Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The real benefit of volunteering!

"Its not just about giving back to the community, it's about what the corporate gains from it" Volunteer, Allianz.

Satro staff & Trustees gathered at our office in Send yesterday to hear from a fantastic team of volunteers from Allianz who have been working on a project for us that will make a real difference to the way we work.

Allianz, in common with many large employers, run an excellent Leadership Development programme for their up and coming 'bright stars' - what's different about their programme is that each team is asked to work on a project that will use all of their newly acquired leadership tools, but which will benefit a local charity. This is a fantastic opportunity for Charities to access skills and expertise that they wouldn't normally be able to, so Satro was delighted when earlier this year we were asked to get involved.

We asked the Allianz team to help us get better at capturing data on what difference we make - to young people, to teachers and to our volunteers, and also to give us some ides for how we can shout about our work. Too often we are simply too busy 'doing' to take the time to tell people all about it. In these times of drastically reduced funding, it's vital that as many people as possible in our region, and elsewhere, know what good work is going on under their noses!

The team from Allianz have developed some new systems for us to capture the huge impact of what we do, and much better (and simpler) ways for us to express how important our work is - even making a fantastic fundraising film for us which will be up on our website very soon! We were thrilled with the new tools and techniques we have, but also we thoroughlly enjoyed working with the team. The team too had enjoyed the experience - they all spoke passionately about their support for Satro's work - and about how much they had learnt by being able to work with a charity in this way - far more, they thought, than if they had been asked to work on a project in their own company.

We hope that other employers in the area, large and small, realise how much volunteering can be a fantastic opportunity to develop new skills amongst their staff, as well as raising their profile in the local community, and truely giving something back to the community - if they don't, we can introduce them to several hundred people who already volunteer for us and can tell them all about the real benefits!

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