This week is Volunteers' Week, a chance to recognise the work and contributions of volunteers. Many charities rely on volunteers to help provide services, and Berkeley Group staff often help out at their designated charity - or at events for our other charity partners. The Berkeley Foundation is grateful to all of you who give up your time and share your skills; it is very much appreciated.
This blog by Fionna at Berkeley Homes North East London gives a snapshot of some of the volunteering that they have taken part in.
In the last six years, Berkeley Homes North East London has partnered with two charities, Providence Row, and Home Start London - our current charity partner, both of which we have worked with very closely and made great progress.
We had a very successful three years partnered with Providence Row and as well as smashing our fundraising target of £300,000 we also carried out an astonishing total 622 staff volunteering hours undertaking tasks such as IT and English lessons, photography, women's group, painting and decorating, gardening and lunch service. These volunteering sessions focused on aiding the clients of Providence Row to build skills required to seek employment and secure a permanent job. The sessions benefited our staff as well, educating them and opening their eyes to the struggles homeless people in London are facing and the different reasons why people become homeless in the first place. A third of our business gave up their time to get involved with volunteering sessions over the three years we were partnered with the charity, and 84% rated their experience as 10/10.
We partnered with Home Start London in October 2019 and although last year the pandemic put a spanner in the works when it came to organising staff volunteering for the charity, we still managed to get a good 18 months' worth of work in before this. Our main project was the renovation of a home of a vulnerable London family, which we video documented and you can watch here. 120 employee hours were given on this project over the course of two weeks.
Other volunteering initiatives for Home Start London have included our Trent Park Digger Day (attended by 56 children), Christmas Gift Collections (911 gifts for children), preparing food for Home Start Volunteer Appreciation events and delivering Covid-19 care packages to London families (consisting of food vouchers, dry foods, toys and books).
We pride ourselves on being a company that always get involved in the volunteering aspect of the Foundation and over these last few years we have supported several other projects organised by the Foundation i.e. Crisis Homeless Awareness training, Crisis at Christmas, Crisis Employment Platform and employee mentoring through the Creativity Works Programme.
Foundation Champion for Berkeley Homes North East London