Research undertaken by Deloitte, found that 61% of people who rarely or never volunteer still consider a company’s commitment to CSR when considering a potential job. Not only does volunteering build soft skills, corporate volunteering can improve health by improving mood and reducing stress.
When I was told that SAP Concur allocates one day per quarter for employees to volunteer and support communities, I was shocked and impressed in equal measure. To kick start the summer period and make sure employees were utilising the opportunity fully, a handful of SAP Concur employees went to spend their day at either the Thames Valley Adventure Playground or Ealing Soup Kitchen, giving a helping hand to those in need.
Fortunately, myself and some of my fellow colleagues had the pleasure of attending the Thames Valley Adventure Playground. The playground, situated in Maidenhead, is a registered charity that provides a haven for children and adults with all types of special-needs to get out and about, with the opportunity to explore and play in a safe and stimulating environment.
The group was split up into separate tasks, which included - arguably the favourite of the day - painting one of the park's play structures. We all got stuck in, using a selection of bright colours which we knew the children would love, transforming a once unadorned structure into an exciting and stimulating climbing-adventure.
As well as the climbing-structure, the playground also includes wheelchair-accessible roundabouts and swings, as well as elevated walkways allowing for anyone - regardless of ability - to relax and have fun, which we loved watching all of the children enjoy all day. The experience was as enlightening as it was enjoyable, and we hope that the newly decorated structure will be enjoyed for years to come!
If you would like to read more about the Thames Valley Adventure Playground and see what they do, please click here.
Additionally, another team made up of managers, interns, MDR’s and marketeers, all banded together to volunteer for a day at the Ealing Soup Kitchen. Lasagne, garlic bread, salad, and Eton mess were on the menu for the day and, with a few natural Gordon Ramsey’s taking to the kitchen, the outcome proved successful. As well as preparing and serving a hot meal to Ealing’s local homeless community, we could provide a moment of shelter and company to some 60 individuals who brought themselves along to the soup kitchen. Donations to the charity allowed us to hand out clothing, sleeping bags and toiletries to the community to better equip them for living on the streets or in their vehicles.
Georgia Howlett – SAP Concur’s first intern for 2018/19 - did a fantastic job organising the day, allowing so many of us to provide a hot meal to the local community and taking a small step towards helping London’s homeless community. The day was truly rewarding for all, and I am looking forward to continuing SAP Concur’s relationship with Ealing soup kitchen, notwithstanding all other opportunities to get involved with future CSR projects.
Please click here to read more about Ealing Soup Kitchen and the amazing work they do.
Getting involved in CSR initiatives is a brilliant way to boost your career prospects – not only does it develop new skills and experience, it can help you create a positive personal brand image on CV’s and in interviews. In a recruiter survey by Jobvite, it was found that recruiters rank volunteer participation higher than personal presentation – which shows exactly how you can give back to your local community, while simultaneously accelerating your career forward.
If you’re interested in getting more involved with your community, encourage your company and employees to incorporate it into your quarter! Look into more volunteering ideas and options here