Companies roll up their sleeves on Wales’ eighth Give & Gain Day

Hundreds of volunteers from companies across Wales are out helping their local communities as part of Wales’ biggest employee volunteering event.

Give & Gain Day 2017 is coordinated by Business in the Community (BITC) Cymru and is sponsored Wales by the Welsh Government and Wales & West Utilities. Give & Gain Day this year sees over 500 volunteers from business across the country rolling up their sleeves and taking part in activities in their communities. This year Give & Gain Day activity is taking place across week beginning 8 May, culminating in a large number of activities on Friday 12 May.

Whilst communities of course benefit from volunteers supporting them with a range of activities – from holding healthy eating workshops to clearing footpaths and painting fences – volunteers also gain from the experience. 

Employee volunteering provides opportunities to develop leadership, communication and problem solving skills. Employees then take back their newly-acquired expertise to their business. 77% of Give & Gain Day participants in Wales last year said they developed their personal skills as a direct result of their volunteering experience, 61% said it had enhanced their communications skills and 93% said they now feel more connected to the community in which they volunteered. A staggering 97% said they would be interested in volunteering again.

Jill Salter, Head of Community Impact at BITC Cymru said: 

“Eleven new companies – ACT Training, Arriva Trains Wales, Barry Building Services, Castle Leisure, Firstsource Solutions, Glyndŵr University, LRM Planning, Public Health Wales, Sony UK TEC, Thomson Reuters and WYG – have signed up to take part for the first time this year, alongside the likes of long-standing supporters like the Office of National Statistics, Principality Building Society, Trivallis and Wales & West Utilites. This is a clear indicator that volunteering is increasingly seen as a force for good both inside companies and in communities. Volunteering is win-win; communities benefit on a practical level and business benefits from having a more engaged and skilled workforce.  

“Volunteering is a way for companies and employees to build skills and supplement training opportunities. More employees have a chance to build their skill set, further their career and actually enjoy feelings of accomplishment whilst at the same time giving something back to the community.”

Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure at the Welsh Government added:

"I am very pleased that the Welsh Government is again supporting Give & Gain Day which is a great initiative and provides an extensive range of volunteering opportunities for businesses and employees to get involved and support their local communities. It provides a very rewarding and valuable experience for individuals whose involvement makes a real contribution and does really make a difference.” 

Whilst Mark Oliver, Director of Business Services, Wales & West Utilities explained that: 

"At Wales & West Utilities our skilled and dedicated colleagues do their very best to keep the communities we serve across Wales and the South West of England safe and warm. Employee volunteering allows us to engage and connect with the communities we serve and means local groups and organisations can take advantage of the skills that our staff have – from raking gardens to running workshops and from painting walls to refurbishing community centres. Give & Gain Day 2017 is a great opportunity to celebrate the benefits businesses can bring to communities through volunteering and we are proud to be involved." 

Give & Gain Day activities taking place across Wales this week include: 

Across RCT and Gwent .. Ten volunteers from Inprova Energy scrubbing up the outside area of Gwaunymeisgyn Junior School; Trivallis and partners are transforming the caretaker’s lodge into a family centre at Ysgol Ty Coch; volunteers from Public Health Wales helping develop the outside area of Trinity Children & Family Centre; DAC Beachcroft are working on sprucing up the garden at Malpas Court Primary School; and a team from the Office of National Statistics giving healthy eating sessions at St Michael’s Primary School.

In the Vale of Glamorgan .. Firstsource Solutions are volunteering at Valeways, maintaining the footpaths used by visitors; Monmouthshire Building Society and Wales & West Utilities are teaming up to clean the beach and tidy up vegetation at Porthkerry Park; Finance Wales volunteers are painting trees and staining fences at Cosmeston Medieval Village; and a team from the Welsh Government are helping to maintaining Dunraven Gardens at Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre.

In Cardiff .. Teams from the Welsh Government are holding coding sessions at Baden Powell School in Splott, helping children develop and refine their digital skills; Lovell, Principality Building Society, V12 Retail Finance, Motonovo Finance and Watts Truck & Van are donning sports kit to take part in the special Cardiff Blues’ Tag Rugby Festival; Legal & General volunteers are revamping the gardens at Craig-y-Parc Special School in Pentyrch; and ACT Training are teaming up with colleagues from the Green Days Project and together they’ll be volunteering at Forest Farm in Whitchurch helping to improve the outside areas for Green Days service users. 

In North Wales .. Welsh Government volunteers are revamping part of the Penrhyn Castle site in Bangor; a team from AF Blakemore & Son are tidying up some of the outside space and creating a wildilfe area at Clwb Rygbi Rhosllanerchrhugog; and a team of volutneers from Glyndŵr University are clearing and cleaning up the vegetation and planting at the Dynamic Project in Wrexham (North Wales).