IPO volunteers finish the job at the Salvation Army

Volunteers enjoyed digging, painting, turfing and building so much last year that they returned for a re-run on Give & Gain 2016.

It makes sense that the IPO and Salvation Army wanted to build on what they achieved in 2015. Organisations who collaborate together during Give & Gain Day often develop a strong bond and want to continue with the excellent work that starts during their first volunteering experience. One of the strengths of Give & Gain Day is that everyone gains from it, be that from practical improvements, the honing of personal skills or the projects’ ability to build and strengthen team spirit.

- Matt Appleby,
Director, Business in the Community Cymru
Twenty employees of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in Newport rolled up their sleeves and pulled on their wellies for a second time this Give & Gain Day and set off to Northlands, the Salvation Army’s residential centre in Cardiff for young homeless people. They had previously volunteered there in 2015, and this year wanted to finish what they had started and make Northlands even more of a des res for its young residents.

During an incredibly busy day, the 20 volunteers made a tangible difference to the hostel, which offers 24-hour care to young people who are under threat of homelessness.  The dedicated team’s achievements included:

  • Painting fences and picnic tables, benches and sheds

  • Erecting a greenhouse

  • Laying turf

  • Building a patio area for barbecues

Team leader Gemma Rowland, Sustainability Officer at IPO, was delighted that the team was able to return to the North Road hostel, and felt they'd all benefited as a result.

“We did some great work but we as a business also got a lot out of the process. As team leader, I learned how to provide direction, instructions, guidance and support and this really honed my communication skills. As a team, we worked together to achieve our goals – and we were all immensely gratified to see what we had achieved at the end of the day." said Gemma. "We loved seeing what a fab difference we had made by improving the environment for all the staff and the young people who live at Northlands.

“As a team-building experience, it was unbeatable”. 

Northlands staff were equally delighted by this second round of collaboration between the two organisations.

“I want to say a big thank you to Gemma and her colleagues from IPO for all the fabulous work they did on Give & Gain Day." said the Salvation Army’s Sally Anthony, who helped co-ordinate the event."It was really amazing to see how much they achieved in one day. We were struggling and there was no way the garden would have been ready for summer if we hadn’t received this help.

We shall be inviting them to our inaugural barbecue to show our appreciation”.

The benefits of taking part in Give & Gain Day

A survey of participants in Give & Gain Day 2016 in Wales found that volunteers gained a wide range of benefits:

  • 96% of participants felt the time spent volunteering was rewarded by the benefits of the experience,

  • 77% of employees who took part said they developed their skills as a result of participating,

  • 82% of participants feel more committed to their employer as a result of taking part.