- 34,000 hours spent volunteering
- Helping elderly people, one phone call at a time
- Careers advice for schoolchildren
We take a look at the many benefits of volunteering and what some British Gas employees are doing to help their communities.
Many people would love to volunteer but finding the time to do it can sometimes push those good intentions to one side.
Despite juggling work and family and all the stresses of daily life, British Gas employees regularly give up their time to help other people.
Last year, British Gas staff spent an incredible 34,000 hours working as volunteers across various organisations and charities.
Abi Robins, Corporate Responsibility Director says: “At British Gas we encourage our people to volunteer within their local community. As well as helping develop skills, volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and make a difference.
“The range of opportunities is vast. Many of our staff members get involved in all sorts of volunteering activities, from working with the Age UK community to sports coaching in schools and giving people energy saving lessons. Both at local charity level, or with their nearby Scouts, Girl Guides or Cubs group.”
Find out from some British Gas staff how volunteering has bettered their lives and helped their communities
Lila Shergold – the importance of a simple chat
Moved by the fact that many elderly people who live alone can often go weeks without talking to anyone, Lila Shergold, a Customer and Community Consultant for British Gas in Rugby decided to volunteer for Call in Time.
Call in Time puts volunteers in regular telephone contact with the elderly to provide support and help them feel less lonely.
Lila explains, “I felt that I really wanted to help and over the last year I have built up a great friendship with my Call in Time lady. We have become great friends and she says she really looks forward to my calls.
“From a personal development perspective, it’s given me a real sense of wellbeing. I think the best thing you can give someone is your time.
“It’s helped me professionally too because it has given me the ability to build friendships over the phone, which has really helped my customer service skills.
“I’d recommend volunteering to anyone. Helping others is not only important – the rewards all-round are immense.”
Hannah Rayson – eyes down for lessons in energy
Hannah Rayson, Assistant Partnership Manager at British Gas took part in one of Britain’s best-loved games with a community of Age UK members in London to help educate them about energy saving.
“The bingo sessions at Age UK Hounslow are a highlight for many of the charity’s members – so expectations were high when we took over.
“There was a good turnout and chatting to them before it began really hit home for me how important this outing was to every one of them as a chance to socialise.
“I’m 26 and don’t often get the chance to talk to the older generation, so I found the experience a really brilliant opportunity to develop my communication skills. Everyone had a really interesting life story to tell.
“When the games began I realised I had to be clear and confident with my instructions and I think the experience also helped me with my presentation skills. I felt a great sense of achievement and satisfaction knowing that we had passed on some great energy saving tips and made a real difference to their day.”
Whether it’s taking a little time out to chat on the phone or using your existing skills to make a difference, it’s clear that the benefits of volunteering really do go both ways. With both sides reaping the rewards.
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