hour’ volunteering scheme and last year gave over 7,600 hours to the community. Over 870 different organisations were given financial and in-kind support during the year.