CSR has always been a big part of Builtvisible’s culture, from sustainable working practices to a employee-led monthly charity donation scheme, and back in May we teamed up with Benefacto to take our positive impact on meaningful causes to the next level.
The premise was simple – we would give two working days per employee, per year for volunteering through the Benefacto platform – and the uptake has been brilliant to see.
So brilliant, in fact, we thought we would round up some of the organisations and causes we have had the privilege of helping over the last 6 months or so. All the organisations we have worked with are doing fantastic things in the community, and details on how you can help are linked throughout.
Drive Forward Foundation
The Drive Forward Foundation work with young care leavers ages 16-26 to give them the skills and confidence they need to find meaningful employment, broaden their horizons and change their lives.
Our Head of Analytics Tom and I attended the Tuesday Lunch Club at Drive Forward back in June to work 1:1 with young people who could benefit from support around interview tips, CV writing skills and job applications.
The afternoon was an incredibly satisfying use of time, where we were able to put skills we use every day to good use and really make a difference to people who need it. It was a challenging few hours to say the least, but we really felt like we made a difference – and we got to eat a delicious lunch with the guys we worked with to boot!
Blackfriars Settlement Forget-Me-Not Club
Forget-Me-Not Club is a service run by Blackfriars Settlement which helps older people who are affected by memory loss, forgetfulness or dementia. The weekly club focuses on brain exercises including crossword puzzles, brain teasers and memory games which help guests keep active and fight memory loss.
This cause touched a number of our team who took the opportunity to help out at the club:
Leaving the office for a few hours to support a great cause has meant so much to me and has been incredibly rewarding. Supporting the Forget-Me Not Club at the Blackfriars Settlement in their effort to support people in the local community, specifically those affected by memory loss, forgetfulness or dementia has been really enjoyable.
Claudia – Finance Director
Volunteering at Blackfriars much-loved, community club for elder people with dementia didn’t feel like volunteering work at all. I left feeling inspired and grounded by all of the wonderful members and had multiple stomach cramps from constant laughter.
Rachel – Senior Content Marketing Executive
The Graveney Canteen, Tooting
The Graveney Canteen is one of the community canteens run by Be Enriched, a wonderful charity that aims to create spaces where everyone is welcome and where communities can bond.
The canteen works with supermarkets, greengrocers and markets to redirect surplus food to cook up a hot meal for people who need it, and for people who want to connect with others in their neighbourhood.
Thanks to Builtvisible’s partnership with Benefacto, I was able to spend a day at The Graveney Canteen in Tooting where I – alongside several other volunteers – cooked up a 3-course meal for people from many different walks of life.
About 40 people turned up to eat the food we cooked for them which in itself was amazing, but what I really enjoyed was getting to know these people and hear their various stories and experiences. The day was full of community spirit and I look forward to returning in the new year.
Olivia – Senior Content Consultant
It’s the success of charity shops, including this branch in Brixton that helps Barnardo’s deliver its life-changing services to vulnerable children throughout the UK.
Known for its range of items including High Street brands and designer goods, the shop has a high turnover of stock, which keep the customers coming in.
Work life can sometimes seem all-consuming – it’s so easy to get wrapped up in projects and forget about what’s really important. Volunteering at Barnardo’s helped me achieve a sense of perspective that I may not have ever reached whilst sat at my desk. It really makes you think twice about your overall approach and mindset at work.
Izzie – Senior Content Marketing Executive
Vauxhall Food Bank and Islington Food Bank
Vauxhall Food Bank and Islington Food Bank, run by the Trussell Trust, provide emergency food supplies to those at risk of food poverty. Through the voucher system, the food bank provides those in need with up to 10 nutritionally balanced meals.
The friendly teams provide their clients with a friendly face and a listening ear with the hope to signpost them to relevant services and agencies to help deal with the root of their crisis.
Volunteering at the food bank was a completely different experience, it was very hands on, sorting all of the generous food donations from various companies and supermarkets. It is such an important service so it was great to be able to make a contribution.
Tori – Content Marketing Consultant
Benefacto offers such a great range of volunteering opportunities I’d never really considered before – I was able to help out at my local food bank as well as support women learning English as a foreign language, all during working hours. I’ll definitely be back!
Ileana – Head of Client Services
Our People & Facilities Manager Karlymay, who oversees the scheme here, has loved watching the initiative get going and as well as taking part has made further use of the relationship to do good things in the community.
It has been a pleasure working with the Benefacto team, and hearing about the volunteering experiences the team have had. The Benefacto team have been especially helpful in connecting us with a number of charities so that we were able to donate office desks, chairs and crockery. Our idea to donate would not have been nearly as successful without their help.
Karlymay – People & Facilities Manager
We have had a brilliant first 6 months working with Benefacto and look forward to volunteering our time a lot more in 2019!
For more information on Benefacto click here.