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Volunteering to build change

At Virgin Media, we understand the importance of taking time to give back to the community. We pride ourselves on building connections that really matter and we empower our people to do the same. We know there never seems to be enough hours in the day to do everything we want to do, which is why every employee has the opportunity to take a Volunteering Day.

This is an additional paid leave day, where our people can take the entire day out of their daily work schedule to give back to their chosen charities or communities. We caught up with John Harvey in our Learning & Development – Service Academy team to find out how he chose to use his Volunteering Day to help make change for good.

Hi John, so tell me how did you spend your Volunteering Day?

I used my volunteering day with a few of my colleagues Julie Atkinson, Trina Growns, Jacqui Goddard, Debbie Hall, Ian Cairney and Sara Marsay.

Sara contacted the charity Family Action and asked what we could do. We supported a redecoration of various communal spaces, revitalising the tired rooms in their family hub. We helped to create a family room that is now a lot fresher and a lot nicer a place to be for the various families that use the service. A lot of these families are going through difficult and stressful times, so it was great to be able to give them a refreshed and modern space to be in. We also created a tree with all our handprints on, which will be somewhere the service users can add their handprints to too.

That sounds amazing, you’ve definitely made a difference to those families lives. So what made you choose to volunteer?

It’s amazing that Virgin Media recognise that volunteering to help local communities and charities can have such a great impact. Our team is based in different locations across England and Scotland – so we wanted to join forces and come together to do something special. It was a great team building opportunity for us all to work together and we are big advocates of volunteering, as it makes such an impact in areas that don’t get a lot of resources.

So not only have you made a difference you’ve been able to connect in with your colleagues, which is wonderful. What impact do you feel this has had?

The impact to Family Action was inspiring. After speaking to the case workers at Family Action – this new and improved family room will give them a warm, welcoming and safe space to sit down and talk with their service users. As they work with families and young people from 0-19 years old, they needed a positive space.

We were able to make that happen by working together and really going the extra mile. By freshening up the other corridors and stairway – we helped Family Action create a really vibrant, colourful and welcoming space that the service users and staff can enjoy.

We really loved our day with the Family Action guys. There was a sense of group achievement as we saw the rooms transform in front of our eyes but what was more importantly (and more powerful) was that we could see and feel just how appreciative the guys were of us giving up our working day to support them and their cause.  It was a very humbling experience and I can’t wait to plan our next volunteering day.

Posted on by Roxanne Newson & John Harvey