Why we support volunteering in the workplace

7 December 2015

We have a volunteering rota at Ideal – which means that once a month a member of the team spends a day doing voluntary work instead of being in the office. Here’s why I encourage the team to take part.

We’re a hard working bunch at Ideal and I make no apologies for the fact that I demand commitment and effort from our people. That’s how we are able to give our clients such brilliant service.

But just as important to me is that the team is happy and feels connected to the wider community. I know that impacts on their personal wellbeing and means we are cultivating the right kind of corporate culture for engaged employees and consistently high quality service delivery.

We have lots of ways that we support good health and community activity at Ideal. One of the most popular is the voluntary days that staff take part in each month at the Martlets Hospice in Brighton and Hove.

Each month there’s the opportunity for a member of staff to spend a day working at the Hospice in the gardens or helping to sort donated clothes and goods at the warehouse that supplies their charity shops across the city. For me, it’s a way that Ideal can make a meaningful contribution to our local community.

I’ve asked some of the team to talk about their experiences of doing voluntary work in the workplace and what they get out of it. If you’re thinking about doing a similar kind of scheme in your organisation I’d really encourage it.

Iheanyi Obasi, Senior Support Engineer


“I spent a day working in the gardens in October. It was a really fantastic experience. I’m no Farmer Brown but I had a great time and I feel that I helped to make a real difference for the people there. I will definitely be signing up to do more days here.”

Kristina Wu, Project Manager

“I spent a day sorting clothing donations at the warehouse in July. We were looking through and anything that wasn’t suitable was bagged up to go to another company that recycles all the material. The things that were suitable were passed through to the shops to sell and raise money for the hospice. I really enjoyed it. It’s a great way to take a break from the non-stop life of the office, meet some different people, and do something different. I really appreciate that Ideal supported me to do something like that.”

Paul Davies, Account Director


“I went to Martlets in June and I worked with the Head Gardener, John – who coincidentally used to be the IT Manager at Sussex University! Because I’m relatively young and fit he put me on to one of the more physical jobs in the garden at the hospice. The task was to help with making the garden immediately opposite patient rooms – improving their appearance to help give patients a better experience in their final days. First I chopped down a dead tree and then I made a bird table platform. I also re-planted a climbing plant so it was more visible from the patient rooms. It was a great day – lovely people and lovely gardens.”

Wissam Faraon, Senior Network Engineer


“I spent a day working in the warehouse in September. I was given the job of ‘handyman’ – which meant I went to help with the pick-ups to collect larger goods such as sofas and beds. I helped with unloading the truck, moving things into the warehouse. I put a bed together for display and then when it sold the same day, I spent time dismantling it to make it easy for the people who bought it to transport home. I also fixed a broken table, stacked a load of books on shelves for display. I really enjoyed it – the other volunteers and the staff at Martlets were so nice. I’d recommend it to everyone as a really worthwhile thing to do.”

Header image by Flickr User Jeff Djevdent via CC Licence