Businesses across Northern Ireland are today being urged to sign up to Give & Gain Day, the world’s only annual day of employee volunteering run by the charity, Business in the Community taking place on 20 May 2016.
The global day encourages businesses to give staff paid time to volunteer to help local good causes and over 30,000 people are expected to take part this year.
It gives local community organisations, social enterprises and schools across Northern Ireland the benefit of volunteered resources, skills and knowledge from business.
On Give & Gain Day 2015, across the UK, businesses donated time worth £2.37 million, highlighting the growing appetite amongst business to help their local communities prosper.
Projects will be taking place across the province.
The benefits to business of employee volunteering are demonstrated by a recent survey from NCVO and CIPD, which found that 81% of those who took part in volunteering reported increased community awareness, 65% had increased communication skills, and 59% reported an increase in confidence.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents would be more likely to work for an employer that encourages and promotes volunteering, yet 39% said their employer did not support volunteering.*
“Volunteering is a powerful tool which builds dialogue and relationships between groups of people and organisations who might otherwise not have the opportunity to engage in a community,” said BITC managing director Kieran Harding.
“It also offers genuine mutual benefit - the experience builds skills and motivates employees, while helping to make a positive contribution that meets community needs.
“Give & Gain Day is all about celebrating what can be achieved in communities through the power of volunteers – but it’s more than just a day and we urge businesses that take part to use it as a springboard into deeper long term engagement in communities across Northern Ireland all year round.”
Bronagh Luke, of Spar said: “Volunteering is such an important part of what we do. We encourage and enable our employees to volunteer at least once a year.
“We’re really looking forward to being involved in Give & Gain Day again this year.”