New volunteering scheme tailored for local businesses

Wandsworth's businesses already have a healthy appetite for innovative ideas that also support our local community. We know it's important to provide opportunities and activities that benefit your staff and teams too. This is why Wandsworth Council are pleased to promote BusinessHelps - a unique opportunity for SMEs to participate in flexible volunteering schemes across the community, in partnership with Volunteering Wandsworth.

The launch of the BusinessHelps scheme will enable Wandsworth's employers and employees to take part in projects which make a real impact locally. The scheme is fully tailored to the needs of SMEs in London, there's no cost to participate and all the co-ordination for volunteers and projects is provided by Volunteering Wandsworth free of charge.

A six month pilot scheme has already been successfully completed by Earlsfield-based Contact Law. 15 employees took part in regular, monthly volunteering slots at two local charities (Careers Development Group and Shopmobility).

Dan Watkins from Contact Law describes his experience of the programme:

"Beyond the obvious altruistic ones, we experienced many benefits from participating in this volunteering scheme. We significantly raised our profile in Wandsworth, participants developed their communication and team-working skills and explored coaching and leadership opportunities. We found our business culture improved as a whole and morale was high - everyone likes to be associated with a company that takes its responsibilities seriously.

We came into contact with more businesses and individuals during the pilot scheme, which led to good networking opportunities, while the search engine ranking of our website also improved (particularly important as we are a consumer-facing business with a large online presence). Unlike large corporates we don't have a CSR budget to spend on away-days for the staff, so we are delighted that the Council and Volunteering Wandsworth have now rolled out this scheme to benefit other local businesses.

All the business has to do is provide its time and enthusiasm!"

Tailored, flexible volunteering for your company

We realise that the key aspect to any business-focussed volunteering scheme lies in maximising its flexibility. We have seen first-hand with Contact Law how an employer can integrate workforce volunteering opportunities within the company culture.

Whilst Contact Law employees chose to centre their volunteering on mentoring the unemployed and assisting the elderly, there are a great number of other options that Volunteering Wandsworth can offer your company. BusinessHelps has been specifically set up so you can maintain your working commitments while the company and the community at large enjoy the benefits of your volunteering.

There are a range of flexible options for your business such as:

  • Volunteering sessions at lunchtime, midweek evenings and weekends, on dates that work for your team
  • Regular midweek slots (one or two hour sessions) held fortnightly, monthly or in whatever capacity that suits your company
  • One-off environmental projects taking place over a half-day at the weekend, e.g. team-building activities working with local schools, parks and community gardens
  • Volunteering Wandsworth can smartly match your company up with an appropriate scheme to ensure your company reaps the benefits of volunteering without burdening everyday working practices

Interested?

Sound ideal for your company? For more information on the pilot and how to sign up to a tailored scheme please visit the Employer & Group Volunteering page.

Email: enquiry@volunteeringwandsworth.org.uk

Call: 0300 365 9950 (available 10am to 4pm from Tuesday 4th September).

Source: Dan Watkins, Contact Law and Paul Marchant, BusinessHelps via Wandsworth Council