Our volunteering policy allows staff to take two days paid leave per annum for approved volunteering activities.
In addition to benefiting charities and recipients, the scheme contributes to health and wellbeing at work and offers opportunities for personal or professional development.
Here are some of the great initiatives our staff have been involved in.
For the last two years I’ve volunteered as a primary school governor in North London. Most of our meetings take place outside of work hours, but Hyde’s volunteering scheme gives me the opportunity to visit the school during the day.
On my last visit I spent the day meeting pupils from the School Council and speaking to staff about how the school is run. When I visit the school I’m always amazed by how much the quality of teaching has improved since I was at school. If you’re interested in education in your local area I’d encourage you to get involved - the school dinners aren’t bad either!
I used the scheme to volunteer as a parent helper to take my local guide troop on summer camp and had enormous fun with the girls putting up tents, cooking over an open fire, cleaning the porridge pan, singing songs round the camp fire and generally enjoying ourselves.
Many of the girls had no experience of travelling with a rucksack, camping, cooking, doing chores or managing their own equipment and themselves. Over the course of a few days, they learnt a lot about themselves and their friends, and built experiences they’ll never forget.
I worked incredibly hard, had a lovely time, and really, really needed a bath at the end!
I took part in the Hyde Group London to Paris cycle ride in May 2016 to raise funds for the Hyde Charitable Trust. This was organised by the Development Team and sponsored by construction company Chartway, Employee Agents Philip Park Partnership, Martin Arnold and Calford Seaton, contractors Rydon, Mulalley and Buxton, and solicitors Devonshires.
A small number of places were offered to staff who had to apply for these as the other places were paid for by the companies who sponsored the event and raised a substantial amount of money for the Trust. It was a great experience for everyone and a fantastic achievement, tough but extremely rewarding. We all learned a lot about ourselves and each other, and made some firm friends.
I used the two days volunteer leave that Hyde provides for all staff, and would recommend everyone takes advantage of this scheme to help themselves help others.
In May I completed my first ever marathon, Muskathlon in Rwanda, to raise money for children living in poverty. Running for the charity Compassion, my aim was to raise as much money as I could to help provide children with nutritious food, health check-ups and life skills. Compared to their peers, Compassion sponsored children are more likely to stay in school for longer, have salaried jobs and be leaders in their communities and churches.
The whole trip was incredible; seeing first hand where the funds go and taking part in a sports day for local children was inspiring.
The run was hard, my lungs felt half the size due to the altitude; and the heat and elevation were like nothing I had experienced training at home in the UK. However that wasn’t the biggest challenge for me; it was seeing the countless children who are not yet sponsored and who have little or no opportunity, but somehow going through that pain enabled me to symbolically identify with the Rwandan people I was running for.