Zopa introduced volunteering days in August last year and so far 64 staff have volunteered for charities across the country. Zopians can volunteer for any registered charity and the company supports them with two paid days a year out of work to do so.
We allow our staff to pick a charity that means something to them. Benefacto offers them a fantastic range of options, or Zopians can set up something independently.
So far they’ve turned their hand to a massive range of activities, from mending bikes with asylum seekers to working with birds of prey. Last year I put my cooking skills to the test at North London Cares, a charity that works to combat loneliness in older people.
Why volunteering matters
Volunteering can make a big difference, whether it’s sharing your skills with others, providing an extra pair of hands or simply offering your company. There’s something everyone can do, and as an organisation we want to help where we can.
Volunteers also get a lot out of the experience. We have a great working environment, but on the whole our staff know what’s expected of them and how to deliver it. Taking up the opportunity to volunteer means going into the unknown and is a positive step for any staff member, not just to make a contribution but also to explore the lives of others.
It’s great to hear Zopians talk about it so passionately when they return, and we encourage them to do so to inspire others. David from underwriting blogged internally about building a shed for a city farm and Amy from marketing talked at a company meeting about helping out local homeless people with their IT skills.
Seize the day!
We all get busy with work, but work is an ongoing process, it’s never finished and either you take the time to volunteer or suddenly it’s 2018 and we’ve lost a fantastic opportunity to make a difference! So whether a Zopian or not, get out there and volunteer.
Looking for inspiration? Here’s some of our Zopians in action:
Andy, Customer Services, at the Vauxhall Food Bank
Marketing at Surrey Docks Farm
Legal and Compliance at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park