International Volunteering Day: Our people’s commitment to positive change

Volunteering opportunities in the workplace are a great way to boost staff morale, improve wellbeing and create a sense of community as well as having a positive impact both socially and sustainably. At Wave, we believe in giving back through both corporate and staff volunteering, whether it be collecting rubbish at a beach clean, improving habitats for wildlife or helping build better housing for people in need.

Volunteering with our customerswave beach clean volunteers

We’ve had a number of successful corporate volunteering days. Last year we joined up with NEPO to volunteer at the Tees Barrage in Stockton on Tees, in partnership with the Canal and River Trust. Representatives from eight local public sector authorities turned up to support us, and the day was a great opportunity to strengthen relationships and improve wellbeing after a long period of working from home.

The day was such a success that we organised a further volunteering event with the Canal and River Trust, this time at Standedge Tunnel. YPO, Costa Coffee and Fraser’s Group joined us for a rainy day of clearing overgrown vegetation and trees, improving accessibility in the area. Later in the month, we also had a great day at the Washington Wetlands Centre where a team of over 20 volunteers joined us from NEPO, TEC, Durham University, North Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council.

Volunteering with our colleagues

Our staff have one free paid volunteering day that they can use to support a cause that matters to them, as well as plenty of opportunities to volunteer as a team. September of this year was our biggest volunteering month to date, and overall this year, 278 hours of volunteering has been completed by our people.

Kwave beach clean volunteerseeping our beaches clean

During the Great British Beach Clean in September with Seascapes, our staff volunteered both weekends at their local beaches, spending the morning clearing bags of rubbish and leaving the beaches cleaner and safer for everyone to enjoy. It was a great way for some of our staff to meet and get to know each other while they made an impact both socially and environmentally.

The success of the first two beach cleans led to a further opportunity, again with Seascapes, and our staff have expressed an interest in doing more of these in the future. We’re really proud that our people were so motivated by their passion for social and sustainable change that they were willing to give up their weekends to support this worthy.

Supporting local charities

Our staff can sign up to, and find out about, volunteering and fundraising events through our platform, Alaya, which tracks our progress as a company and encourages involvement. As well as environmental volunteering, we’ve also volunteered at local charities DASH (Durham Action on Single Housing), Grace House and Smartworks.

DASH is an independent charity that provides support andwave volunteers painting accommodation to people who are homeless or are about to become homeless. Our team had a very hands-on day with them, getting stuck into decorating and painting.

Grace House is a Sunderland based charity, providing support to disabled children, young people and their families. Our staff spent a day helping to prepare the gardens for a visit from the BBC, for their work for Children in Need. Volunteers tended to the garden, weeding, removing brambles and clearing rubbish.

We’ve also donated approximately ten large bags of clothes to Smartworks in Newcastle, a charity that provides workwear and interview coaching to women who’ve been referred by another organisation or charity for support. This is another charity that is close to our people’s hearts, and our Director of HR, Jane Austin, has supported SmartWorks for four years through the donation of clothes, shoes and accessories.

Fostering lasting relationships with local charities is a priority for us, and we are making plans to work with both DASH and Grace House in the near future.

The many benefits of volunteering

As a business, we’re driven by our values and dedicated to doing good for our people, our planet, our customers, and their communities. Volunteering is a fantastic way of working towards some our business’ social and sustainability goals, as well as building relationships with colleagues and customers. In addition to this, the wellbeing of our staff is vital to us, and providing opportunities to give back to the local community and have a positive impact on the environment will continue to be a priority in the future as we continue to plan further volunteering days.

If you’re a Wave customer and would like to get involved, keep an eye out for our future corporate volunteering events.