The Energise team share their stories for Volunteers’ Week 2023
Every year, Volunteers’ Week offers the opportunity to celebrate the fantastic efforts and impacts of volunteers across the UK. Not only is volunteering crucial for local communities, society and our economy1, but volunteering provides a wide range of other benefits including meeting new people, learning new skills, having fun and improving physical and mental health2.
Our team helps at many events across the UK in their spare time and by making the most of additional volunteering leave provided by Energise. Our Associate Director (Strategy) Kesi Courtman said: “We’re all about empowering people to be a force for good for our planet and its people. Providing time off for volunteering is just one of the many ways we put this into practice, enabling our team to connect with causes they are passionate about whilst supporting their local communities.” In 2022, 95% of our staff used their volunteering days which equalled a great collective effort.
We’ve asked our team if they’d be happy tell us more about the projects and organisations they’re involved with – here’s what some of them were proud to share:
Our Head of Commercial, Adam Wright, is the Lead Volunteer and a Trustee of his local Scout Group, which provides 100 young people with the skills they need for life. To achieve this, Adam supports the adult volunteers and young leaders to deliver exciting programmes with great resources, amazing teams and a safe environment for all.
“Volunteering is really important to me to give back what I had been given, to support my mental health and develop my leadership skills. I’d encourage anyone and everyone to try their hand at volunteering, whether it’s an hour a month or a couple of hours a week, you’ll have such an impact for those who need it the most whilst developing yourself mentally and physically.” – Adam Wright
Tina Jones, our Office Manager, spent her Energise volunteering day helping at Fowlmere Playgroup Thrift, which is a bi-annual event and raises over £4000 annually for the playgroup. Tina helped collect clothing rails which are donated from their local Tesco, before joining nine other volunteers to help set up the event. As well as fundraising for the playgroup, the thrift event aims to reduce waste plus help parents by providing affordable, sustainable clothes.
“Thrift shopping is good for the environment and the easiest way to reduce carbon pollution. Reduce, reuse and recycle; we must do what we can to avoid clothes ending up in landfills.” – Tina Jones
Melanie Hindley, our Strategy & Sales Team Co-ordinator, volunteers at Spirit of the Herd, a not-for-profit sanctuary for rescued horses and ponies. After rehabilitation, the horses and ponies go on to help children, young people and adults with learning needs, lacking in confidence or suffering from stress and anxiety. Mel and the team of volunteers help with a range of duties including feeding and pampering the animals, plus cleaning out their fields and resting areas.
“For me I feel that volunteering is important to help a wide range of worthwhile causes as many charities rely on the generosity of volunteers as often they are only part-funded. The Spirit of the Herd Sanctuary completely relies on fundraising, donations from the community and grants secured along the way. I have only been involved in volunteering since late 2022 and am keen to offer more support on a regular basis.
Seeing the difference it makes to people’s lives is so rewarding, and for me on a personal level is helping to build my confidence and physical health. I am what I would call “socially-awkward” so this is definitely bringing me out of my shell!” – Melanie Hindley
Kesi Courtman, our Associate Director (Strategy), regularly volunteers with FoodCycle, a charity that takes fruit and vegetables which would otherwise go to waste and produce a delicious three-course meal for over sixty guests to enjoy. Volunteering with FoodCycle combines Kesi’s passion for food and the environment with a desire to support her local community by reducing food poverty, loneliness and food waste – did you know that one-third of all food produced is wasted?
“Volunteering enables me to play an active role in my community. It’s honestly one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon: stepping away from my routine, connecting with guests, meeting people from all walks of life, seeing all those smiling faces… what’s not to like!” – Kesi Courtman
We hope you are feeling inspired by our team and if you’re ready to consider volunteering in your community, you can find opportunities near you by clicking here.
Interested to join the Energise team? Visit our Careers page for our current opportunities and benefits, including volunteering days, unlimited holidays, enhanced parental leave, a wellness budget and the reassurance of working alongside a mission-driven team!
Every year, Volunteers’ Week offers the opportunity to celebrate the fantastic efforts and impacts of volunteers across the UK. In this blog, our team reflect on their projects they are involved with and why volunteering is important to them.
Our Associate Director (Finance), Kamruj Jaman, shares his story for South Asian Heritage Month, reflecting on how his heritage, family values and faith shaped his desire to contribute meaningfully to a healthier Earth.