As a global company that believes in giving back, the good our associates do is spread far and wide. Through their volunteer activities, our colleagues from Blackbaud Europe are just one example. Team members working out of Blackbaud’s United Kingdom (UK) offices spent a day volunteering in their local parks, with our London team volunteering at Southwark Park and our Glasgow team at Linn Park. Having the opportunity to make an already fantastic community landscape even more beautiful is always a rewarding give back opportunity.
Through Volunteering Matters, a nonprofit in the UK that engages volunteers with local organizations, 14 Blackbaud Glasgow associates spent the day planting seedlings throughout Simshill Meadow at Linn Park, creating a new nature landscape for the park. Gary Linstead, Countryside Range at Linn Park, told the team, “It was a very productive and enjoyable day on a number of different levels. Truly, your input to the Simshill Meadow at Linn Park LNR is very much appreciated. Hopefully next season we’ll see a good increase in bees, butterflies and hoverflies, not to mention other wildlife and a wonderful meadow for park users to enjoy. I would be delighted to assist again sometime!”
In London, Casper Harratt, a Blackbaud marketing manager, described the team’s rewarding volunteer day perfectly: “50 Blackbaudians descended on Southwark Park for a day last month to clear an educational area for the local school kiddies to learn about nature. We cleared unwanted weeds and underbrush from the area with reckless abandon! Someone should have warned the brambles and knotweed that we were on the way – they simply weren’t prepared for the onslaught. We had a glorious time hacking, slashing and obliterating weeds and shrubs and left the area neat, tidy and ready for learning.”
While our teams enjoy hands-on volunteer service, they also engage in skills-based service, where they use their professional or personal skills to positively impact an organization. In 2017, three of our London colleagues began volunteering with The Sophie Hayes Foundation, which empowers survivors of human trafficking to build futures filled with hope and promise through programs that enable these individuals to create independent, purposeful lives. The organization’s Day 46 Programme creates confidence-building and employability through sessions delivered in safe houses and communities across London and Birmingham. Alice Weaver and Miriam Nackasha volunteered with a Day 46 program where they went into a safe house in London to meet with six women over nine weeks. Each week, different topics were covered that build confidence and aid the women in creating brighter futures. Alice and Miriam found this work to be eye-opening, challenging and amazing. Tom Hedges, another London colleague, is lending his skills to developing an employability program for male survivors.
Naomi Telfer, Charity Lead of The Sophie Hayes Foundation spoke to Blackbaud’s involvement with the organization saying, “Blackbaud’s support has been invaluable with enabling us to reach 30 more survivors of trafficking across London with our confidence and employability workshops, training and placements as well as helping us secure vital Big Lottery funding to expand our work across the UK. Not only this, but the volunteering of Tom, Mema and Alice has brought fresh life, creativity, excellence and fun into our Sophie Hayes Team! Thank you for partnering with and believing in us, and through that, helping us empower more survivors of trafficking to build hope filled futures.”
Volunteer service is not only good for your community, it is also good for your soul. Our colleagues in our London and Glasgow offices know this first-hand and will continue to put a face to our value of We Give Back in the months to come.