Volunteers' Week 2024: celebrating volunteering at Newbury Building Society

3-9 June 2024 marks the 40th annual Volunteers’ Week, a celebration of the special people who dedicate their time to helping others.

At Newbury Building Society, we feel passionately about the benefits volunteering has, both for communities and volunteers. It’s one of the reasons we offer all our employees two days of paid volunteering leave a year.

Why is volunteering beneficial?

Not only does volunteering help those in need, but for the volunteer, it boosts mental and physical wellbeing, providing a sense of achievement and leaving you feeling good about yourself.

I absolutely loved helping at Swings & Smiles yesterday! We spent all day painting and could really see such a difference once we were done. They were grateful for our help, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy that I helped contribute something back to the community.

Denise (Customer Support Manager, Savings), volunteered at Swings & Smiles

And the good stuff doesn't end there, either! Volunteering can also help you to:

  • Improve confidence, social skills, and self-worth.

  • Make connections with people or animals.

  • Learn new things.

  • Boost your employability or transferable skills.

  • Get active.

Why do building societies volunteer?

According to research by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), almost half (48%) of those who volunteer do so because they want to improve things or help people. 

Supporting people is at the core of mutual building societies, which sprung into existence in the 1700s out of a desire to help fellow members of their community own property. These mutual values hold strong today and are demonstrated in a range of community-focused ways, including volunteering.

Aside from loads of benefits for charities and causes, the impact on employees can be incredibly positive, too. A 2024 report by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and Pro Bono Economics found that the majority of volunteers and former volunteers felt they had gained valuable work-related experience through volunteering.

What’s volunteering like at Newbury Building Society?

At the Society, we empower employees to volunteer with organisations or causes they're passionate about. With two paid days of volunteering leave per year, our people can get away from their day jobs, work with people they may not usually, and experience something new.

It was a really great experience and today I am aching all over after putting in some real hard work. We were digging trenches under play equipment ready for wood chips, tearing down old fence panels, hauling concrete patio slabs, pruning, raking, weeding and much more. They have 52 acres of grounds and only two estate maintenance people, so they have their work well and truly cut out. It means they heavily rely on volunteers, and I certainly felt what we did helped make a real difference.

Sarah (HR Business Partner), volunteered at Prior's Court School

Recently, teams have volunteered at organisations such as Trinity Winchester, Prior’s Court School, StyleAcre, Newbury Cancer Care, Sue Ryder, and Alton Foodbank, clocking up 33 days of volunteering (that's 264 hours!) since November. The tasks have been as diverse as the organisations themselves, including:

  • Weeding, mulching young trees, planting bulbs and labelling plants.

  • Cooking lunch for local homeless and vulnerable people.

  • Packing Christmas food parcels for people in food poverty.

  • Painting, building, and repairs.

It was great to work as part of a team with colleagues I may not usually deal with on a day-to-day basis and the work we completed in a short space of time was amazing! Coming away from the day I felt we really achieved something for this charity which left me with a real sense of pride (my back didn’t feel the same way!).

Luke Pummell (Head of Direct Sales), volunteered at Good Hope Farm CIC

A big thank you this Volunteers' Week to all our people who have taken time out of their day jobs to get stuck in to a volunteering session locally.

Do you need volunteers?

We’re always interested to hear about volunteering opportunities for our people to get involved in. To find out more, click here.

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