BITC Give & Gain Day

Give and Gain Day held on Friday 13 May, saw employees across our locations give up their usual Friday to support a local initiative.

Give and Gain Day is a celebration of the power and potential of employee volunteering across the world.

Launched by Business in the Community (BITC), it aims to get unprecedented numbers of people out volunteering on one day, championing the talent, skill and energy found in business, and shows how we can play a part in helping communities prosper.

Here’s what our employees got up to.

Suffolk

One team went to SESAW, a local animal sanctuary in Leavenheath, tasked with rubbing down and re-staining/painting the kennels, and taking care of walking/cleaning/feeding the animals (dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, ponies). This was a tremendous help to the sanctuary as they are heavily reliant on volunteers to help keep the sanctuary running.

Another team helped out at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice’s (EACH) Treehouse in Ipswich. Helping out in the garden which is an important part of the Treehouse especially with the Summer creeping up, the children like to play and have fun in the garden so it is important for it to be a safe and fun environment at all times. Again, EACH are very reliant on volunteers to help run the Treehouse throughout the year, so helping out for just one day was greatly received by them.

Brian Ward, Office manager at Ipswich who helped take part with the Ipswich team said: “Not only did we help achieve these tasks that these local charities may have struggled to complete, we feel proud to give something back to the community and I hope the staff taking part had an enjoyable and worthwhile day in the sunshine and fresh air!”

Cardiff

59 volunteers from different departments joined forces to support this year’s Give and Gain day in Cardiff. They’ve been pulling out all the stops raising funds and planning their projects over several weeks to support three different causes.

Mountain Ash Comprehensive school asked for help to revamp their sports facilities and encourage pupils to get fit and healthy. This includes making over the very over grown long jump, neglected tennis court and sports hall. So no mean feat!

Kings Church project in Newport asked for help to make over their community centre which provides support to young and old including some of Newport’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

Cardiff Day East Service wanted help to make over their neglected sensory garden, so our green-fingered gang got busy in the flower beds doing plenty of digging and planting.

Hove

Ryan Hodge and his team spent the day at Middle Street Primary School in Brighton, working on a range of tasks to help the school.

Ryan said, "We had brilliant day at the school, helped greatly by the sunny weather, managing to complete all the tasks set for us and a few additional jobs. We chopped back a large invasive ivy bush, painting the nursery wall, sorting storage cupboards, repainting the bike rack and shelter, installed wire to the pergola and sanded down benches and varnished them. Our work was very much appreciated by the whole school and they thanked us for our hard work. It was hugely satisfying seeing our efforts had made their playing areas safer and brighter places for the benefit of the children.”

The school have been in touch to say, "We just wanted to thank you and your team for all the hard work you did at the school on Friday. It was very much appreciated by the whole school and I hope you enjoyed your day even after all the hard work. Please pass this message on to your colleagues. Thank you again. From all the children and staff at Middle Street.”

London

Over 40 employees from our Coleman Street office volunteer their time to work in the local community. Volunteers worked with the Chelsea Football Club foundation with an employability workshop followed by a football tournament with the homeless. Another 30 volunteers went to Greenwich Leisure Centre to inspire 200 primary school children in to the world of sport. Our volunteers took part in a number of different activities for the day. Wadham Downing, Group Mergers and Acquisitions Strategy director became an event manager for the day.

Wadham Downing said, "You could see that the children (and the volunteers!) Really got into the spirit of the day and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It is great to think that some of the children will be inspired by the event and take up a new sport and really excel in future! The time really flew by and all the volunteers worked really well together - which was a great achievement bearing in mind it was lots of peoples first time volunteering. I would encourage everyone, of all levels in the organisation, to volunteer as it is an easy way to hopefully make a lasting difference to these children's lives."

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