What does CSR mean to you?

Our People & Culture Manager Simon Robins discusses the importance of CSR in the modern workplace…

CSR. Corporate Social Responsibility. This can mean so many different things. For makepositive, it is a chance to give back to the community and try to make the world a slightly better place. We are supporting an amazing charity this year – Demelza Children’s Hospice, who are a small hospice that provides support and care to terminally ill children and their families in South East London, Kent and East Sussex. I would like to think that all of our fundraising attempts throughout the year will in some way have a huge impact on one or more of these children. If we are successful with this aim, I cannot think of a better reason to do what we do.

On top of our year-round fundraising, makepositive also offers all of their employee’s three days per year to volunteer for a charity. This is something that I have made full use of! I have been volunteering for St John Ambulance for the last 4 or so years and it has become a way of life for me. Why do I volunteer? I would love to say that it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside, to know I am giving back to society; I guess this is part of it. I have had an amazing life so far and I believe that we are all responsible for giving back a little in return. Though I also think it is bigger than that now. I have met some of the most amazing people through volunteering, who I now spend many of my weekends with at various events. I also get to dabble in a world that would not normally be an option in my day job of HR. I have recently been trained and signed off to run a Treatment Centre at events, and I was lucky enough to be a Treatment Centre Manager at the concerts in Hyde Park as my first event. Six days over two weekends with some amazing acts, wonderful sunshine and meeting some amazing patients.

Patient care is another massive part of the role. At the London Marathon, if you collapse at the finish line, one of our response teams will pick you up and whisk you into the Treatment Centre. I’m sure you can imagine how scary it must be for this to happen to you. Normally by this time the Centre is busy and very loud, with lots of strangers rushing about and this is where compassion is as important as the treatment. Just reassuring them that they are ok makes a huge difference, and normally after plenty of water and sugar, they are able to walk out on their own, laughing at the story they will tell their mates. Knowing that I helped that person in a really dark moment of their life, it really is a high that you cannot get elsewhere. I would like to think that in my darkest hour, someone will be there to hold my hand and tell me that everything will be ok.

As well as the social aspect, I have learnt a lot of new skills. First aid is the obvious one, but also managing difficult people (drunk patients), developing my leadership and effective decision making skills. Although this has now become more of a hobby, I cannot encourage people enough to give volunteering a chance. It can be as little as a couple of days, but the rewards you receive in return are priceless. I really am lucky that makepositive give me 3 days per year in support of the voluntary work that has become such a huge part of my life.

To discover more about volunteering opportunities in London and across the UK, please follow the below links:

https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/volunteering/search/

https://www.handsonlondon.org.uk/

https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk/

 

 

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