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Cheltenham Science Group
LAUNCH OF INVOLVE GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Volunteering Gloucestershire, which is part of the well known charity, County Community Projects (CCP), has been established for many years and has extensive experience in bringing charities and volunteers together.
The majority of Corporates and Financial Institutions now have Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) programs high on their agenda with the idea of 'making a difference' to the community in which they operate and to get their staff involved in meaningful volunteering.
Increasingly smaller and medium sized businesses (SME's) are also introducing ESV as a way of supporting their local community.
In order to support these organisations Involve Gloucestershire was set up in early 2015, within the framework of Volunteering Gloucestershire, to offer a service to allow Corporations, Financial Institutions and SME's to achieve their objectives in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility.
It is particularly encouraging to see the commitment of senior management who are actively supporting their employees to become involved in projects of this nature by allowing each staff member at least one day a year to engage in some form of volunteering work.
Typically corporate organisations prefer to select group challenges as it is an ideal opportunity to encourage team building in a very different and sometimes challenging environment.
These challenges could range from doing some manual work such as gardening, painting, refurbishment etc..to working alongside charity workers who take care of adults and children with special needs.
On the other hand we are more than willing to arrange challenges for individuals if that is preferred.
In this respect it is worth highlighting the opportunities that arise for "skills transfer".
Employees at corporate organisations possess a wealth of expertise in specialised areas which can be readily transferred to both charities and their clients.
Skills in the areas of IT, Finance & Accounting, Human Resources, Marketing etc..are actively sought after.
This is a 'win win' situation for the volunteer and the employer as well as the charity.
At Involve Gloucestershire we fully appreciate that corporate people who have been entrusted with implementing the ESV program are doing this in addition to their designated role.
This is precisely where Involve Gloucestershire steps in to reduce the time consuming work involved in arranging challenges between the corporate and the charity.
We are more than ready to support and guide the corporate through the entire planning process or, if required, for specific tasks only.
In other words, we work with a high degree of flexibility as our priority is to ensure that the ultimate objectives of the company are met and that the employees have felt that they have made a meaningful contribution to a very worthy cause.
The official launch of Involve Gloucestershire took place at the Cheltenham Racecourse on May 13th and was attended by some 170 guests including Government Officials, Representatives from Cheltenham and neighbouring Councils, Charities, Corporates and Financial Institutions.
It turned out to be a very successful event with a great deal of interest being shown in this service.
Cordell Ray, Chief Executive of CCP said : " Employer Supported Volunteering can have a significant and positive impact upon communities and the people within them when organised in a responsible and co-ordinated way. That is why I am really excited about the potential of Involve Gloucestershire in assisting business, big and small, to align their employees volunteer offer to the range of community needs and causes across the county. We are uniquely placed to understand community needs, to broker the right business to provide support and crucially to map the activity and demonstrate the overall impact. Even better if we can demonstrate a return on the investment and provide a legacy from our collective involvement towards a better society."