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Volunteering is Big Business This will come as no surprise to those who’ve seen the increasingly popular three-word acronym C.S.R. gaining momentum - that’s Corporate Social Responsibility to you and me! Encouraged by the moral compasses of the younger members of the workforce who are recreating the workplace in their own image. Flexible working and social conscience are at the top of many people’s work agendas and volunteering as part of CSR is very much ‘de rigeur’. It’s not all hot air either, a recent survey carried out by the volunteering charity CSV estimated that approximately 70% of FTSE 100 companies now run some form of an employee volunteering programme. Andrew Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, gave a speech last year claiming that “frequent, formal volunteering” produces £24 billion worth of economic output in the UK each year. Haldane says this figure is “equivalent to 1.5% of GDP” Businesses benefit from providing their staff with something which helps them gain skills and confidence. Studies indicate it also reduces stress, anxiety, sick leave as well as corporate tax bills, while volunteers feel a sense of community, connection and increase compassion not to mention increased job satisfaction and loyalty to their employer. So a real win/win! Volunteering sits well within our family values of ‘Commitment, Compassion and a Shared Vision’ and we at The Accountancy Practice have volunteered for two very different organisations – Home-start Herts (for whom we are Ambassadors) and The Samaritans, and we do the accounts for another local charity, Support4Sight. The benefits which John gained from The Samaritans helped him along a path which has revolutionised his life. Volunteering for two hours a week before work gave him a perspective on his own stresses, and the ability to step back and ‘listen’ to callers encouraged him to start running his own meditation sessions. I volunteered with Home-start, the national charity which supports struggling parents with children under ten, in their homes. Full training is given, it’s comprehensive and covers a multitude of personal skills which are also essential for a harmonious workplace. Local award-winning charity Support4Sight offers befriending and counselling skills and runs helpdesks in hospitals such as Addenbrookes for those diagnosed with conditions which impair their sight. Helping people retain their independence and quality of life is their worthy goal. The experience gained from volunteering has been shown to help relieve stress, provide a sense of purpose and increase skills. Not forgetting that people wanting to get into work, or return for that matter, can find it helps give them experience that makes them more employable. It seems that volunteering is one of those rare activities that is ‘good for you’ and genuinely benefits all concerned!

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Profile for The Sticks

November Sticks  

Out now the November Issue of The Sticks digital magazine The number one what’s on magazine across Herts, Beds & Bucks with over 16,000 read...

November Sticks  

Out now the November Issue of The Sticks digital magazine The number one what’s on magazine across Herts, Beds & Bucks with over 16,000 read...

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