Jayne is the Volunteer Manager for Department for Work and Pensions in Wales and manages their Community 10000 programme that pledges to release staff for corporate volunteering. As a result their staff have been volunteering in Tenovus Cancer Care’s warehouse since 2013.
“I’m the Volunteer Manager at Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) based in Cardiff, and my role is managing our Community 10000 programme, covering the whole of Wales. I've done this for approximately ten years. I approach charities to see if they'd be interested in hosting DWP colleagues as volunteers, and I also engage with colleagues to raise awareness of Community 10000.
As far as I’m aware DWP is the only Government department that has a managed programme. Our department has put Volunteer Managers in place across the UK to fulfil our pledge of 10000 days a year for DWP colleagues to be released from work, in order to experience volunteering. The programme started its life on a much smaller scale, growing from ‘Community 500’ which operated in just one part of DWP. It then expanded to become ‘Community 1000’, and eventually ‘Community 5000’. It was at this point that I was given the task of implementing the programme across the whole of Wales. It has since become Community 10000.
When I started the role, I had a ‘clean sheet of paper’ for implementation. I faced a lot of questions, along with some reluctance and scepticism, but soon gained full support from Senior Managers for its release. I then began to engage internally with colleagues through team meetings, and externally with charities. I gave myself the aim of achieving one volunteering opportunity to be available for colleagues to consider in each of the Local Authority areas in Wales.
With Tenovus Cancer Care, we got volunteering at their warehouse off the ground back in 2013. At that point in time, their warehouse would take pairs of volunteers on any given day. Tenovus Cancer Care has since increased this to up to four volunteers. Larger teams will always be considered, and are usually accommodated.
I always promote team days as a ‘team challenge’, rather than ‘team build’ as we are there to volunteer, i.e.: to help a charity complete a task that they need doing. However, if teams approach and plan their day with the right attitude, it brings the same result as a team build, but with bells on, because the outcome will be the same from a team perspective, and they have also helped a charity finish a task.
Experience has shown that one of the benefits of staff spending a day volunteering is that colleagues come back in to work inspired, and with Tenovus Cancer Care, some colleagues have gone on to make personal donations to the charity because of what they have experienced on their volunteering day. Others have gone on to volunteer in their own time.
From the perspective of DWP, everyone in society is likely to be a customer of ours at some point in their lives, many of whom have got complex needs themselves. Volunteering is a great way for us to learn about these complex needs and how customers are affected by them. Tenovus Cancer Care gives our volunteer teams a briefing on the day to explain all they do, including giving facts and figures of how many people are affected by cancer and how many people are supported by the charity. This is a great way for our staff to learn more about our own customers and the wonderful services this charity offers.
From my own experience, I’d encourage businesses to consider the benefits of taking part in corporate volunteering, e.g.: team challenge, personal development opportunities, to share and learn new skills, developing local partnerships or simply, to do something that you care about. What experience has shown me, is that once you get volunteering off the ground, the ‘ball starts rolling’ and success breeds success.
Please remember that both inside and outside of work, ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ with volunteering, and people will volunteer for many different reasons. However, those reasons can all bring business benefits. Those benefits are plentiful, and you can guarantee that if you have a team out for a volunteering day, the next day when they’re back in the office they will all be talking about their day, and how much they enjoyed themselves, bringing enthusiasm and energy into the business.”
If you'd like to find out more about fundraising or volunteering email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 029 2076 8850.