We’re fortunate to get a lot of support from local businesses, many of whom send their employees out for a corporate volunteering day - but for some employees, one day of volunteering just isn’t enough! We spoke to one of our volunteer drivers (and all-round superstar!) Cath to find out how she got involved with volunteering through her employer:
How did you first get involved with The Whitechapel Centre?
I was the CSR co-ordinator at my previous employment and it was part of my role to get involved with the local community. We are given 1 day per year to use our CSR helping local charity’s and the local community. I found out from the building reception I worked in that they took part in a 2 week CSR project that they helped out at The Whitechapel Centre with preparing and serving breakfasts for the service users. I thought this would be perfect for our office. I arranged with David, the Volunteer Manager, a 3 week rota of helping out at The Whitechapel Centre with the breakfasts. Given the volume of staff available we were also able to help out with sorting the donations out, clothes for the service users and clothes for resale at the shop.
What made you come back?
I came back as I really enjoyed the clothes sorting, and the energy and passion that David had, got me hooked. I reduced my 5 day week to a 4 day week so I could stay involved. I come to the centre as much as I can and enjoy engaging with the service users.
How has your employer supported your volunteering?
My employer supported me by allowing me to reduce my working week.
What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?
I love the interaction with the Whitechapel employees and their energy and positivity, I enjoy working with the other volunteers and I enjoy my missions and work at Blackstock street.
Do you have any advice for other people that might want to get their employer involved in volunteering?
I would definitely recommend volunteering at The Whitechapel Centre, if you have spare time then get your name down for volunteering, the volunteers and staff make you feel very welcome and part of the team, and it’s a wonderful feeling being part of it.
Colin has been volunteering with The Whitechapel Centre since Christmas as a driver, collecting and delivering donations between venues. Colin is also a keen triathlete and when lockdown arrived many of his planned events were cancelled so he decided to set himself a challenge and raise sponsorship for the charity at the same time.
Throughout May Colin was up early running, starting with 1km on 1st, he increased his distance each day by 1km, until 31km on the 31st of the month. In total, Colin ran 496km, and for the last 10 days was running more than a half marathon a day!
Despite Colin’s fitness he found it tough going, “I’ve done endurance events before but to run every day for a month, with increasing distances, is really challenging, pretty much everything was sore by the time I finished.”
Through his volunteering, Colin has seen how the Whitechapel Centre has been supporting people who are homeless during the pandemic. He explains, “I’ve been helping out a couple of days a week, picking up donations from companies and then dropping off food parcels to clients around the city. It’s been good to see Liverpool’s response to the pandemic, people have been very kind.”
You can see all of Colin’s daily updates and sponsor him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Colin-Vallance-Owen1
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