Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in our local community. But did you know, volunteering can also help improve your wellbeing, develop new skills or boost your confidence? Volunteering with your colleagues is also a great team building activity.
Ahead of Volunteers Week, we spoke to Steph Yaguer, Marketing Director at Red Ant, a Bankside business, about why volunteering locally makes it easy to make a difference to the community, and to their people:
“Volunteering is an important part of our culture at Red Ant, it helps connect the team, which is more important than ever now with hybrid working. It also helps with recruitment; we’re noticing more and more people asking at interviews about what we do to give back, and how they can get involved.
“It can be challenging finding time for volunteering activities when everyone is busy, but local opportunities make it easier to fit in around our client commitments.
“Better Bankside introduced us to the Positive Ageing team at Blackfriars Settlement a few years ago, and we’ve organised a few volunteering activities with them now. They’re just a short walk from our office, which makes it much more straightforward – it’s as simple as nipping out of the office for a couple of hours, make an impact on someone else’s day, and then carry on with your work as usual.
It’s also really easy to organise a volunteer activity with Blackfriars Settlement. There are always different tasks that suit the mix of skills and personalities at Red Ant. Some of the team prefer to work in the kitchen, helping prepare lunch, whilst others love getting to know the Positive Ageing members, talking to them or playing games, as well as serving the meal we’ve cooked.
“It might seem quite a simple thing to do, but you can see straight away the difference you are making to people by the smiles on their faces.
“It also makes a difference to the team at Red Ant. Everyone who’s spent time at Blackfriars Settlement tells us how rewarding they’ve found it: meeting people who live in our neighbourhood, hearing their stories – there are some real characters – and seeing how spending time with them makes a huge impact. We love it!”
Looking for volunteering opportunities for yourself or your team? This Volunteers Week, Better Bankside have organised three activities to make it easy to make a difference:
1 June – Lunchtime Gardening – Summer Refresh: get your gardening gloves on and join Better Bankside’s Urban Gardener to make our neighbourhood green this summer.
6 June – Thames Beach Clean: led by Recorra, our recycling partner, you’ll help to remove plastic waste from the Thames foreshore and protecting our local environment.
7 June – BB x Community Southwark Volunteering Day Out: join teams from other Bankside businesses as we get hands on to improve an adventure playground for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Better Bankside can also help you find opportunities to work with local charities and community organisations – visit the Bankside Community Exchange to learn more about the different groups based in our neighbourhood.